Art & Design

Art & Design Department

HoD: Mrs A Best

Subjects Offered

Art & Design GCSE
Art & Design A Level (CCEA Modular)

Art and Design can foster a sense of involvement in, and responsibility for, the natural and made environment by developing visual awareness and influencing values. It can provide a stimulus for exploring and appreciating other cultures and developing critical judgement. The unique contribution which art and design can make to a whole pupil encourages the development of worthwhile attitudes, such as co-operation, flexibility, commitment, perseverance and tolerance leading to a respect for other’s views.


The Art & Design Department offers a wide range of activities in 2 & 3 dimensions, including fine Art & Design in the form of painting, drawing, model making, ceramics, print making, textiles, digital art & design, mixed media and photography and make connections with the work of other artists and designers.  The pupils are also made aware of the range of career opportunities within the creative industries in Northern Ireland and beyond.  Through continuity and progression through Key Stage 3 and beyond the pupils will be encouraged to develop the appropriate skills associated with the various areas of practice mentioned.


Ongoing teacher feedback and self-evaluation should foster a desire by pupils to improve and make progress with the quality of their work. It should help the pupils to appreciate the success and nature of their own work and that of their peers. It is also valuable for them to see the links between what they are doing in school and that of practising artists and designers in society.

Examination Board used: CCEA

Component 1 Part A: Exploratory Portfolio
Component 1 is worth 60% of the overall marks for the course and has two parts (A and B).

The focus of Part A is to encourage pupils to develop their ability to experiment in the disciplines listed previously. Pupils learn through practical exploration of practitioners, the contexts they work in, and the processes they use. Pupils develop their ideas by responding creatively to others’ work. They must explore at least two different disciplines from those listed but they can explore and combine as many different disciplines as they wish.

Component 1 Part B: Investigating the Creative and Cultural Industries
Pupils complete one of the following practical tasks as described in the Component 1 Part B controlled assessment booklet.

  1. An investigation into an artist, designer, movement or other aspect of art and design leading to a personal response.
  2. A response to a design brief or visual arts commission.
  3. Participation in a collaborative project with a clearly defined role leading to an outcome that can be presented for individual assessment.

Pupils build on the knowledge, skills and confidence gained in Component 1 Part A. They engage with and demonstrate understanding of different roles and opportunities in the creative and cultural industries.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment
Component 2 is the externally set assignment and makes up 40% of the overall marks for the course. CCEA release the stimulus paper at the beginning of January of the examination year and pupils must complete a minimum of 20 hours of preparatory work in response to the theme.

Pupils must produce and complete a final outcome based on this preparatory work within a set period of 10 hours. They carry this out under controlled examination conditions and complete it by the date that CCEA specify.

Pupils develop ideas in response to the stimulus paper. They investigate the work of artists, craft practitioners and designers and other sources to inspire and inform their creative process.

Examination Board used: CCEA

Unit AS 1 and Unit AS 2

In Unit AS 1, pupils explore through visual enquiry a broad range of contextual sources, skills, techniques and disciplines. This builds their confidence in working independently. In Unit AS 2, they should bring their exploratory work to a completed personal outcome based on their response to a broad theme that CCEA sets.

Unit A2 1 and Unit A2 2

Pupils who continue to A2 pursue extended development of particular themes, ideas or issues. In Unit A2 1, they undertake further theoretical research. There is an increased requirement at A2 to demonstrate understanding through integrated practical and written pieces of work, and other means of communication. In unit two they will undertake more rigorous exploration of an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary approach or greater specialisation in a particular medium or process. This is in response to a broad theme set by CCEA.

Apart from the written element in Unit A2 1, all work is assessed internally and moderated externally. The written element is sent to CCEA for assessment.

The Department encourages visits by local practising artists to discuss their work and lead workshops with the pupils. It also encourages educational visits to Museums and galleries as an important part of the pupils Art & Design education. We regularly visit the Ulster Museum, The Dublin Galleries, including IMMA, the Douglas Hyde Gallery and the National Museum of Ireland.

Sixth Form visit and take part in a printing workshop at the Seacourt Print Workshop annually. We have also visited the ‘Clothes Show’ to view the work of young designers, speak to colleges who offer degrees in ‘Fashion & Textiles’ and to attend lectures about ‘Careers’ in the world of fashion.

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

An A Level in Art and Design provides a solid foundation for further study of art, craft and design at a higher level and for degree courses in other fields.

Qualifications in Art and Design can lead to employment in many areas such as architecture, graphic design, interior design, product design, media, museum curatorship, gallery curator and fashion etc.

The course will also provide you with creative skills valued by many employers.

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