Why Choose Art?

Art offers unique opportunities for students to reveal their potential, express their ideas, develop their imaginations, and investigate a wide range of images and artefacts.  The individual engaged in an art activity, whether it is expressive, imaginative, productive, reflective or critical is developing knowledge: about themselves, others, culture, society, and about the interaction of these with ideas, processes, techniques and media.  As such it is an invaluable part of the education of young people.


Art develops a visual language that complements other languages such as those used in mathematical, scientific, literary and factually based subjects.  It encourages personal expression, imagination, sensitivity, conceptual thinking, and powers of observation, analytical abilities and practical-orientated attitudes.  It is especially concerned with mental processes involved in visual and aesthetic experience and develops a range of skills and concepts that can be used throughout life.  Increasingly, identity, community, beliefs, religion, and culture are key to learning and our style of teaching engages all these elements with students at all levels. This fully justifies our commitment to art education.


We offer courses that reflect the diverse needs of our creative students these include – 2 GCSE endorsements in the specialist areas of Fine Art and Photography, 4 A Level endorsements in specialist areas of Fine Art, Graphic Communication, Textiles and Photography.


Student mentoring at all levels in and out of lessons is outstanding, feedback, formative assessment, relationships with KS4 and 5 students is target lead and criteria and task driven. Students excel and take leaps in their development due to the individualised style of teaching and learning.


Group numbers are consistently high at KS4. Retention of students is excellent at KS5 and high numbers of students each year enter in to Visual arts specialist areas at University level. We have tried and tested routes into courses all over the country for many disciplines within Art and Design.


We show case an exceptional GCSE and A Level exhibition annually, to raise aspirations and to celebrate the outstanding teaching and learning that is taking place at Blue Coat. This is a yearly exhibition that raises the profile of the art department at Blue Coat Park and in the community. In 2018 Blue Coat School was the final exhibition held at the CET building.


Department Ethos

Our department ethos and schedule is key to the ongoing success and analysis of our department, we can identify areas of strength and weakness as a team.  Results are lead and supported by consistent liaison with students and we foster a practice of hard work.  Formative assessment, monitoring and target setting for students’ progress is high on the agenda at all times and is a priority, as a result students succeed. Standards are set, moderation, and cross endorsement standardisation and marking are regular thorough and efficient giving scope and whole department knowledge of all classroom practises and procedures.


Motivation of students in an open-door all-inclusive learning environment coupled with the delivery of superb specialist subject knowledge from every member of the department.


Results for 2018

100% 9 – 5 at GCSE

100% A* – C Fine Art A Level

100% A* – C Textiles

100% A* – E Photography A Level


Curriculum | Key Stage 3

The curriculum areas to be delivered in years 7and 8 are introduced through concepts covering traditional and contemporary practice across art craft and design, focusing on the formal elements. Students will learn to interpret and value, art and design concepts, across cultures and time lines and develop an appreciation of images, and artefacts in context of historical and contemporary practicing artists. They will further develop their skills of visual and written communication, by recording informed and personal insights through observation, discussion, analysis and interpretation. The formal elements of art underpin each project. In all project areas students will have opportunities to review and evaluate learning through annotation allowing for critical commentary and sharing ideas related to their own work against the work of others.


This will support learning and judgements made by students related to personal and peer assessment outcomes. Students will record observations responding to a theme and experiment with new and traditional media with the opportunity to mix and combine materials.


Curriculum | Key Stage 4

The theme ‘Land’ will be delivered as an umbrella title. Each lead teacher will deliver process/skills-based workshops related to artists, designers, and photographers according to specialist skills.


Students will be introduced to a foundation of artistic skills through workshop sessions. All workshops will be delivered through the formal artistic elements. Students will then personalise and develop design ideas, to realise and celebrate learning outcomes. Students will consolidate learning and assessment objectives by linking artist, process, media, and ideas development related to theme. Students will explore the formal elements through process (2D, 3D, Wet and dry), and by contextual understanding related to the work of others. Students are delivered a range of visual concepts and genres through artists, and movements across cultures, ranging from historic and traditional, to avant-garde and contemporary.

One of our key learning objectives is to develop students understanding and appreciation of how to reflect on their own work, in relation and in response to the work of others. They will be able to analyse, interpret and talk about their work confidently in the form of written annotation and oral commentaries and feedback to their peers and their specialist art teachers. Students will be able to critically analyse their own work and the work of others by recording observations, analysis and personal interpretations.


Curriculum | Key Stage 5

Students develop and refine their understanding of how to investigate, research, and explore individually negotiated themes with their lead subject art teacher. They reflect on their work, taking independent steps in their learning, informed by and in response to prior learning objectives and activities. The aim of this course is to instil in students the need to create and understand a historic and relevant contemporary context for the basis of all outcomes produced. Students will be able to make and present visual, written and oral judgements that are in context and informed by more streamed and specific lines of enquiry over time.

A critical approach is always encouraged underpinned by deep analysis and research connecting their own personal portfolios to the work of others. This will lead to coursework presentations and outcomes that are current, relevant and more individualised. Our ultimate aim is to prepare students for future artistic education and career pathways in the visual arts. Students must be prepared and ready for their further college or higher UCAS education applications and interviews for the following steps in their visual arts pathway.


Extra-Curricular Activities

We run extra curricular activities all through the year and believe that this is essential to the enjoyment and understanding of art. This can be working with an artist, visiting a gallery, making props for the school productions or attending a workshop in school or at another venue.


Future Careers

We support applications to all architecture and design courses including automotive, theatre, interior, fashion and textiles. All courses related to journalism, media, advertising and marketing. All courses related to the making of art – illustration, fine art, photography, fashion, jewellery and textiles


Exam Board & Specifications

GCSE EDEXCEL Fine Art Component 1: 1FA0/01 Component 2: 1FA0/02

The QN for this qualification is: 601/8069/9



Component 1  Fine Art: 9FA0/01 Graphic Communication: 9GC0/01 Photography: 9PY0/01

Component 2  Fine Art: 9FA0/02 Graphic Communication: 9GC0/02 Photography: 9PY0/02

The QN for the qualification is: Advanced GCE – 601/4958/9


Current curriculum specifications can be downloaded below:

GCE A-level Art & Design Specification GCSE Art Design 2016 Specification