Creative Design


Key Stage 4 Courses Key Stage 5 Courses
AQA GCSE Art and Design – Fine Art (8202)  AQA A Level Fine Art (7202) 
AQA GCSE Art and Design – Photography (8206) AQA A Level Photography (7206)

Why do we study Art?

In Art and Photography you will study an ambitious curriculum that is driven by creativity and ideas. You will be taught by teachers that encourage independence and foster self-expression and who are passionate about drawing, photography, painting, sculpture and printmaking.

Not only will you study and develop a wide range of creative skills, but your lessons will provide you with the opportunity to explore the work of artists, photographers, architects and designers whilst also looking at the world around you which will influence your creativity.

You will learn a wide range of transferable artistic skills through the study of quality artworks and photographs, learning to present work professionally, develop skills necessary to create fantastic work and analyse and evaluate artists’ work.

The Creative Design Department Team

  • Mrs Mitchell – Curriculum Leader 
  • Ms Balcomb – Head of Art 
  • Ms Mansell – Teacher of Art and Photography
  • Ms Baxter - Teacher of Art and Photography
  • Ms Amjad - Art and Photography Technician
  • Ms L Luke - Head of technology
  • Ms Clark - Teacher of Technology
  • Mr Allen - Technology Technician 

The Art Programme of Study

Key stage 3 – Year 7,8 and 9 

Year 7 

  • Autumn Term: The formal elements  
  • Spring Term: Art History – Impressionism, Colour theory and paint application 
  • Summer Term: Pattern and print – London Landmarks  

Year 8 

  • Autumn Term: Portraiture 
  • Spring Term: Art History – Fauvism, colour and emotion 
  • Summer Term: Architecture, Clay project  

Year 9  

  • Autumn Term: Natural forms  
  • Spring Term: Man Made  
  • Summer Term: Print making  

Students are regularly provided with formative feedback both verbally and written. To promote independence and pride in producing high calibre work, students are encouraged to reflect on their work using success criteria and also those of their peers. 

Key Stage 4 – Years 10 and 11 

GCSE Drawing and Painting/Photography provides the opportunity to develop an adventurous, creative and inquisitive approach to your learning. Through studying both historical and contemporary creative practice you will develop the skills to formulate and express your own understanding. This will manifest itself in both written and practical work. The art work produced will be a range of personal responses which embrace a range of ideas devised from your inspiration and your imagination. Due to the fast pace and nature of the subject your skills and knowledge will develop quickly and staff always endeavour to make your projects varied and exciting. 

Through the support of your teacher you will develop a working knowledge of the materials, practices and different techniques that are used within the creative industries. 

You will develop the skills to respond to set themes and briefs by investigating, analysing and experimenting using art, craft and design from vast and varied sources. You will develop your imaginative powers and the skills to express your ideas, feelings and meanings. 

The emphasis in these GCSEs is on the process of developing your own ideas and work. Central to this is your sketchbook where you will record your creative journey. 

The GCSE in Art & Design/Photography contains two Units – Unit 1 is Coursework (60%) and Unit 2 is the Externally Set Assignment (40%) – the timed assignment. 

Coursework starts from the beginning of Year 10 in your sketchbook and accounts for 60% of your grade. It includes research, supporting studies and creative work showing the development of your ideas, leading to one or more outcomes – usually finished pieces of work. Your teacher will lead you through a variety of tasks. 

  • Landscape  
  • Human Body  
  • Beginning and or End 

In Year 11 you will complete an Externally Set Assignment. It is an opportunity to develop and present a creative response to a theme set by the examining board – for example, it could be something like ‘Journeys’ or ‘Time’. 

The externally set paper will also contain some suggestions for possible starting points to help you develop your response and to give you ideas regarding your research. You will then have a preparation period in which to prepare for the timed assignment. During this time, you should explore the theme using a range of approaches from drawing and painting, photography, to sculpture and mixed-media. At the end of this period, you will sit a 10 hour timed session, during which you will produce your final piece(s) of work. Your preparatory and developmental work, along with your final piece, will then be submitted for assessment along with the timed piece(s). 

Key Stage 5 – Years 12 and 13

Fine Art/Photography is the choice for individuals who are passionate about creativity and are keen to take risks, be bold and learn new skills. Students need to have the confidence to pursue personal lines of enquiry independently and with dedication using free time to develop their ideas. It is preferred that students will have secured a minimum of a grade 5 at GCSE.

Throughout the course, students will be required to demonstrate an ability to research ideas in depth, both through an exploration of artists/photographers and their work to other contextual sources such as museum visits with an ability to analyse and offer personal judgements. Furthermore pupils will need to have a substantially developed ability to record ideas; this will provide them with the fundamental skills required to develop and extend practical and theoretical skills, experimenting with a wide range of media and processes from personally selected starting points.

Click here to see the Curriculum Overview for Art

Important textbooks, resources and websites we use at each Key Stage

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 4

London houses a wealth of resources including museums and galleries that are extremely helpful for students studying the arts. Visiting cultural institutions and seeing artworks first hand is the best way students in the arts can develop and grow their ideas.

Key Stage 5

Homework in Art

KS3: 1 hour per week
KS4: 2 hours per week
KS5: ongoing independent work

Enrichment in Art

Students at Barnhill Community High have a range of extra-curricular activities open to them to feed their creative development. There is a weekly art club for KS3, in which students are encouraged to extend their learning, try out new techniques and develop new skills. There are also workshops for Gifted and Talented students to support and challenge their artistic development.

Gifted and More Able Students in the Art Department

The art department is currently running a programme for lead learners within the department. This opportunity is open to all students but at the discretion of department staff.

A Lead Learner should:

  • Support the department they work with (art – e.g. hanging shows etc., helping with production sets)
  • Help with Open Evening
  • Improve attitudes to learning
  • Provide subject support for younger students
  • Help with homework clubs

Students with the following qualities make ideal Lead Learners:

  • Achieve within the subject
  • Enjoy the subject
  • Put in a lot of effort
  • Can speak confidently to groups of students and to staff
  • Are prepared to put time in after school