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Department Staff

Mrs A. McGlade (Head of Department)

Mr R. McCabe

Subject Information

The study of Art and Design provides students with opportunities to stimulate their creativity and imagination.  It gives pupils the opportunity to use Art to record their inner feelings, enrich their sensory experiences and a special way of understanding  and responding to the world.   

Art and Design enables children to communicate what they see, feel and think through its unique ‘visual language’ of line, tone, colour, pattern, texture, shape, form and space.  Children learn to make informed judgements and practical decisions through the use of different materials and processes.  This helps children develop intellectual and practical abilities and appreciate the relationship between their work and that of artists, designers and craft workers in their own and other cultures.

Curriculum Information

Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 students follow a wide and varied course, exploring a range of themes and ideas. They learn techniques to improve their drawing and develop skills in fine art, painting, 2D and 3D designing, mixed media materials, creative iPad apps, idea development, digital photography, Photoshop editing and Ceramics.

Students start to analyse the work of other artists and to evaluate their own and others’ work.

Key stage 3 themes include Portraiture, Anti-bullying, fantasy fish, Graffiti, fantasy creatures, Internet safety and their own visual environment.

Pupils have the opportunities to enter Art competitions within school, anti-bullying poster design, Internet safety poster design and the School Christmas card design. 

Key Stage 4 (GCSE)

At Key Stage 4 students follow a GCSE course in Fine Art under the CCEA exam board. During Year 11 the emphasis is on building up skills through teacher-led workshop-style lessons, whilst exploring specific themes. As the course progresses students are encouraged to work more independently, developing their own ideas, within the framework of their chosen theme.

The specification has two components:

  • Component 1
    - Part A: Exploratory Portfolio
    - Part B: Investigating the Creative and Cultural Industries

  • Component 2: Externally Set Assignment.

Component one of the coursework is experimental and usually completed by Easter of Year 11 and Part B which focuses on Artists influence and the Art Industry is a continuation and development of their chosen Year 11 theme.

January of Year 12 students start work on their Component 2 Externally Set Task, which consists of approximately 12 weeks’ exploration of a chosen topic and 10 hours to produce a final outcome. Component 2 makes up 40 percent of the overall marks for the course.


The Art and Design department endeavours to enrich the curriculum offered in Key Stage 3 and 4 throughout the year with various visiting artist workshops and projects provided to pupils in areas such as ceramics and printmaking. The Department runs an annual trip to the Ulster Museum and photography/ field trips for year 10 students considering GCSE Art.  KS4 pupils are able to attend lunchtime and after-school Art classes in years 11 and 12.


Art and Design opens the door to lots of exciting careers such as:

Fashion designer, Graphic designer, Theatre designer, Animator, video game illustrator, Illustrator, Photographer, Architecture, Product design, Textiles design, Ceramics, Publishing, Interior design, Fashion and media journalism, Hair and make-up design, Retail design, Exhibition design, Jewellery design, Artist, Visual media, Teaching.

Useful Links

CCEA GCSE Art & Design

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