Strabane Academy

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Art and Design

Mrs LJ Kerr – Head of Department

Miss J. Griffin 

Mrs Gilfillan

Mr D Reid – Technician

Aims of the Department:

The aim of the Art and Design Department is to guide pupils to achieve their full potential in an enjoyable and stimulating learning environment. Through exploring a wide variety of media and techniques, pupils are encouraged to develop and broaden their skills and confidence. Our ethos is to help prepare pupils for life and work as individuals, contributors to society, the economy and the environment through investigating sensory and creative media.

  • Examine the meanings of images and artefacts to foster personal and social insights.
  • Help pupils to understand the workings of those areas of their own culture which are non-verbal.
  • Use materials and techniques to extend their experience of physical and manipulative skills, and so providing an outlet for individual imagination and creativity.
  • Offer pupils the opportunity to engage with artefacts and contexts from other cultures to interrogate their relationships to local and global societies.
  • Examine the ways in which the world of life and work are dominated by visual experience and the use of images. Understanding images helps cope with the variety of meanings with which we are daily bombarded. Art and Design is the one subject where visual skills come first.
  • Work directly with materials, techniques and equipment as well as engaging with the products of culture.
  • Appreciate the significance of the creative industries to the UK economy.
  • Understand the impact of cost effectiveness and sustainability through design work. Being aware how design work impacts the economy and environment.
  • Explore the work of artists, designers and craft workers; through this sort of study pupils can develop skills which help when making choices where there is no right answer, that solutions are dependent on context.
  • Develop key life skills valued by employers such as improving own learning and performance, problem solving, working with others, and using new and emerging technologies.



All pupils in Years 8, 9 and 10 study Art and Design. Pupils have the opportunity to develop their own personal and creative responses by researching, gathering and interpreting information from direct experiences, observations, memory, imagination and a range of traditional and digital sources. They will develop an appreciation of the work of artists, designers and craft workers form their own and other cultures, past and present. Pupils will use visual elements with understanding when engaging in Art and Design and learn how to evaluate and appreciate their own and others’ work through discussion and reflection. They will develop their creative and thinking skills along with their personal creative outcomes through investigating, realising, designing and making.
Drawing and graphic media
3-dimensional construction and prototyping
Lens based media


Year Group Unit of Work Unit of Work Unit of Work

Term 1

Term 2 Term 3

Year 8

Colour Theory Natural Forms/Pattern Doorways
Year 9

Environment Recycling Animation

Gargoyles Portraits / Graphics Lettering
Year 10 Cultures

Exploratory Portfolio GCSE experience

Pop Art / Figures

Key Stage 3 pupils have a provision of 2 periods a week.



Specification Summary

The GCSE Art & Design specification has two components:

Content Assessment Weighting
Component 1:
Part A: Exploratory Portfolio
Part B: 35% 70 marks
Controlled assessment Internally set and assessed Externally moderated

Part A: 25% 50 marks

Part B: Investigating the Creative and Cultural Industries

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment Controlled assessment Externally set and internally assessed
Stimulus paper that provides a choice of themed starting points. Externally moderated.
40% 80 marks

Art & Design GCSE is allocated 5 periods a week.


This GCSE encourages students to be inspired and challenged to develop their craft skills through studying traditional craft processes, contemporary interpretations of traditional skills, sustainable work practices and the use of new materials and technologies by makers and designers. The emphasis is on developing practical skills and knowledge in designing and making that support progression.

This new GCSE provides students with the opportunity to combine craft skills and employability skills. It emphasises activities which explore the properties and characteristics of materials and the processes and techniques needed to manipulate them. Students also have an opportunity to work to a client brief.

Specification Summary

The specification has two components: Information below summarises the structure of this GCSE course:

Content   Assessment Weighting
Component 1: Making: Exploring Materials, Techniques and Processes Controlled assessment Internally marked Externally moderated by a visiting moderator An edited portfolio of practical work and a learning file detailing investigations into the work and professional practices of craft makers/designers/ artists, business models and employability options in the craft and creative industries, and health and safety practices Time: a minimum of 45 hours over four terms. 60%
Component 2: Working to a Brief Examination Internally marked Externally moderated by a visiting moderator A response to the set brief, which includes preparatory work, a final outcome and a written evaluation Time: A minimum of 14 hours 30 mins producing preparatory work (including a project plan) A set period of 10 hours under controlled conditions to complete the final outcome A maximum of 30 mins under controlled conditions to complete the written evaluation 40%

Contemporary Crafts GCSE is allocated 8 periods a week.


This GCE qualification is available as a general qualification in Art and Design Combined studies, or as a specialism in Photography and Lens Based Media, Three-Dimensional Design, or Textiles.

Specification Summary

The specification has four components: Information below summarises the structure of this GCE course:

Art & Design GCE is allocated 8 periods a week.

What can I do with a qualification in Art & Design?

This qualification provides students with opportunities to develop key skills needed for the world of work and further and higher education. It creates a pathway to do a future career in a creative field.

Possible careers include advertising, architecture, art, curation, craft, jewellery, fashion design, car-design, film, costume design, special effects, make-up, photography, graphic design, set design, furniture design, interior design, music, animation, performing arts, publishing, software design, toys and games design, TV, radio and video games design. A wide range of STEAM careers such as engineering now also require creative, artistic and design skills.

Benefits to Students Studying: Art and Design helps develop key transferable skills and qualities which are highly sought after by employers. These include creativity, problem-solving, resilience, imagination, empathy and innovation. It also promotes:

  • independent learning;
  • personal development and motivation;
  • the ability to find alternative approaches and take risks in creative pursuits; and
  • aesthetic and intellectual capacities

Extended Schools

Junior After School Art Club

Senior After School Support Classes

Photography Club

Animations Club