Art and Design is a subject that offers a wide range of learning experiences. It offers a unique vehicle for communication and self-expression and encourages the ability to observe, select and interpret with imagination, feeling and understanding.

As appropriate, the aims and objectives of the art department relate directly to those of the school and to the requirements of the requirements of the National Curriculum.

The title ‘Art and Design’ encompasses a whole range of disciplines with the design element playing a significant part in all areas. Our aim is to provide pupils with the ability to produce artefacts with an understanding of the design process from research, initial ideas, through the various development stages to the finished product.

Therefore, from year 7 to 13, the approach to any brief is the same: –

  • Stage 1: Research and documentation
  • Stage 2: Initial Ideas / Response to stimulus
  • Stage 3: Development and modification
  • Stage 4: Finished piece (Review understanding)

The aims of the programmes of study are: –

  • To stimulate and/or maintain student curiosity, interest and enjoyment in art and design.
  • To enable all students to a knowledge and working vocabulary relevant to the practical and theoretical aspects of this subject.
  • To encourage flexibility, spontaneity and excitement in their work.
  • To develop technical competence and manipulative skills.
  • To acquire the ability to form, compose and communicate in two and three dimensions

Students are expected to: –

  • Show a personal response to a stimulus or theme.
  • Record from direct observation, personal experience and imagination.
  • Analyse and research a chosen theme, selecting from a range of visual and other information.
  • Sustain a study from conception to realisation.
  • Show a critical appreciation for Art Craft and Design.
  • Adapt and refine their work in the light of their own and other’s evaluations.
  • Understand the visual and tactile qualities of materials and processes matching these to ideas, purposes and audiences.
  • Use and compose visual elements e.g. line, tone, colour, pattern, texture, shape, form, space.
  • Select and control materials and processes, including ICT, in a systematic and disciplined way.
  • State and evaluate ideas and observations in written, graphic, oral or appropriate forms.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

Topics studied:

  • Formal Elements – including line, shape, form, tone and texture
  • Colour – colour mixing using paint
  • Artist Study on Hundertwasser & Matisse – 3D Clay Design
  • Mandalas and Islamic Art– understanding culture and geometry to create Art

Year 8

Topics studied:

  • Botanical Art – inspired by William Morris and Georgia O’Keeffe
  • Day of the Dead – 2D and 3D artwork inspired by the Latin American festival
  • Insects – experimental techniques inspired by insects including printmaking

Year 9

Topics studied:

  • Pop Art – A personal response to the 20th century art movement including the work of Andy Warhol, Roy Litchenstein and Keith Haring
  • Portrait and Identity – Examining the portrait work of artists including Van Gogh, Picasso, Du Buffet and the Expressionists
  • Animals in Art – A focus on how animals have portrayed in art from cave paintings, cultural art and the work of Franz Marc.

How students are assessed:

Directed Improvement Task sheets  are used during the project with continual teacher feedback to enable students to know what they need to do to improve. At the end of each project students complete self and peer assessment sheets which are then added to by their teacher who will identify an overall standard, at least three strengths and give one target on how to improve.
Setting – All art classes are mixed ability with no setting.

Key Stage 4

GCSE Art & Design

The AQA GCSE specification provides students with a wide range of creative, exciting and stimulating opportunities to explore their interests in art and design in ways that are personally relevant and truly developmental in nature. The facilities and equipment for Art are very good, though pupils will be expected to provide some materials.
The GCSE consists of 3 Assessment units (worth 60%) of the final grade:

  • Unit 1 – The Modern Still Life from Cubism to Pop Art
  • Unit 2 – Adornment and Mask Making
  • Unit 3 – Organic Structures, Natural Forms – Printmaking and ceramics

The final 40% of the course is an exam in which students choose one exam question from a selection set by the exam board. There is a preparation period (approx. 12-15 weeks) followed by a 10 hour supervised practical exam.
Teachers will continually assess students’ coursework and exam work. The exam board will moderate a selection. The teacher will use the four assessment objectives set by the exam board to assess how well students are making progress.

Art and Design is one of the biggest grossing industries in the UK. The opportunities for art students in today’s society are many and varied from Architecture to Film Making, Graphic Design to Landscape architecture or Photography, and the list is continuing to grow.

Key Stage 5

AS / A Level Art & Design

‘A’ Level Art and Design is a stimulating two year course that mixes well with a range of other ‘A’ Level subjects and is of value even if students do not intend to make a career in Art & Design.. The ‘A’ Level syllabus builds on the skills and ideas developed in the GCSE course but expands the depth of visual and aesthetic understanding.
Students are expected to raise their technical skills in a range of media to a very high standard while also experiencing new techniques, processes and ideas. These include Printmaking, Sculpture, Painting, Graphic Design and Ceramics.

Students should also develop their critical and historical awareness of the arts and social/cultural influences on the Arts (i.e. keep annotated sketchbooks). Much of the work is of a personal nature and requires students to think and act independently both in school and at home. During the course, students are expected to visit galleries as well as attending other Art Department trips.


Component 1 : Personal Investigation – a personal investigation into an idea, issue, concept or theme supported by written material. This will count for 60% of total A-level marks. Set and marked in school moderated by AQA visit

Component 2 : Externally set assignment – A response to one of eight exciting starting points set by the exam board which will count for 40% of total A-level marks . Preparatory period plus 15 hours supervised time. Set by AQA, marked in school, moderated by AQA visit

Student Perspective:

‘A’ Level Art at Harlington gives you “the sensation of achieving”.
“Its imaginative, you can “do your own thing”.
“It gives you freedom and that’s what makes it hard”.
“I have participated in Art for four years at Harlington, and now feel I am ready to get a job where I can use my artistic skills. Art is my most enjoyable subject, as each day we learn something new and exciting.”

Career Pathways

Studying an art, craft and design related degree at university can give you all sorts of exciting career options, including:

  • Animator • Architect • Art therapist • Art restoration • Cartoonist • Computer game designer • Community arts worker • Exhibition designer • Fashion designer • Film/video maker • Fine artist • Furniture designer • Graphic designer • Illustrator • Interior designer • Jeweller • Museum/gallery conservator • Medical illustrator • Printmaker • Product designer • Teacher • Theatre designer