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Art & Design

Art and Design is taught to all pupils in Years 8 -10 and is an option at GCSE Level.


Art and Design provides a unique vehicle for communication and a distinctive way of learning. At Key Stage 3 pupils build on the skills and knowledge already acquired at Key Stages 1 and 2. At this level, a thematic approach provides a context for the pupils’ work and allows them to investigate and respond to a stimulus through a variety of media, techniques, processes and specialist vocabulary. 

Year 8


Themes include ‘Who Am I?’, ‘My Journey’ and ‘Portraits’ with a general focus on developing pupils as individuals.  Also in term 2 of Year 8, the whole-school theme of ‘Healthy Living’ provides excellent stimulus material to allow for expression of ideas and feelings.

Year 9


Themes include ‘People’, ‘Culture’ and ‘Nature’ with a general focus on developing pupils as contributors to society.  In term 1 of this year, the whole-school theme of ‘Relationships’ integrates well to provide pupils with the opportunity to respond to works of art using a structured framework.   

Year 10


Themes include ‘Recycle’, ‘Mini-beasts’ and ‘Food’ with a general focus on developing pupils as contributors to the economy and environment.  In term 1, pupils will also produce work on the whole-school theme of ‘Go Global’ where they use ‘Photoshop’ to manipulate digital images.

Pupils cover a wide range of media within their themes and should have experience in painting, drawing, printmaking, textiles, ceramics, 3D construction, mixed media and creative digital media.  The department now integrate an element of Moving Image Arts into the curriculum at least once in Key Stage 3.  This allows pupils to sample and acquire some of the knowledge and skills that are required to take this subject up to GCSE level.  

All Programmes of Study at Key Stage 3 follow the statutory requirements set out in the Northern Ireland Curriculum, and allow for progression and differentiation.


The Art and Design specification (CEA) builds on the broad objectives of the Northern Ireland Curriculum. Students continue to work on the Cross Curricular Skills of Communication, Using Mathematics and ICT, which they will have already encountered at Key Stage 3. 

The specification also provides opportunities for them to develop their skills in Problem-Solving, Self-Management and Working with Others. The course gives pupils the opportunity of achieving grades A*-G and the chance to work in some of the following areas: 

  • Drawing

  • Painting

  • Graphic Design

  • Ceramics

  • Textile Designs

  • Lens-based media

  • Critical and Contextual Studies

  • 3-D Design

  • Sculpture 

The Specification is made up of 2 units:


‘True Colours’ Exhibition


Every year GCSE Art and Design students, along with interested Year 10 pupils visit CEA 'True Colours' exhibition. This showcases some of the finest work submitted from the previous year for the various levels of GCSE, AS and A2 Art.

Competitions and events


Pupils are entered for on-going local and national Art competitions as they occur. Some artists and specialists from different areas are brought in to speak to pupils at various times throughout the year.

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