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Art is a valued subject which develops pupils' confidence and ability to explore ideas with unique and imaginative visual outcomes. Pupils have the opportunity to work in a broad range of media and practices including; drawing and painting, clay work, printmaking, textile design, printing and multimedia.


The subject has an excellent success record with pupils achieving top marks at both GCSE and A’ Level examinations and our work has been selected and displayed at both the ‘True Colours’ and ‘Celebrating Young Artists’ Exhibitions. Art is celebrated throughout the school and we hold an annual art exhibition to showcase our pupil’s hard work and dedication.  Many of our students going on to study Art, Design and Architecture. Past students are now working very successfully in creative industries both here and abroad.

Our Art Department Aims:

  • To enable pupils to pursue the subject to the highest possible level

  • To create curiosity, interest and enjoyment in art

  • To encourage independent learning and self discipline

  • To develop an awareness of the significance of art and to value it as an important, pleasurable and fundamental area of human experience

  • To enhance and enrich learning, including making links to the wider curriculum

  • To recognise the role of art as an evaluation of personal experience

  • To recognise the role of art in the creative and cultural industries

Head of Department

Mrs L Ward


We have one fully equipped art room with an additional media suite. 
Clay: Porcelain/College Buff
Sewing machines
Screen Printing Equipment
Apple Mac Computers

Key Stage 3

Year 8

Term 1 - Colour/Pattern

Term 2 - Ceramics/Fish

Term 3 Portraiture/Fauvism

Year 9

Term 1 - Perspective

Term 2 - Totem Poles/Ceramic

Term 3 - Still Life

Year 10

Term 1 - Creative Drawing

Term 2 - Nature/Ceramic

Term 3 - Pop Art Portraiture

Art and Design.jpg

Key Stage 3 Extra Curricular Activities/Trips/Industry links


The Creative Industries are introduced to all key stage 3 pupils via exploration of varied topics and associated creative career pathways.   All pupils are welcome to attend a variety of afterschool Art Clubs throughout the year.

Key Stage 4

Why Study the Subject

GCSE Art and Design provides a great opportunity for pupils to communicate their ideas and feelings visually and exploit their natural curiosity about the world around them.   Students study Art and Design because they have:

  1. A creative mind.

  2. Enjoy exploring and experimenting with new materials.

  3. Want a career in an Art related area.

  4. Can work independently and with others.


Pupils who have completed the course previously have claimed it has been an enjoyable and fulfilling experience which has boosted their self-confidence enabling them to fully realise their true potential.

Assessment Structure

Year 11

Unit 1: Part A | Drawing and Mixed Media - Exploratory Portfolio - 25%

Unit 2: Part B | Investigating the Creative and Cultural Industries - Portfolio Assessment - 35%

Unit 1: Part A - Drawing and Mixed Media 

This unit gives pupils the opportunity to work on and improve their drawing and experimental media skills. Pupils will be Introduced to the work of artists and craftspeople, identifying how they can Influence their work and they will explore all the ‘Visual Elements’ through a series of creative workshops, introducing Ceramics, Textiles, Print-Making, Painting and Sculptural form.

Unit 2: Part B - Investigating the Creative and Cultural Industries 

Pupils will complete either:

  1. An investigation into an artist, designer or art movement leading to a final personal response in either 2 or 3 dimensions

  2. A response to a design brief or visual Arts commission

  3. Participation in a collaborative Arts Project with a clearly defined role leading to a final outcome that is presented for individual assessment.


Students will build upon the knowledge, skills and confidence gained during Part A of the course. They will engage with and demonstrate an understanding of the varied roles within the creative and cultural industries.

Year 12

Unit 2: Part B | Continued, exploration of experimental media and production of a final outcome - Portfolio Assessment - 35%

Unit 4 | The Externally Set Assignment - Portfolio Assessment - 40%

Unit 2: Part B - Continued, exploration of experimental media and production of a final outcome

Students will explore and experiment with relevant media, materials, techniques, processes and technologies in response to their task. They will develop and refine their skills as their project progresses. They will produce a personal final outcome which will showcase their creativity, contextual understanding and independent thinking.


Unit 4 - The Externally Set Assignment

Pupils will receive their exam paper in term 2 of year 12 and will respond to the given theme through the areas covered through the course content. They will create a final outcome in either 2 or 3 dimensions.

Employability/job opportunities/further study


  1. Animator

  2. Advertising

  3. Architect

  4. Therapist

  5. Designer

  6. Fine Artist

  7. Illustrator

  8. Photographer

  9. Teacher

  10. Crafts Worker


Key Stage 4 Extra Curricular Activities/Trips/Industry links


GCSE Art & Design pupils are provided with wonderful opportunities to engage in the Creative Industries and experience bot Art Gallery visits and in-house Creative Arts Workshops in both Print and Ceramics.

Post 16


Why study the subject?


Studying Art and Design at ‘A’ Level allows students to build upon and develop their knowledge and skills in all areas of Art, Craft and Design.  Students will develop strengths in particular areas and use this for their personal investigations and research.  At all times students will be developing and building upon their existing knowledge of the creative, intellectual and artistic processes within Art and Design.  Studying GCE Art and Design will allow students to:

  • Continue to build upon their personal knowledge; understanding and skills gained at GCSE level and develop these through investigating, realising, experimenting and problem solving which will all contribute to their employability.

  • Produce work in 2D, 3D, fine art and design in a range of mediums; from painting to textiles, lens based media to sculpture, providing numerous opportunities to develop their creative, intellectual and artistic abilities.

Assessment Structure

Year 13

Unit AS 1 | Experimental Portfolio - 20% of A Level

Unit AS 2 | Personal Response - 20% of A Level

Unit AS 1:  Experimental Portfolio

Students will work individually and creatively to develop ideas in response to a given activity, theme or stimulus.  They will experiment with a wide range of media, materials and processes to develop your existing skills and acquire new ones. Assessment Objectives 1,2 and 3 are marked in this unit.


Unit AS 2:  Personal Response 

Students will present a personal outcome in response to their experimental portfolio. Students will bring this to completion during a 10 hour controlled test.

Year 14

Unit A2 1 | Personal & Critical Investigation - 36% of a Level

Unit A2 2 | Thematic Outcome - 24% of A Level

Unit A2 1:  Personal & Critical Investigation  

Pupils will have the opportunity to demonstrate and communicate artistic interests and personal skills in art, craft and design in the form of written and visual investigations.  The written element will have a minimum of 1000 and maximum of 3000 words.


Unit A2 2:  Thematic Outcome 

Students will investigate and develop ideas in response to their personal investigation theme. Students will bring this to completion during a 15 hour controlled test.


Employability/job opportunities/further study


  1. Architect

  2. Fashion / Textile Designers

  3. Graphic / Web Designer

  4. Illustrator

  5. Interior Design

  6. Photographer

  7. Teacher


Post 16 Extra Curricular Activities/Trips/Industry links


The Art Department offers a wide variety of contextual and Creative Industries exploration as part of the experimental portfolio element of the Course. All A ‘Level pupils are actively encouraged to pursue Art Gallery visits and to attend a variety of Creative Arts work-shops which will provide ample opportunities for advanced creative practice. We attend the National Gallery in Dublin, The Ulster Museum in Belfast and the CCEA ‘True Colours’ annual exhibit.


The department has welcomed Craft Specialists to deliver varied workshops to all examination candidates. Mr Trevor Woods, a ceramicist and Miss Fionnuala O’ Neill an Intaglio Print-Maker attend annually to inspire and empower our pupils to explore new and innovative creative media.


Both AS and A2 Level pupils should partake in additional Art studio daily to ensure progression of their creative development, exploration of the examination theme and progression of innovative ideas.


‘The Sean Hollywood Art Centre’ offers great opportunities for our pupils to experience Creative workshops and multiple Art exhibits throughout the year.


We regularly partake in many contextual trips with our Learning Community partner, St Mark’s High School in Warrenpoint.


St Mary's High School, Newry

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