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Charles Darwin School

Art & Design


Art & Design is offered across all three key stages. In the foundation years projects are taught through investigation into and experimentation surrounding a variety of disciplines. The yearly teaching programmes for Years 7, 8 & 9 are organised into a variety of projects of differing lengths. They each provide strong links to the key stage Art & Design National Curriculum and help build a strong foundation for those wishing to study at Art or Textiles at GCSE level. Interwoven into all projects are opportunities to develop student’s analytical and evaluative skills and develop their understanding of the formal elements.

Art & Design is delivered, successfully, at both GCSE and A level. We aim to deliver high quality teaching, provide access to a wide range of resources, demonstrate strong subject knowledge as well as a passionate delivery, this ensures we are able to facilitate a high level of learning through project work, problem solving and research.  Students will be working with a range of materials and media, undertaking printmaking, drawing, painting, photography and 3D workshops throughout this courses.  External visits provide opportunities for students to not only gather primary research for their projects, but help inspire and develop an understanding of possible future career progression paths into the Creative industries.

It is intended that we both inspire and nurture confident, articulate, analytical and reflective learners who go on to pursue a career in the wider creative industry. 

Year 7 theme – Natural Form
Foundation skills workshops covering the formal elements 
Spirals: putting the formal elements into practice

Year 8 theme - Viewpoints 

Ceramic project: exploring an artist and/or cultural differences

Art with a Heart: exploration of pupils own views, opinions and beliefs

Expressionism portraiture: exploring emotions through the Expressionist Art movement to create a mixed-media outcome

Year 9 theme – Great British Values

Grayson Perry project – exploring current icons for a teenager today to create a personalised bank note

Peter Blake – understanding popular culture and consumerism, working in groups to make a paper waistcoat

Yinka Shonibare – develop an understanding of cultures and learning a variety of print making techniques

All GCSE and A Level project titles are subject to change, however some examples are listed below.

GCSE themes
Students complete two coursework projects in Years 10 and 11.

GCSE Art – Force and My Surroundings

In Year 11 Art students will undertake an externally set assignment set by the examination board with the final piece being completed under examination conditions.

A level themes

All Year 12 students will complete a term of skills workshops building a foundation of new skills and techniques required at A level. Students will then complete one coursework project with a theme of their choosing and produce a written personal essay that supports their project.

 All year 13 students will undertake an externally set assignment set by the examination board with the final piece being completed under examination conditions.


Why choose the subject? 

  • Learn to express yourself creatively
  • Learn to problem solve and research
  • Experiment with a range of media such as clay, textiles, digital media and painting
  • Try out new ideas and develop your visual skills
  • Develop your creative skills


Q. When do I start to learn Art & Design?
A. Year 7

Q. Does everybody learn Art & Design?
A. Yes for years 7 and 8. Art & Design and Textiles is an option choice in year 9

Q. What exams can I take?
A. GCSE and A Level. 

Q. What trips are there?
A. Trips are specific to the topic you are studying and will depend on what projects you are given for your externally set assignment. For younger years we are trying to promote trips outside of the school day so are making use of museums and gallery which are open in the evenings. There are specific trips at KS4 and KS5 to galleries such as the Tate Modern, Graduate Fashion week and The Knit and Stitch Exhibition.

Who will teach me? 

Miss Doughty, Mrs Doig, Miss Stroud, Mr Chubb

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