St Bede's Inter-Church School

St Bede’s Inter-Church School

“Cum Deo - With God”  •  Cambridge
St Bede’s Free School Go
Ofsted Outstanding


The Art and Design Department at St Bede’s School aims to give every student the ability to:

  • confidently express ideas using a range of materials and to build upon their skills
  • produce artwork in two and three dimensions, as well as computer manipulated images
  • understand and use the basic elements of art and design
  • connect to the work of others with knowledge and understanding
  • develop their personal expression with creativity and imagination

What will your child study?

In Year 7

Art and Design is compulsory in Years 7 and 8. Students start the course with a focus on the foundation elements of tone, line and form. They use this knowledge to complete projects based on the theme of portraits. Students learn techniques within drawing, painting, sculpture and computer manipulation. Students also have the opportunity to visit The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich as part of their portrait project.

In Year 8

In Year 8 students continue to develop the skills and techniques already covered and extend their ideas into a more independent form of expression. Projects across the year are based on the theme of ‘Viewpoints’. In practical work this will include drawing, painting, collage, Photoshop and sculpture. They continue to consider the cultural and contextual aspects of the subject and to apply this knowledge more fully in their own work. Students also have the opportunity to take part in visiting artist workshops.

How will they be assessed?

Students in Years 7 and 8 are set regular homework. This is marked by their teacher, who will give written feedback on the progress made in their sketchbooks. Students are also encouraged to take part in group discussion where they feed back constructive ideas to each other.

What will your child study in Year 9?

In Year 9 students have the option to carry on with Art and Design and benefit from two lessons a week. Projects in Year 9 are designed to stimulate creativity and individuality whilst building on previous foundation skills within drawing, painting, digital media and sculpture. Teachers strive to make the lessons diverse and adventurous whilst contextualizing work through Art History. Students also have the opportunity to take part in a gallery visit.

How will they be assessed?

Year 9 homework gives students greater opportunity for independent thinking. We encourage students to build on their ideas as well as developing their creative and conceptual thinking in preparation for GCSE. Homework is marked by their teacher, who will give written feedback on the progress made. Students are also encouraged to take part in group discussion where they can feed back constructive ideas to each other.

Why study GCSE Art and Design?

Studying GCSE Art and Design or Art and Design gives students the opportunity to develop and broaden their practical skills and creative language. They learn to develop their own ideas over a sustained period of time, experiment with a variety of media and gain a greater understanding of art and design through contextual studies. Students are able to extend the techniques covered in Key Stage 3 and/or develop new ways of working. Painting, drawing, sculpture and computer manipulation are all covered within the course.

What will your child study at GCSE?

We use the Edexcel Art, Craft & Design syllabus. The course consists of two units which together make up the GCSE grade:

  • Art and Design Portfolio (60% of the GCSE)
  • Exam (40% of the GCSE)

The portfolio is made up of two major projects. Students are given a starting point from which they develop individual paths of discovery. They move between disciplines such as painting and drawing, printmaking, sculpture, computer-generated imagery and photography. Drawing forms a foundation skill that is used to gather information as well as idea development. Computers and digital cameras are often used to record information and develop visual ideas quickly. Outcomes are always varied and often involve a variety of media. Students’ annotation of their work, as well as placing it in the context of Art History, is required and is ever present in their sketchbooks. Coursework runs from the beginning of Year 10 to the end of January in the Spring Term of Year 11.

In the past we have facilitated trips that allow students to view artwork at first hand, including visits to museums and galleries in London. We have also held printmaking days in school as well as artist led workshops. Throughout this course, our department endeavours to provide students with a wide knowledge of contemporary artists.

For the exam, students are given a theme as a starting point, and they have up to eight weeks to develop and plan their ideas.  At the end of this period students undertake a 10-hour examination where they create their planned finished piece.

Our Expressive Arts Showcase on 23rd May 2019 will give parents and carers the opportunity to see Year 11 GCSE Art Work and enjoy music from a range of our talented singers and musicians. Please click here to see the poster advertising this event.

How will they be assessed?

Students are set around two hours of homework weekly. This may include research, sketchbook and developmental practical work, reading and visiting galleries.  Early in the course, homework takes the form of set tasks which will be reviewed each week. As the course develops, this time is allocated for independent art making and research.  Students record homework in their school planners and their teachers provide feedback directly in their sketchbooks.


Clubs run regularly at lunchtimes and after school and are open to students in all years who would like to use the facilities. Please contact Mrs Emmans (see below) for more details. 

Names and contact details of staff:

Mrs Julia Emmans (Head of Expressive Arts):

Mrs Rachel Peasey (Teacher of Art & Design):