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Imagine a world without art.  No – neither could we; or, if indeed we could, what a grim, unimaginative world that would be!  That’s why we study Art and Design at The London Oratory, a subject that barely requires justification.  Moreover, the Catholic contribution to Art was, and is, well, quite literally, priceless: think Fra Angelico, Bernini, Caravaggio, El Greco, Rubens, Titian – the list is almost endless; and all producing faith inspired art.  So we initiate pupils here into this great tradition of experiencing the sacred through beauty.   

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 (First Form to Third Form inclusive), artistic foundations are laid through the study of three broad themes across each year group.  In First Form, pupils explore The Natural World, in Second Form, the Human Figure in the Third Form, Popular Culture and/or the Built Environment come under the artistic eye.  Artistic work in a range of media are covered, with pupils engaging in project work that involves painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture and mixed media.


Qualification Pathway: GCSE Art and Design

Examination Board: Edexcel

Method of assessment:

  • 60% Personal Portfolio
  • 40% Externally Set Assignment

Those opting to continue their artistic studies at Key Stage 4 will learn how to respond to a given brief and honing their idea through to the completion of multiple outcomes.  To help with the practice of this, pupils will also analyse the masters of past, honing their ability to critique works both in writing and orally.

Course Details:

The course consists of two components:

  1. Personal Portfolio (Coursework)
  2. Externally Set Assignment

Component 1: Personal Portfolio:

This consists of two projects, which make up 60% of the final mark:

Project themes vary from year to year but are decided internally through discussion with the Department’s teachers, with current exhibitions in London’s art galleries and museums often informing this. Plenty of opportunity is given for pupils to pursue areas of personal interest.

Pupils build on knowledge acquired at Key Stage 3 and are guided through a broad range of materials and processes including sculpture, ceramics, printing-making and oil painting.

Gallery visits and research into artists and cultures will inform pupils developing ideas/projects.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment:

This is set by the exam board, EDEXCEL, and released to pupils in early January of the second year of the course. It equates to 40% of the final mark.

Pupils are given a broad starting point or theme around which to formulate a project. They have ample time to prepare to execute an outcome/final piece during a period of sustained focus, which takes place in the department over two days.