Art and Design

We are a passionate staff, committed to encouraging girls to express themselves through creating art. Our engaging subject-specialist teachers are successful practising artists who will inspire your child with their insight into the world of the contemporary practitioner.

We provide tuition in drawing, painting, printmaking and ceramics to help our students discover their favourite medium and we allow them the freedom to experiment and push the boundaries with materials. All of this is underpinned by an awareness of design and art history.

Pupils will have opportunities to take part in trips and workshops, allowing them to learn and discover new things in a challenging environment.  We know that art reaches out to wide audiences. Your child’s work will be displayed at the school and in exhibitions both locally and at the prestigious Haberdashers’ Hall in London to foster a sense of pride and confidence in their work.

We deliver fun, varied and exciting lessons that encourage pupils to excel and flourish in a vibrant and focused environment. We delight in our pupils’ successes and nothing gives us greater pleasure than to help girls reach their full artistic potential.


Years 7-9

Year 7

In Year 7 students are introduced to a wide range of media and techniques within drawing, painting and ceramics. They are encouraged to work creatively and imaginatively, underpinned by art historical research and the acquisition of observational drawing skills.

Year 8

In Year 8 students divide their time between fine art and ceramics. Students make a contemporary altarpiece that reflects their own personal identity, based on the work of Teesha Moore and Michael Taylor. This is followed by a ceramic piece inspired by landscapes, and the work of Craig Underhill.

Year 9

In Year 9 students explore two themes. The first is Streets, and this leads to a final outcome based on the work of Dan Parry-Jones, in acrylic and screen printing. The second theme is Folklore, and students choose their own stories to decorate a ceramic pot based upon the work of Grayson Perry.


GCSE Art and Design

Board: OCR GCSE Syllabus Code: J170-176

All students work in a sketchbook and this is used to record research, including ideas development, media experimentation, observational drawing from primary sources and art historical analysis. This leads to the production of personal outcomes in the student’s choice of media.

Portfolio 60%
Years 10/11: one coursework project: Natural Forms

Externally Set Task 40%
All students sit a 10 hour timed examination after completing sketchbook research from an early release paper.

Work is marked internally and moderated by a visiting moderator from OCR.

A level

Why study Art and Design?

A level Art and Design will give you the opportunity to develop observational skills, organisational ability, and good communication and research skills. It also fosters a willingness to experiment and ‘think outside the box’ as well as an ability to evaluate and analyse.

The Art and Design course encourages a broad approach which allows students to develop experience in a number of areas while still exploring the subject in depth. It is a rigorous and challenging A level, which fits well both as a complement to other arts and humanities subjects, and also as a contrast to science subjects. This course provides an excellent grounding which can lead to further study at foundation diploma or degree level. Related career paths may include architecture, museum curation, photography, film making, television, graphic design, illustration, theatre design, interior design, fashion, textile design, art education, art therapy, to name just a few.

Throughout the course, students will develop their intellectual, imaginative, creative, communicative and intuitive powers. They will engage in sustained areas of study gaining an understanding of the inter-relationships between art, craft and design processes and an awareness of the contexts in which they operate. Through so doing, they will gain independence of mind in relation to developing their own ideas and realising their own intentions. These transferable skills, which are encouraged and developed during A level Art and Design, apply to virtually all subjects and career paths.

If you have thoroughly enjoyed Art and Design at GCSE level and are keen to extend your knowledge, skills and creativity, we would recommend this subject.

Head of Department: Mr S Huson

Course content

A level Art and Design

Board: OCR   A level Syllabus Code: H600-606

Personal investigation 60%

Years 12/13: one coursework project: Freedoms and Limitations

Students will undertake a series of workshops in a range of media. Following this they decide upon their own area of focus and write a project proposal; this is negotiated with staff. Students then carry out their sketchbook research resulting in the making of one or more final outcomes.

The Personal Investigation also includes a related written study: an extended response of a guided minimum of 1000 words.

Externally Set Task 40%
Students respond to a theme set by OCR. An early release paper will be sent to the centre and students will conduct visual research over a set period of time (approximately 8 weeks) leading to a 15-hour practical examination.

Work is marked internally and moderated by a visiting moderator from OCR.


The art department provides a range of extra-curricular opportunities to extend and develop our pupils’ skills and knowledge.

For KS3 (Years 7 – 9) Junior Ceramics Club and Throwing Club take place during one lunchtime every week. Here, pupils are able to produce a range of artefacts from Christmas decorations to animal sculptures and vessels, enter competitions and have fun.

The Art Prefect oversees competitions and group projects such as scenery painting and prop design.

Life drawing for senior students takes place on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

Sunday workshops take place throughout the school year and enable pupils to work alongside such practising artists as Brian Gorst, Kim Williams and Kelly Campbell.

Department staff also run weekend sessions in drawing and printmaking.

The art rooms are open every lunchtime and four evenings a week to provide support for students in every year group.

The Art department is also a key contributor to outside exhibitions as follows:

The bi-annual Joint Schools Exhibition where Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools and Monmouth Comprehensive School display the work of selected GCSE, AS and A2 artists in the Shire Hall, Monmouth.

The annual KS3 exhibition “Peg it up” which takes place during the Art in Penallt Festival weekend in Monmouthshire.