St Augustine's Catholic College

Art & Design

While standing in front of Matisse’s ‘The Sorrow of the King’, you will hear comments ranging from ‘that’s so beautiful’, to ‘my child could do that’. The average time that an adult looks at a work of art in a museum or gallery is 9 seconds, including looking at the label! Matisse’s work is far more interesting than being decorative or simplistic, and it is important that right from Year 7 pupils get opportunities to discuss works of art in depth.

Walking around St Augustine’s you will see that it is full of incredible student art, showing a wide range of skills, ideas and creativity, because of the work they put in to really learn about the subject. From Year 7 studying the formal elements in art, through to the A Level student using this knowledge to devise their own project themes and outcomes, students practise and develop their creativity through painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and other fine art based mediums.

Projects at Key Stage 3 are designed to help students gain experience, practise skills and build confidence. Learning the stories behind the Matisse collage mentioned above for example, and then using similar ideas to explore narrative and abstraction, to show personal viewpoints based on the stories of mercy, is central to our way of working, and helps our students become more independent in their creativity as they progress through the school.

Key Stage 3

Year 7
Terms 1, 2 & 3: The Formal Elements in Art
Terms 4, 5 & 6: Towards Abstraction

Year 8
Terms 1 & 2: Drawing skills and pattern
Terms 3 & 4: Typography
Terms 5 & 6: Sculpture

Year 9
Terms 1, 2 & 3: Portraits
Terms 4, 5 & 6: Illustration 

Year 7 Threshold Grid project 1Year 7 Threshold Grid project 2Year 7 Threshold Grid project 3

Year 8 Threshold Grid Project 1Year 8 Threshold Grid project 2

Year 9 Threshold Grid project 1Year 9 Threshold Grid project 2


The GCSE Art & Design course is aimed at students who enjoy developing their creativity through experimenting with different materials and exploring ways of communicating their views and ideas in visually engaging ways. You’ll be encouraged to take a personalised approach to your studies and take the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of how art history affects your own work and ideas.

You’ll explore Fine Art processes such as painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography and contemporary media. Through practice, you’ll learn to generate ideas and explore different, creative applications of materials, using what you learn to produce skillful and meaningful artworks.

Drawing is an essential skill and students will learn different ways to record their ideas and observations. Carrying a small sketchbook is an excellent way to ensure this skill is practised regularly. You will be shown how to turn sketchbooks into exciting journals, full of ideas, personality and exploration, showing the individual journey from initial idea to well-formed, final artwork.

Learning about artists’ work and different art movements helps to develop one’s own ideas and is used as a way of demonstrating knowledge and understanding through analytical investigation.

Although much of the equipment is supplied, we encourage you to have and work with your own materials.

Full details of the course are available on the exam board’s website: Level

A Level Art & Design