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Art & Design

Why study art?

Art is a key component of a broad and rich curriculum. It enriches the experience of students and contributes to their understanding of culture, aesthetics, design and the visual world. The art room is a very different space to a traditional classroom and provides an environment in which students can explore and shape their artistic skills and interests.

  • Studying art helps to develop critical thinking and the ability to interpret the world around us.
  • Art encourages self-expression and creativity, building confidence as well as a sense of individual identity.
  • Creativity nurtures and develops well-being, contributing to overall health and happiness.

The study of Art and Design supports the development of fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, language skills, social skills, decision-making, risk-taking, lateral thinking, complex analysis, problem-solving, and inventiveness.

Curriculum Vision

Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. At St Peter’s, all students have equal access to a quality arts education, developing literacy and fluency in the artistic practices. The curriculum inspires personal expression, cultural understanding, creative and practical responses, promoting imaginative risk-taking to provide solutions to our material, emotional, social and virtual worlds.

Students will be able to think creatively and critically. Students will investigate and evaluate a wide range of creative outcomes from the past and present to develop a rigorous understanding of the many disciplines within art, craft and design and how they shape our history and future. Our aspiration is for students to contribute as confident citizens and future professionals to the culture, creativity, economic success, leisure, material and emotional well-being of our society within both national and global contexts.

Key Stage 3 - Years 7 - 9

Students in each year group complete three projects over the year, with the Art Formal Elements underpinning all tasks and techniques.

  • Observation drawing/recording from primary and secondary sources using a range of drawing materials and techniques.
  • Exploring and analysing the work of other artists using the art formal elements.
  • Planning and refining ideas and skills.
  • Producing final pieces showing inspiration from the work of other artists.


Key Stage 4 - Years 10 - 11

Students begin the GCSE AQA Art, Craft and Design course by completing a series of skills-based projects including drawing, printmaking and painting.  GCSE AQA Photography students will complete a series of skills-based projects including the use of a DSLR camera, composition, lighting and editing.  

Building on KS3 foundations, these projects serve to equip students with a toolbox of skills which they can use, develop and refine in subsequent projects. Within these projects, they learn how to explore and respond to the work of other artists, record from observation and learn how to annotate and present their work.

Students then choose a theme for their personal investigation which takes them right through into Year 11 when they start their Externally Set Task (exam) in January.


Key Stage 5 - Years 12 - 13

We offer both A level Art,  A level Photography and A level Textiles. All are full two-year AQA courses. 

  • Skills building mini projects: these projects will include drawing, painting, printmaking, taking photos, composition, lighting, editing, textiles techniques, and will help to prepare students for their major project. Students also develop their research and analytical skills.
  • Component 1: personal investigation (major project worth 60%) This is a project which starts just before Easter in Year 12 and continues through to the end of January in Year 13. You choose the theme for your projects, and it is assessed in a similar way to GCSE.  
  • Component 2 - Exam (worth 40%) This follows the same format as your GCSE exam with a choice of themes and starting points, and you have approx eleven weeks to complete your prep work, followed by a fifteen-hour (three days) exam.

Curriculum Enrichment

  • Extracurricular sessions run for students each week. 
  • Bi-annual trip to Paris, to visit all the major galleries and landmarks.
  • Ingestre Hall - art, photography and music residential weekend.
  • Chester Zoo day visit for our art and photography students.
  • A level students have the opportunity to visit galleries in London and other cities.
  • A level students complete discovery workshops on the national articulation program, many of which go on to enter the competition.


Art is one of the most fulfilling pursuits in life. It provides an avenue for self-expression, creative fulfilment, and enjoyment. It also happens to be a viable career path. 

Careers using artistic skills include:

  • Animator
  • Actor
  • Fashion Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Interior Designer
  • Makeup Artist
  • Photographer
  • Tattoo Artist
  • Textile Designer
  • UI UX Designer
  • Web Designer
  • Web Developer
  • Architect
  • Automotive Designer
  • Furniture Designer
  • Golf Course Designer
  • Home Stager
  • Industrial Designer
  • Landscape Architect
  • Naval Architect
  • Product Designer
  • Swimming Pool Designer
  • Toy Designer
  • Transportation Designer
  • Urban Designer