Art & Design

Art & Design

Member of The Department

  • Mrs Maeve Mulligan (Head of Department)
  • Mrs Clair Doherty
  • Mrs Margaret Bowen (Pastoral Vice Principal)
  • Mrs Kathryn McCann
  • Ms Lyndsay Mercer (Technican)


Art and design is a compulsory subject at KS3 and our aim is to ensure that all pupils gain the opportunity to work with a broad range of materials and equipment during this time. We want each pupil to develop confidence and aptitude in their own artistic abilities through drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, textiles, mixed media, ICT, critical and contextual studies.

Year 8

In year 8 we consolidate and develop pupils art and design experiences from primary school and at home.
Unit 1
Colour - Pupils will learn about correct colour mixing and application of paint. They will study the work of Hundertwasser and compose their own creative A3 painting.
Unit 2
Observational drawing - pupils will be taught how to create detailed and accurate line and tonal studies. This topic develops their concentration, focus and observational skills.
Unit 3
Optical art - after discussing and analysing the work of 2 optical artists, pupils will replicate sections of complex artwork. This topic has cross curricular links with mathematics and ICT. Combining creativity and problem solving skills, pupils will design their own optical art which they will apply to a 3D surface.
As an extension task pupils will learn basic sewing, appliqué and embroidery skills.

Year 9

Year 9 is a very exciting year for many pupils as it can often be their first time working with clay and/or printmaking.
Unit 1
Masks from around the world - using pencil,pen,charcoal,pastels, oil pastels and mixed media pupils will create a series of 2D masks, based on existing and fictional masks. They will design their own themed mask and will create a series of Lino prints on paper, card and fabric. Using their textile skills from year 8, pupils can further embellish the printed fabric with thread, wool, beads, buttons and sequence.
Unit 2
Clay pebble pots - after researching and studying a range of local and international ceramic artists, pupils will design their own pebble pot. Pupils will learn about the process of ceramics from soft clay to bisque ware. They will make their pebble pot over a series of weeks using pinch pot skills, cross hatching, coiling and surface textures. The clay is fired to bisque ware in our own school kiln.
Unit 3
Landscapes - after studying a range of contemporary, traditional, realistic and abstract landscapes, pupils will use their observation and colour mixing skills to recreate sections of this work. Then using computer software and a real life landscape, pupils will create their own interpretation of this personal landscape.

Year 10

Unit 1
Cultures - from a selected list, pupils will chose a country as the focus of this project. The countries selected are based on the visual qualities that would engage and inspire an exciting and challenging visual arts project. Further developing their non verbal communication skills, pupils will use their recording skills e.g. Drawing and painting, creativity, design and problem solving skills to create a small book. Pupils are encouraged to become more aware of what their own strengths are in art and design and to utilise these. Using their visual research from this project, pupils will make a small ceramic and textile piece. The nature and process of this project correlates with a mini GCSE project, enabling pupils to make an informed choice about studying GCSE art and design.
Unit 2
Me, myself and I - this is a 2D project that enables pupils to create a personal project based on their own belongings, memories, hopes and beliefs, enabling pupils the opportunity to express themselves through series of tasks.


Examination Board: CCEA
60% Portfolio Of Work
40% Working To A Stimulus (Exam)
All class work and weekly homework is spent working on the portfolio.
A consistent approach and regular attendance is therefore essential to realising your full potential.

Core Portfolio

Year 11

Pupils will be given a theme to explore in Drawing, Painting and a variety of graphic colour mediums, Printmaking, Digital Photography and digital manipulation of images e.g. Photoshop.

They will then develop this exploration in a minimum of two of the following Disciplines.

    • Textiles (to include Fashion Design)
    • Ceramics.
    • Photography.
    • Printmaking.
    • Three dimensional materials : Wire, Jewellery, Structures
    • Fine Art painting.

The work will include contextual research into Artists and/or Designers of these disciplines.


Year 12

Working on their interest and best performance pupils will select one of the above disciplines.

They will Develop and communicate ideas producing a Final Outcome.

The portfolio must be submitted in January before the External Stimulus exam paper.

Working To A Stimulus

An Externally set examination stimulus paper will be issued in January of Year 12.

Preparatory work will be produced based on the stimulus theme in February and March. The content will be directed towards the discipline that the pupil will excel in.

A final outcome will be produced in a supervised period of 10 hours in late March /early April of Year 12.



Career Opportunities
Architecture: Many Universities require a portfolio of evidence of Artistic and Design ability for this course, Other courses  e.g. Dentistry require “evidence of manual dexterity” many applicants brought their GCSE/AS/ or A2 portfolio work to interview.  (Many of our past pupils, who followed the path into Architecture, had at least AS Art and Design with A level Physics and /or Math.


Examination Board: CCEA
This is a new and exciting course with one unit of coursework that will present the opportunity for wider experimentation of mediums and choice of 2D or 3D, Design or Fine Art.
Course Outline
 Unit  Assessment  Marks  Content
 Coursework Portfolio
 Teacher assessment of student's
 coursework portfolio, with external
 60% of AS
 30% of overall award.
 Summer Only.
 The work for this unit will take the form of a
 folder with sketchbook/s. A2 pages and
 exhibition of work, from a
 Wide range of media.
 It should include an outcome in a  medium/combination
 of media of the student’s choice. E.g. Textiles,
 Fashion, Fine Art painting or Sculpture. Ceramics,
 Jewellery Design, 3D Construction, Printmaking, Batik,  
 Photography, Computer Art.
 Approximately 10-14 A2 pages or equivalent.
 Externally Set Assignment
 Teacher assessment of controlled test,
 with external moderation.
 40% of AS
 20% of overall award.
 This unit consists of an externally set task requiring
 preparatory work which is carried out in class work
 and homework and a final response which will be
 completed as a controlled test component.
 Personal Investigation
 Teacher assessment of student’s work
 with external moderation.
 60% of A2
 30% of overall award.
 This unit requires the student to communicate
 theoretical research and understanding through
 integrated practical and written forms.

 The practical investigation should be between a
 minimum of 8 and a maximum of 12 A2 pages or
 the equivalent. An overall response in a medium of
 the student’s best competence.

 The written element will consist of a minimum
 of 1,000 and a maximum of 2,000 words.
 Gallery and workshop visits are encouraged.
 Externally Set Assignment
 Teacher assessment of preparatory
 work and controlled test with external  moderation.
 40% of A2
 20% of overall award.
 This unit will require between 8 to 12 A2
 pages or equivalent of preparatory work.

 A final response to be completed within a
 supervised examination period.

As with all A-Levels, dedication, perseverance and accountability are skills that are nurtured to help our pupils develop into mature, young adults. Pupils are encouraged to seek artistic experiences outside of the classroom also, through gallery, workshop and art college visits.


What careers are available with Art and Design Qualifications?
There are many professions were qualifications in Art and Design provide a clear benefit to the pupil, for example;
 Photography (artistic, commercial and editorial).  Interior Design
 Publishing  Make up/Costume Artist
 Teaching (nursery through to the university level)  Film, TV, Animation


  •  Book Illustration
  •  Graphic Design
  •  Jewellery Design
  •  Commercial Art
  •  Fashion Design
  •  Textile Design
  •  Costume Design for Theatre & Film
  •  Surface Pattern Designer for Textiles and Interiors
  •  Interior Design

 Product Design

  •  Furniture Design
  •  Ceramics
  •  Lecturing
  •  Art Direction in Magazines and TV
  •  Photography
  •  Film Making
  •  Sculpture
  •  Fine Art Artist
   Museum and Gallery Curator.


Many of our past pupils have gone on to lead very successful careers in the art industry; working in Illustration, Publishing, Creative business, Architecture, Events management, Medicine, Dentistry, Graphic design and Fashion Management.

I enjoy Art and Design but I don’t wish to pursue it as career. What can I benefit with an Art and Design qualification?
Education for Employability - There is a government drive to encourage young people to embark upon STEAM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics), as labour market information has indicated that the local economy needs greater expertise in these fields.
The skills gained and the personal qualities developed through Art and Design are beneficial in many careers;
  1. Strong communication skills – written, visual and verbal.
  2. Self-discipline - ability to set and achieve goals.
  3. Time management – working successfully to a deadline.
  4. Manual dexterity – ability to handle a range of materials, tools and equipment.
  5. Presentation skills – presenting ideas and most importantly solutions to clients.
  6. Problem solving – using innovation to redefine a concept with time and cost constraints.
  7. Teamwork - Flexibility and patience.
  8. Interpreting clients’ needs – attention to detail and analytical skills.
  9. Commercial awareness – ability to research current trends to inform own work.


38 Fortwilliam Park,

Belfast, County Antrim

BT15 4AQ

028 9037 0298