Art and Photography

Art LogoPhotography Logo

The Team 2019-20

  • Mr Nick Blackwell - Director of Learning                               
  • Mr Ross McPherson - i/c Photography
  • Miss Diana Renton
  • Mrs Elizabeth Fillis
  • Mrs Lucy Hexter-Walters - Art Technician (Monday - Wednesday)
  • Mrs Elaine Thompson - Art Technician (Thursday & Friday)


The function of Art is to enrich our lives through broadening our perception of the world around us. Through participating in Art activities, studying the work of other artists and exploring the artefacts and images form other cultures we enrich our own lives.
The mechanical processes can be taught; how to mix and recognise colours, how to draw accurately how to construct a pot from clay and so on. All students can be taught the skill through carefully constructed exercises and imaginative project briefs. It is only through sensitivity, knowledge and commitment of the teacher that students will develop awareness and appreciation of Art and its images.
The function of the department is to encourage and promote Art activities and develop an enjoyment and appreciation of the images and forms of Art from our own and other cultures. It is believed that ALL students can make a valid, personal contribution in terms of their own development, and gain in confidence and understanding through participating in Art activities.

Key Stage 3

Students in Year 7 and 8 will study Art and Design as a core subject outside REAL for two hours per week, with a dedicated Art Teacher.

KS3 - Art & Design

Pupils in Year 7 currently follow a broad based course. This provides them with knowledge of Health and Safety, basic skills and techniques and an introduction to contextual work. Further skills and techniques are developed using a range of media, giving solid foundation on which to build when Year 8 pupils study specific artists and art movements.

Projects currently studied include: Aboriginal Art ,
Truth and Memory, Expressionist Portraits and Roald Dahl Book Illustration.

Key Stage 4

Students in Years 9-11 can choose to study Art and Design and Photography at GCSE.

KS4 - Art & Design

AQA GCSE Art and Design: Art, Craft and Design
Students are required to develop knowledge, understanding and skills related to Art, Craft and Design through integrated practical, critical and theoretical study that encourages direct engagement with original works and practice. Students will engage with the work of a wide range of Artists and Designers and develop and produce personal outcomes responding to a directed brief.
Students will be given the opportunity to engage, at first hand, with the work of expert practitioners through a number of trips. These have previously included: the architecture of East London, The Cass Sculpture Foundation and Tate Modern.
In the first year students develop their key skills with a focus on recording and developing 2D techniques and materials. As the course progresses students will gain experience of working with 2d, 3d and mixed media techniques and processes. They will investigate and explore print, painting, dry media, ICT, photography, textiles and sculpture.
Drawing skills underpin the course and it is essential that students are confident in recording, are able to sustain work independently and originate strong, personal, creative and imaginative ideas and outcomes.


Coursework comprises 60% of the final mark. This is made up of three units of work. In the past these have included St. Ives, Pop Art and Book Illustration.  Students will develop their work through the sketchbook, recording and experimenting with ideas and materials as their work progresses. Students evaluate, refine and modify their work as they move towards a final outcome, supporting their studies with in-depth research and annotation.
Although the course is predominantly practical work, it is worth noting that this qualification also demands a significant written element.
In addition to class studies, students will complete much of the coursework outside of lesson time. All students are encouraged and expected to attend after school Art Club where they can receive extra tuition and access specialist materials.


Students’ work is assessed throughout the course. Students will receive an interim assessment and a final assessment for each unit. All coursework will be counted towards the final grade.

Controlled Test

The examination unit is worth 40% of the final grade. In the final year of the course students are required to produce a personal response from one starting point or project brief within the examination paper. Students will receive their examination paper in February and complete their externally set task in April. They are expected to develop their own work informed by their preparatory studies, links to the work of other artists and in their final submission, provide evidence that meets all the assessment objectives.

KS4 - Photography

AQA GCSE Photography

Course Content and Assessment

Students will follow a course that will introduce them to a variety of experiences, exploring a range of photographic techniques, equipment and processes. Students will research both historical and contemporary photographers and study how this medium has grown in popularity and the impact it has had on all aspects of modern life. This will involve visiting exhibitions and galleries and producing projects in sketchbooks.
Students will be introduced to the potential of photography through:
The use of professional cameras 
Studio environment lighting
Experimenting with darkroom processes and techniques
Manipulating images in Photoshop and other digital applications
Working to a brief, theme or topic
Mounting and presenting their own work
The safe use of equipment and materials
The study and analysis of other artists and photographers’ work, communicated through the use of subject        specific vocabulary to justify their opinions.
Students will work on expressing their ideas in a range of different areas of photographic practice including: Photo-Journalism, Fashion, Portraiture Collage and Mixed-Media. Students’ work is assessed at the end of each unit of work and each project will last approximately one term.
Although the course is predominantly practical work it is worth noting that this qualification also demands a significant written element.
The course is divided into two elements: a coursework portfolio (a collection of projects and experiments), which is assessed at the end of the course and represents 60% of the final grade and an exam project at the end of the course, which makes up the additional 40% of the marks and includes a ten hour controlled assessment. We are following the course structure of the AQA examination board and work is submitted to them for final assessment. 
Photography is an expensive subject to run and therefore students will be asked to make a donation towards the cost of materials, printing costs and any planned visits.

Key Stage 5

Sixth Form students can choose to study A-Levels in Fine Art and Photography.


KS5 - Art & Design

AQA A-Level GCE Art and Design 
  • A Level Art and Design
  • GCSE Art and Design: Art, Craft and Design
  • Exam board: AQA
  • Portfolio 60% Controlled Test 40%

Course Content and Assessment

Over the course of two years students will study a broad base course in Art, Craft and Design exploring, experimenting and recording on a variety of scales using a wide range of media. Processes and techniques include printmaking, painting, wirework, ceramic sculpture, collage, time based media and digital art. Alongside this students are required to contextualise their artwork by investigating the work of contemporary and historical practitioners, explaining links and making personal connections with their own practice.
Students are encouraged to use a sketchbook to plan, experiment and refine their designs from concept through to finalisation. Their annotations explain the creative process and show the progression of ideas demonstrating the students understanding of key concepts and technical vocabulary. They also explain personal opinions and judgements about their own work and that of others.
Within the coursework portfolio students are required to independently pursue one area of the project through into a substantial final piece.
In the second year of the course students complete their Personal Study where they produce a written investigation into an aspect of Art that informs their own personal practice. They will also produce a substantial body of resolved artwork working to a self-initiated brief.
In addition, students complete a Controlled Test over a period of four months, selecting and refining their ideas in the sketchbook and using materials of their own choice.
Students celebrate their achievements at the end of the course in a large scale exhibition which they will curate and hang.

Ks5 - Photography

 AQA A-Level GCE Photography

Course Content and Assessment

A-Level Photography offers students the opportunity to explore the many diverse approaches to this creative medium. The resources made available to them in school are the same as at GCSE with additional opportunities to extend their learning through experiences at neighbouring schools and nearby higher education facilities. 
Students will look at the work of a wide range of photographic artists building their analytical and critical skills in the assessment of the work. They will then explore the techniques and processes involved in their practise, formulating their own personal responses. 
The department is equipped with a studio and large darkroom space along with a full suite of PC’s running the Adobe Production Premium CC package which can be accessed by students whenever required. All work is documented in sketchbooks and their best outcomes are hand selected by the students and displayed in the end of year exhibition at each stage of the course. At least two trips are organised over the duration of the course to relevant sites or exhibitions to support their learning.  
The course uses the AQA exam board and is centred around the Advanced Level, 2 year course however, there is an option to sit an exam at the end of the first year and achieve an AS level qualification in the subject.  This will be at the discretion of the course leader and will need to be discussed with them before applying for the course.  

Trips and Visits

Students have opportunities to visit galleries and museums throughout their courses. These could include,
  • Tate Britain and Tate Modern
  • East London, Turner Contemporary, Margate.