Art & Design - The Christ's School - Richmond -

Art & Design


The Art Department at Christ's aims to engage, inspire and challenge students, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As pupils progress through the school, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of Art and Design. They should also know how Art and Design both reflects and shapes our history, and contributes to the culture, creativity and economic growth of the world around them.

The Department has two large well-equipped specialist rooms with an adjoining kiln room and is led by Mr Hordern, an Art specialist, and Head of Facility and Ms MacNaughton, an Art specialist and by the Faculties Technician Alice Foxen. Producing consistently good results, the Department ensures all schemes of study cover the traditional aspects of Art and Design, material topics such as painting, sculpture and printmaking, whilst recognising the need to teach specific contemporary skill sets in digital media and photography.


Key Stage 3

The National Curriculum for Art and Design aims to ensure that all students:

  • Produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences
  • Become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other Art, Craft and Design techniques
  • Evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of Art, Craft and Design and know about great artists, craft makers and designers
  • Understand the historical and cultural development of Art forms

Students at Christ’s are taught:

  • To use a range of techniques to record their observations in sketchbooks, journals and other media as a basis for exploring their ideas
  • To use a range of techniques and media, including painting, printmaking and sculpture
  • To increase their proficiency in the handling of different materials
  • To analyse and evaluate their own work, and that of others, in order to strengthen the visual impact or applications of their work
  • About the history of Art, Craft, Design and Architecture, including periods, styles and major movements from ancient times up to the present day.

Students in years 7, 8 and 9 are taught at least once weekly and are asked to complete homework every 2 – 3 weeks depending on need and application to the growth of their projects. Students are taught in mixed ability groups when they arrive in Year 7, and this remains the case throughout their time in Art and Design. Assessment takes place in the form of formal written comments led by the department’s teachers and less formal methods of reflective feedback in class critiques and peer feedback. Questioning is a key assessment tool for the department and is fundamental to the creative progress. Topics and themes are updated yearly and reflect current exhibition programmes and new areas of challenge as selected by teaching staff. Students will though spend a term each year painting, printing or working in 3D. The scale and ambition of these projects is designed to aid transition to KS4.

Topics covered

Pupils in Key Stage 3 respond to a range of artists and designers with contemporary and historical references as starting points, and produce a term of painting outcomes, a term of printing outcomes and a term of sculptural outcomes. The skills of painting, printing and sculpture are built upon each year and become progressively more complex. The topic is year long and designed to reflect needs of pupils at Key Stages 4 and 5, where in-depth investigation on a theme is required.

  • Year 7: New - term 1 painting; term 2 sculpture; term 3 printing
  • Year 8: Environment - term 1 printing; term 2 sculpture; term 3 painting
  • Year 9: Time - term 1 printing; term 2 painting; term 3 sculpture

The artist studied changes each year and is specific to the teacher. It will also reflect current exhibitions, events and visits and current affairs.

Key Stage 4 - GCSE

GCSE Art and Design offers the opportunity to learn about visual communication and expression.  Students will develop the skills to organise and express their ideas and observations through both traditional and contemporary approaches. Students have three lessons a week and every opportunity to work in the Department outside of lessons in numerous extra-curricular activities. Homework is set weekly and is practical based.

The course aims to foster in students a broad understanding of the nature of Art and Design. Students build on areas of experience covered in years 7-9 as well as learning new skills in order to present possible solutions for their ideas in increasingly independent study. There is a critical and historical element to the course and pupils can expect at least one visit to view major work in a London gallery.

The course is assessed by an examination of a Coursework Exhibition (60%) and a Terminal Examination (40%). Students will have 45 hours to produce a portfolio of work to submit for their coursework exhibition. Their terminal examination will last 10 hours but they will have extended an preparation time. The course lays the foundation for the study of Art & Design at AS and A2 and prepares for courses and careers in the creative field.

Topics covered

In Years 10 and 11, students will cover the following topics:

  • Year 10: Year 10 is techniques focussed and students can expect a new artist focus each week, alongside a practical skill to develop
    • Term 1: Distroted portraits - printmaking
    • Term 2: Natural forms - sculpture
    • Term 3: Bookmaking project - illustration/ photograph
  • Year 11: Year 11 is ideas focussed to encourage students to produce a personal response
    • Term 1: Identity - students own choice of outcome, produced in PPE in December
    • Term 2: Controlled assessment. OCR will set a range of topics, students pick one and respond to produce in the pre-Easter GCSE exam
    • Term 3: Exhibition and portfolio presentation


Key Stage 5 - A Level

The teaching of A Level Art and Design at Christ’s is broad and contemporary, seeking to immerse students in an environment where their creativity is challenged and where outcomes reflect personal choices and attitudes. The course features both technical teacher-led workshops and independent project time; allowing students to realise ambitious and present well thought out responses. At Christ's we follow the OCR examination board syllabus.

AS Fine Art Coursework Portfolio 60% of AS Marks, completed in Yr12 - Students complete one assignment. Depending on the students’ interests this might be a self-contained assignment, a series, or a set of work, together with planning sheets or sketchbooks. The focus is on including work that shows exploration, research, acquisition of techniques and skills.

AS Controlled Assignment 40% of AS Marks, completed in Yr12 - Students will have a minimum of 6 weeks to prepare for their controlled test, choosing one question which they will then research and respond too. The final piece of work will be produced during a 5 hour examination.

The A2 course follows a similar structure but requires students to be much more independent in their approach. Students will explore ideas of personal significance and as such will need to demonstrate good research and sound justification in their project portfolios.

Homework will involve both research and practical tasks, it is expected that for each lesson studied 1 hour of homework will also be completed. Pupils are expected to demonstrate an interest in Art and Design outside of school, actively visiting galleries and exploring the work of other artists. Pupils have 5 lessons a week and every opportunity to work in the Department outside of lessons in numerous extra-curricular activities. Many pupils who study Art and Design at A Level go on to pursue careers in the creative field and study a diverse range of university subjects.

Topics covered

Year 12 students spend Term 1 completing a range of teacher-lead practical workshops, ending with a PPE produced final piece under timed conditions.

In Terms 2 and 3 students chose their own topic from past papers and respond in a wide range of styles and media. Outcomes are encouraged in painting, printmaking and sculpture.

Year 13 students work on self-titled projects and specialise in one area, or can produce a combined portfolio showing a range of approaches for examination. Pupils have exhibited photography, video and installation, alongside painting, printmaking and sculpture.


Christ's Art and Design Department has a proud history of involvement in local and national Art competitions and awards. In 2015 the Sixth Form completed workshops and staged an exhibition through The Stanley Picker Gallery in Kingston called Where is Here? The pupils produced work in response to the artist Laura Oldfield and with assistance from gallery staff produced both billboard designs and a zine - a small illustrated booklet.


Potential careers or further education courses for Art and Design pupils after A Levels include:

ArchitectArchitectural technician or technologistArt editorArt gallery curatorArts administratorArt therapistBookbinder or print finisherCeramics designer-maker,Costume designerDesign engineerDressmakerExhibition designerFashion designerFine artistFloristFootwear designerFurniture designerGlassmakerGraphic designerHat designer or millinerIllustratorInterior designerJewellery designer-makerLandscape architectMake-up artistMuseum assistantMuseum curator,Pattern cutterPhotographerPhotographic stylist/technicianPre-press operatorPrinting administratorProduct designerProp makerSet designerSewing machinist,SignwriterTailorTattooistTextile designerTextiles production managerUpholstererVisual merchandiserWeb designer


Exam board websites:

  • OCR GSCE Exam Board: OCR
  • OCR AS/A2 Exam Board: OCR

Useful subject related websites:

  • 12:57 PM - 16th August, 2018 Lots of very happy students as Christ's celebrates best ever A Level Results Read more Read more
  • 11:09 AM - 21st July, 2018 We are fundraising for a Grand Piano for music department. Take a look at our justgiving page: Read more
  • 11:08 AM - 21st July, 2018 End of term and farewell to some of our wonderful staff. Moving tribute paid to Mrs Blair who is heading off for a well earned retirement after 27 years of inspirational service. 👏🏻 Read more
  • 09:00 AM - 20th July, 2018 Please find below the link from Vicki Sharp, our official school photographer, for purchasable photos taken at the Sports Awards Evening on Wednesday 18th July. Read more
  • 08:49 PM - 18th July, 2018 We are very proud of the work that does. Lovely to hear from a visitor to the school! Read more