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The Willink

Art and Design

There are so many positive reasons for studying Art and Design:

  • Art is for life It changes the way you look at things.
  • Art is fun Playing with materials and exploring processes and ideas.
  • Art is personal A way to express your individuality, ideas and feelings.
  • Art is communication Understanding the ideas and feelings of others through their visual language.
  • Art is the key which opens opportunities in the job market. The creative industries are the fastest growing in the UK.
  • Art is a human need It comes from the head, the hands and the heart. 

“If it didn’t grow, then someone made it!”

Art & Design is all around us; the creative nature of humankind has shaped the world and cultures we live in. Increasingly, in the modern world we have to be visually literate with media and internet as well as traditional visual forms such as painting and sculpture. The “creative industries” is one of the fastest growing areas for employment in this country, so it is really important that young people learn to understand visual forms and have the opportunity to explore practical skills.

At The Willink, we believe that Art & Design is a very important part of the curriculum. We aim to teach students to express themselves visually and learn to understand the complex visual landscape around them. Our intention is to nurture creativity and enable students to build their skills, knowledge, understanding and confidence in the subject.

Art facilities
The art area comprises of two multi-purpose teaching studios and a dedicated Sixth Form studio. Ceramics facilities include a wheel and a kiln. There is also a small darkroom for photographic work. ICT is used within the department with digital cameras and scanners. We have a small selection of PCs in the art teaching space and whole class teaching of ICT can be done in the adjacent computer suite.

Key Staff

  • Mrs J McDonald - Head of Department
  • Mrs R Hobbs
  • Miss G Berry 

Key Stage 3 – Years 7, 8 and 9

Art Milestone Assessment Schedule 2022/23

Students have 2 lessons a cycle in years 7, 8 and 9. All students have their own sketchbook, which they use for their weekly half-hour homework as well as class work.  Students explore a full range of media and techniques, these include: drawing, painting, printing, ceramics, glass, sculpture/three-dimensional work, graphics and the use of ICT in Art & Design. All projects have an element of Art History, relating to students’ experience to that of artists, craft workers or designers.

Key Stage 4 (GCSE) – Art & Design

Students at The Willink follow the AQA exam board syllabus. Students will develop their skills and explore ideas and personal themes within Art & Design. They will work in a variety of media on several large projects consisting of research and development of the theme and a final artefact. The work is predominantly practical with some written evaluations of their work. Coursework will consist of a portfolio which makes up 60% of the grade. The exam, worth 40%, is of a practical nature, students have the opportunity to respond to a theme set by the exam board.

A-Level Art is a two-year course. The first year of the course is spent experimenting with new techniques, materials and developing a strong skill set as well as two independently negotiated modules. The second year comprises of two units of work; one of these is a controlled timed test set by the exam board.

The department aims to offer students opportunities to broaden their knowledge of Art; this is done through discussions, videos and visits to galleries, this enables students to pursue personal interests and themes in their practical work and explore and experiment with media.

Key Stage 5 (A Level) - Years 12 and 13

Art and Design Course Guide Key Stage 5

Educational Trips

The department has a great tradition of offering several educational visits each year. These include one overseas trip in the February half term, a selection of trips offered throughout the year to Sixth Form students and a Gallery visit in Year 10 for GCSE Students.


Last Updated March 2023