Art & Design Technology Faculty Courses:
Art, Craft and Design; Textiles Design; Photography; and Three Dimensional Design

  • Small classes: teaching is tailored to the individual to identify, foster, develop and maximise personal strengths, ambitions and interests.
  • Large, light open plan art studios with an excellent range of specialist fine art, textiles, printmaking and photographic facilities including an IT suite with Adobe Design Studio software. Extensive 3D workshops, including a kiln for ceramic work and Computer Aided Design (CAD) Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) Information Communication Technology (ICT) suite are available with technician support on the ground floor.Individual studio spaces for Sixth Form students allows them to leave work in progress and extend their session times into their study periods, lunchtime and after school without disruption. These spaces are arranged in such a way to allow for collaborative and cross disciplined work to flourish, reflecting the experience of working in the creative industries. 
  • Regular university style ‘Group Crit’ feedback sessions with staff and peers develops students communication skills, understanding of audience interpretation and resilience to criticism - great preparation for the face to face interviews required to move onto post graduate and foundation courses. 
  • Beautiful, varied and extensive landscaped grounds with architectural structures, from historical to contemporary design provide a unique and inspiring environment for location shoots, observational drawing and site specific project work.
  • HCS Installation space allows for students to develop work exploring projections, moving image and sound elements. ‘The Top of the Stairs Gallery’ allows students to create a ‘One man/woman show’ experience, creating work on a more ambitious scale.Technician and teaching staff available during the lunch hour and after school until 5.00 pm.
  • The Art and Design Department has a 100% record of placing students on Foundation Courses. In recent years students have increasingly progressed directly from us to BA Degree courses without the need for a foundation course. The department offers individual help with Foundation Course and BA applications, writing of personal statements, preparation for interview and interview portfolios.

Research trips to major art and design collections and inspiring destinations such as Iceland are offered to all faculty students.

Students may choose one or more of the following four areas of study at A Level: Art, Craft and Design; Textiles Design; Photography and Three Dimensional Design.  

Studying any of these highly practical courses will encourage you to develop intellectual, historical and cultural curiosity, imaginative, creative and intuitive capabilities, as well as initiative, self–discipline and an enquiring mind. These subjects demand active participation and helps you to fulfil your individual potential.


The four courses are all assessed in two units following an initial period to develop practical skill, visual literacy and critical thinking up to the appropriate advanced level.

Unit 1 – Personal Investigation (Started after Easter in Year 12) (60% of qualification)
There is no time limit for this extensive, practically based self-selected personal project. You will need to submit a separate 1000-3000 written component as a compliment to your practical project to communicate your research and contextualise the thinking behind your work. 
Unit 2 – Externally set assignment (40% of qualification)
You will select from a wide range of starting points set by the exam board, from which you develop another extended practical project based on your own interpretation of the theme you choose. The paper is released in February of Year 13 and the deadline would be concluded with a final, supervised 15 hour period under exam conditions.

Students are assessed on the following four objectives for both units. The assessments will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives:

  • AO1: Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding.
  • AO2: Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops.
  • AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress. 
  • AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements.

Those who have taken GCSE Art, Photography or Textiles will recognise a very similar structure and assessment criteria as the courses are linear.

Art, Craft and Design

A broad-based course exploring practical and critical/contextual work through a range of 2D and/or 3D processes and media associated with fine art (drawing and painting) plus elements of photography, textile design or 3D design.

Textiles Design

Students should produce practical and critical/contextual work in one or more areas of study, for example, printed and/or dyed fabrics and materials, fashion or costume accessories; art textiles and installed textiles.


Students should produce practical and critical/contextual work in one or more areas of study, for example, portraiture, landscape photography, still life photography, documentary photography, photojournalism, fashion photography, experimental imagery, multimedia, photographic installation and moving image (video, film, animation).

Three Dimensional Design

This course allows us to be flexible to the individual career aspirations and personal interests of our students and prepare an appropriate portfolio for university interview should they have a clear pathway in mind. Students should produce practical and critical/contextual work in one or more areas of study, for example, exhibition design, design for theatre, television and film, interior design, product design, environmental design, architectural design, and 3D digital design.

Course structure

In each course you will be encouraged to identify and develop your strengths and to generate and sustain your own lines of enquiry using appropriate media and techniques. Through studying Art, Craft and Design, Textiles, Three Dimensional Design or Photography you will acquire investigative, analytical, practical, technical and expressive skills, as well as aesthetic and contextual understanding and critical judgement.

You will be encouraged to work independently, and to develop, review and refine your ideas as well as evaluating and reflecting upon your own work and progress. You will develop and use knowledge and understanding of the work of others to develop and extend your thinking and to inform your own work.

Drawing skills are an important aspect of all the faculties courses at A Level. Drawing can be used in a variety of ways: for observation analysis, planning, developing ideas and to realise intentions. Drawing can also be used to explore the formal elements; line, tone, shape, form, colour, pattern, texture and spatial relationships.

Sketchbooks/workbooks are used in a variety of ways to document the development of your work and ideas. They can be used for recording, for observation and analysis, to explore and resolve problems, for personal evaluation as well as being a visual and written diary. The sketch book documents all the stages of the “process of making” and contains most of the evidence for the accurate assessment of your work.

Course requirements

Art, Craft and Design: Ideally you should have studied Art to GCSE level and have achieved a grade 6 or above.

Textiles Design: Ideally GCSE textiles or another art and design related subject at grade 6 or above and evidence of a keen interest in textile techniques, experience of using a sewing machine, with examples of work.

Photography: Ideally, GCSE photography or another art and design related subject at grade 6 or above, or evidence of a keen interest in photography contained in a portfolio.

Three Dimensional Design: Ideally GCSE Design Technology or 3D Art and Design related subject at grade 6 or above or evidence of a keen interest in 3D Design contained in a portfolio.

For full course specification:


United Learning