Art & Design


Ms Helen Fisher (Head of Department)

Mrs Lisa Cutler (Teacher of Art & Design)


The aims of the teaching of Art at HGS are to:

  • engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design
  • promote independence through exciting project briefs that cater for all abilities
  • introduce students to both traditional and contemporary artists, designers, and cultures
  • explore a range of visual starting points and encourage students to analyse and engage with each other when developing their artistic and cultural experiences
  • equip students with essential necessary skills particularly in a society where the creative industries are some of the fastest growing locally, nationally, and internationally
  • enable students to build their skills using a wide range of materials and techniques
  • encourage and facilitate high achievement for all through an engaging programme of high quality teaching and learning

2313 Handsworth 024

Course Calendars

Key Stage 3

Year 10

Year 11

Year 13 (Taught at King Edward VI Aston School)

Year 13 (Taught at King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls)


Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, we follow structured schemes of work that provide the basic building blocks for art to enable students to:

  • produce creative work
  • become proficient in drawing, painting, and other art, craft and design techniques
  • evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design
  • know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms

Within each topic students will explore multiple artists, techniques and ideas through independent study, group work, discussion, written tasks, practical tasks and homework projects.


GCSE Art and Design offers an inspiring programme of study, which will challenge students to refine and develop practical art skills with a wider range of materials and techniques.  They will also build on their understanding of visual imagery and creative thinking.

Students will develop highly personal artwork, working progressively with more confidence and independence. The longer period of time devoted to the portfolio enables ambitious and varied responses, leading to further development and often larger-scale work.  The portfolio will include a combination of research, recording/drawing, artist and contextual study, development and final pieces.

Students will have 3 double lessons per fortnight. The department operates an open door policy and gives students the opportunity to continue with work before school, at break times, lunchtimes or during intervention sessions after school.  The course consists of two NEA projects.  The first of these is the portfolio project, worth 60% of the overall mark, and the second is an externally set task which is worth 40% of the mark.  The externally set task culminates in a 10 hour practical examination set over two school days.


 Advanced Level (AQA)

A Level Art and Design is a stimulating, demanding and exciting subject that combines practical work with academic skills and art theory.

Studying this subject gives students the opportunity to work much more independently and to focus on their own areas of interest within visual arts, producing practical and contextual critical work in one or more areas of study.  This could include the following:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Mixed media
  • Sculpture
  • Installation
  • Printmaking

Experimenting with a range of media in 2D and 3D, students develop their existing creative and technical skills, producing a varied and exciting portfolio of work.

The course is a good basis for Further/Higher Education leading to a wide variety of careers in the Art and Design sector such as advertising, media, film and television, publishing, architecture, graphics, museum and exhibition work, theatre design, interior design, art galleries, jewellery, fashion, photography, textiles or teaching Art and Design.


Students are given the opportunity to take part in extra sessions outside of the school day where they may complete work on a larger scale or using more unusual materials and techniques.

As part of the GCSE and A level courses students will be given the chance to take part in workshops run by practising artists in the artist’s personal studios.

They will also be taken to museums, galleries and museums to expand their horizons and build on their knowledge and understanding of the subject.