Facebook Twitter Instagram

Art & Design

Art & Design

Art and Design has a high profile within the Academy. There is imagination and innovation running through all areas of the curriculum and a high level of involvement in extracurricular activities with clubs and exhibitions. We view this as an essential contribution to Academy life and a great benefit to the students and staff alike.

Ethos & Values

In the Creative Arts Curriculum Area we endeavour to foster students' sensitivity to and their understanding and enjoyment of Art and Design. We aim to provide students with skills, knowledge and confidence in each area and develop their enjoyment of Art and Design through an active practical involvement in the creative elements of each discipline.

We feel that Art and Design is an essential element in a balanced education, allowing personal expression, personal development, creative and real practical involvement in the subject. Students gain confidence and a real appreciation of each other's talent.

In the Curriculum Area we are aware that Art and Design is one of the few areas where students take part in the personal creation of their own personal items. This adds even more to the aesthetic value of the subject, giving the students a healthy channel for their creative talents.

The Curriculum Area aims:

  • To develop the students' aesthetic appreciation of a variety of Art forms and to continue to explore this through developments in Art and Design.

  • To provide stimulating visual and practical experiences which provide opportunities for the development of skills.

  • To promote interest, enthusiasm and enjoyment of the subject.

Knowledge & Skills

At KS3 schemes of work cover the core criteria that we believe are vital. The students address four areas of enquiry: competency, creativity, cultural and critical. These are used to build the knowledge and skills required for artist appreciation and practice.

At KS4 we follow the GCSE (AQA) Art and Design Unendorsed programme. This is a popular choice. In 2011, 85% of students achieved A* - C. Assessment for GCSE is 60% Coursework Portfolio, 40% final examination.

All schemes of work are constantly amended, responding to new developments in Art and Design. We work to projects which offer students the opportunity to explore and experiment with varied and diverse media in order to produce outcomes. Students also look at the history of art and the artwork/design from other cultures in order to enhance their own studies and artwork. Students are encouraged to make creative choices and develop their own ideas in response to artist and designers work.

Resources & Facilities

In Key Stages 3 and 4, we have a well-equipped studio and ceramic facilities. There are two kilns, allowing clay work to be fired on site. Digital photography and image manipulation can now be taught using the new ICT suits.

A range of processes and materials are used in all Key Stages including 2D and 3D work. These include: drawing, painting, mixed media, collage, ceramics, card and wire sculpture.

There is a private study and library area where students can research the work of other artists.

Courses & Qualifications

At KS3 we follow QCA guidelines.

At KS4 the students follow the AQA GCSE Art and Design Unendorsed course. This offers a range of materials for students to increase skills and develop creativity.

The GCSE programme is intended to deepen and extend the students' own creative skills and their understanding of art practice developing from your KS3 studies. Students will have the opportunity to work in painting, drawing and mixed media, ceramics and sculpture where appropriate. Students will be encouraged to experiment and be adventurous in expressing your own thoughts, observations and ideas. Observational drawing is fundamental to any art practice and will form the keystone for each project. Students should then develop their ideas into more experimental and creative outcomes.

Students will work to set themes and be expected to record and explore ideas; to use a variety of materials; to analyse and investigate the work of other artists, craft persons and designers; to develop personal final outcomes.

Learning Outside The Classroom


We run Gifted and Talented classes every fortnight for identified students which help to further the students' creative and practical skills in the subject and provide stimulus for other areas of their work.

There are after-academy classes for Coursework development offered to KS4 students. Those who need extra time and one to one support to complete work find this valuable.

Lunchtime clubs are available for all art students who wish to practise their skills in a supportive environment.


The Curriculum Area run an annual visit to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and local galleries.

Where Does This Take Me In The Future?

Further Education

  • At Tollbar - A Level, 2 years.
  • At Franklin Academy - AS/A2 level Art.
  • At GIFHE - the Foundation Course in Art & Design

After A Level

Apply to Colleges, Universities for Further Education and Degree courses.

Thinking Of Becoming A Teacher?

Apply Today

Somercotes Academy Principal

Frances Green