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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.


Outline of Syllabus

The aim of the course is to develop understanding and enjoyment of art and design through the practice of fine art:

  1. Painting and related media        
  2. Sculpture
  3. Printmaking

This exciting course will enhance a pupil’s ability to make an observed response to a theme, through drawing and photography, and then to develop the theme in an imaginative and personal way using some or all of the above practices. Pupils will be guided through the use of a wide variety of materials and disciplines, including oil paint and dry point etching, and will be given plenty of opportunity to produce work that is of personal interest to them. Digital programmes such as Photoshop will also be taught and used during course. They will be encouraged to reflect upon their work as it progresses in order to develop as effective and independent learners.  

Projects are theme-based. The starting point might include working from the local environment, such as North End Road Market, Putney or Kew Gardens, or the study of another culture and their art, such as that of Japan or Africa. Contextual grounding to projects will also be strengthened through visits to museums and galleries.

Pupils will also be taught to develop an understanding of the history and traditions of art and design through the study of the work of other artists and designers, often using this experience as a stimulus for their own work. They will be taught how to analyse and interpret works of art, sculpture and architecture and establish a sound understanding of technical vocab which they will use in discussion.

Scheme of Assessment

Art and Design Portfolio/Coursework             60%

Pupils produce a portfolio of work developed from a given theme. This portfolio will comprise of two projects which will run from September 2019 until December 2020.

Externally Set Assignment                                  40%

In January 2020, pupils will be provided with a broad theme / topic by the exam board, from which they will develop a personalised project and create an outcome/final piece during a 10 hour period of sustained focus, which takes place over two days near to the Easter break. Pupils have plenty of time to prepare for this, making it a rewarding two days in the art department.

The final exhibition (Coursework, the Externally Set Assignment and preparatory work) will be marked by the art teachers and moderated by a visiting examiner.

Awarding Body: Edexcel

Specification: GCSE Art & Design – Fine Art