Art at Sir Thomas Rich's School

Head of Department:Mr Barry O'Neill
Other Teachers:


Art, like all the other foundation subjects, is compulsory in years 7, 8 and 9, and then becomes an option at GCSE and 'A' level.

At Key Stage 3, pupils are encouraged to develop their basic skills in areas such as observation drawing, imagination work, design and research, as well as being introduced to a range of artists, art movements and cultural styles which are relevant to their practical work. A wide range of two and three-dimensional media is used. All this is supported by regularly set homework tasks.

At GCSE and 'A' level students have time to develop their own ideas over a period of weeks in each coursework unit, working towards a chosen final piece. The focus is geared increasingly towards individual work, with an emphasis on self-motivation and enjoyment of the subject.

Key Stage 3

All pupils from Years 7 to 9 are taught for two periods per week as a double lesson lasting one hour and ten minutes.

The Key Stage 3 scheme of work is divided into three thematic areas for each year, with each member of staff responsible for organising the individual projects within these themes.

  • Year 7 Themes: Observation; Creatures; Landscape.
  • Year 8 Themes: The Human Figure; Storytelling and Narrative Work, Pattern and Design.
  • Year 9 Themes: The Built Environment; Fantastic and Strange; Abstraction.

Within these themes, all pupils will experience a wide range of materials, processes and techniques, both in two and three-dimensions.

Homework is set weekly and is linked to the current class work.

Our aim is to make Art enjoyable and engaging, whilst encouraging each pupil to reach a standard of which they are proud. We want pupils to gain a sense of achievement in the subject, whether they initially feel they have a talent for it or not. Everyone is able to make progress, if they are prepared to be positive in their approach.


Pupils who opt for GCSE Art will follow the AQA Art & Design (4201) syllabus. This entails producing two projects for the Portfolio unit (Unit 1), plus an externally set assignment (Unit 2: examination).

Currently, the two projects are: Core Studies and Observation, Self-Image and Self-Identity.

All class work and weekly homework in Years 10 and the first term of Year 11 is devoted to producing these two portfolio projects. The examination period begins in January of Year 11 and ends in early May with a ten-hour (2 day) supervised session.

At present pupils have four periods per week in the subject.

A Level

Sixth Form pupils taking Art at STRS follow the AQA 'A' Level Unendorsed Art & Design syllabus.

In Year 12 (AS Level), pupils need to produce one unit of coursework, plus an examination unit. The examination lasts for eight weeks and includes a five-hour supervised session. In Year 13 (A2 Level), pupils produce one coursework unit, a Personal Investigation, followed by an examination unit. The examination lasts eight weeks and concludes with a fifteen hour supervised session, spread over three days.

In September each year, there is a residential trip, lasting four days, to either St. Ives or Liverpool. This enables pupils to gather a large amount of visual information to help them begin the first coursework unit of the year.

At present, lessons are taught in two parallel groups for eight periods per week. Homework is set weekly, either as a set task for all pupils, or targeted for individuals where necessary.

A Level Entry Requirements

Pupils need to achieve a grade 'B' or above at GCSE level.

Life after A Level