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Art & Design

Welcome To The Art & Design Department

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

- Pablo Picasso

At St. Patrick’s college our vision for the Art department is taken directly from the words of Pablo Picasso, “every child is an artist”. Throughout their time at SPC we hope to foster a love for the visual arts and develop creative independent thinkers. Art makes an important contribution to St. Patrick’s College by helping promote the aesthetic, creative and critical development and understanding of all pupils in the school. It also offers the pupil with interest and motivation to develop to their full potential in the field of visual arts. It offers many transferable skills sought after in many different professions and within the world of work.

Art & Design stimulates creativity and imagination. It provides visual, tactile, and sensory experiences and a unique way of understanding and responding to the world. Pupils use the formal elements, line, tone, colour, shape, form, space, texture, pattern and different materials and processes to communicate what they see, feel and think. Art is more than simply drawing and so during their time at SPC we endeavour to introduce the students to as many different artistic disciplines as possible including, drawing, painting, ceramics, printmaking, textiles, sculpture, photography, digital/graphic design and moving image.

Through a variety of Art & Design activities, they learn to make informed, valuable judgements and aesthetic and practical decisions becoming actively involved in shaping environments. They explore ideas and meanings in the work of artists, craftspeople and designers. They learn about the diverse roles and function of art, craft and design in contemporary life and in different times and cultures. They develop their understanding of the creative and cultural industries and refine their work through experimentation. Understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts have the power to enrich our personal and public lives which is what our practices in the department will promote.

Art & Design Department: Aims

The Art & Design Programme of Study has one attainment target:

Investigating and Realising. 

  • Recording observations and gathering information as a stimulus for imaginative and creative work in both two and three dimensions.

  • The creative, imaginative and selective use of a wide range of art and design tools, materials and processes (drawing and painting, printmaking, textiles, information and communications technology, modelling with malleable materials and clay; 3D construction and sculpture).

  • Designing systems, artefacts or environments which will fulfil specific needs.

  • Using and combining the visual elements (line, shape and space, texture, pattern, tone, form and colour);

  • Describing, discussing and making informed and critical comments about their own and other people’s work;

  • Critically appreciate the work of local, national and international artists, designers and craft workers.

The Art Department aims to develop the technical, creative and imaginative talents of each student so that they experience a sense of wonder about art’s processes, a knowledge of the art world and pride in what they create.

Students are encouraged to take artistic risks, be self-motivated, work collaboratively and make individual aesthetic decisions.

Art & Design Department: Subject Overview

Key Stage 3 (Years 8 – 10)

We love images; studying them and making them. The art department delivers a Key Stage 3 curriculum tailored to the needs of the students and designed to ensure that everyone makes good progress, regardless of their starting level. Our Fine Art activities include painting, drawing, photography, printing, sculpture, collage and digital imagery, and we also include elements of graphic design and fashion. Everyone is guided through carefully developed projects that range from junk sculpture to portraits from fabric design to poster design, which develops the ability of students to be increasingly self-motivated.

Year 8

Project 1: Introduction to the Formal Elements

Project Overview

The pupils will develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of the formal elements, line, tone, colour, shape, texture, pattern, space, and form. Pupils will develop their use of each of the formal elements and a broad range of wet and dry 2D media. They will investigate the disciplines of drawing, painting and printmaking whilst exploring a range of media. They will complete a series of tasks focusing on each of the formal elements practicing and developing their skills in using each and a variety of art media. As they explore each formal element they will be introduced to the work of historical and contemporary artists to begin to build an appreciation of the work of others. They will produce a case study on a famous piece of Art and analyse the artist’s use of the formal elements. They will work together as a group on a Group Mission illustrating all the formal elements and present their final piece to the rest of the class to Peer Assess. Finally, they will use all the formal elements to design and create their own final piece in which they may use any of the media which they have previously used in their booklet of tasks. As they create their final piece, they will use their mobile phones to document and digitally explain their use of each of the formal elements.

Project 2: Gargoyles & Mythical Creatures

Project Overview

Pupils will look at images of gargoyles and explore their origins and meaning behind them. Pupils will then produce a range of studies of gargoyles using a variety of wet and dry media and use these to help design their own 3D gargoyle. They will develop their 3D making skills as they explore using plasticene to help them sculpt and design a range of gargoyle faces of their own which they will use their mobile phones to photograph and document. They will analyse the work of sculptors Mandy Stapleford, Barbara Broido and Mike Thompson and use this to inspire their own gargoyle design. Finally, they will develop their designs into a ceramic gargoyle using the pinch pot technique to form the head and shoulders adding facial features. After firing the students will paint/glaze the gargoyle sculptures and finally evaluate their 3D sculpture and their working processes. They will use photoshop to create a digital poster to advertise their ceramic creature. Finally, if time permits, they will explore the art of textiles as they create a fabric sock monster. Throughout this project they will be introduced to a range of different careers in the Art field and local and global artists and practitioner.

Year 9

Project 1 – Still Life through the movements

Project Overview

The pupils will develop understanding of how art has changed throughout time. They will construct an art history timeline before researching in pairs an art movement of their choice and producing a poster using the Pic Collage App on the iPad. They will develop their skills and understanding in using a range of Art media and materials such as paint, oil pastels, graded pencils, colouring pencils, digital photography, and Photoshop as they explore and create their own still life studies, taking inspiration from the great masters throughout time. They will learn about the art movements Fauvism, Cubism and Pop Art as they create their own still life pieces in response to the characteristics of each of the art movements. Finally, they will use the iPads to photograph their own still life scenarios and use Photoshop to edit their photos to create 3 digital final pieces each reflecting the art movements studied earlier.

Project 2 – CJHS Sculpture Design Brief

Project Overview

St. Patrick’s College, Maghera would like their students to design a 3D sculpture prototype which shows the life and experiences of pupils at SPC and to commemorate the school’s 60th Anniversary. Pupils will first draw the human figure in the correct proportion. They will then explore the 3D sculptures and working processes of Alberto Giacometti and Henry Moore as they collect sketches and photos to prepare them for making a maquette of a figure in wire and modroc and also carved in polystyrene. They will explore the sculpture of a range of contemporary artists including Irish Sculptor Maurice Harron before independently creating a range of designs. Finally, they will work together in groups of 5 taking on various roles, as well as being sculptors over a period of lessons. The group will come up with a final design culminating from their individual designs, in response to the brief and create a prototype using recyclable materials and the skills they had earlier developed. Their prototype will be exhibited at the SPC Art exhibition in June 2024 to celebrate 60 years of St. Pats. Finally, they will use the iPads to create a short iMovie presentation to present their idea to the Principal.


Year 10

Project 1: Cultural Mask Design Brief

Project Overview:

In preparation for GCSE Art the pupils will respond to this GCSE Art past design brief to give them a taste of what it would be like to respond to a GCSE style brief. First students will independently research masks made from various cultures over the world. They will record a range of sketches/drawings using a variety of different 2D dry media and also explore using wet media to record a variety of cultural masks from secondary sources. They will use this information to inspire their own mask designs before practically experimenting and exploring a range of 3D media, materials and making processes as they create and evaluate an initial 3D mask prototype made from cardboard and other materials taking inspiration from cardboard mask maker Eric Straw. The pupils will further explore a range of mask design ideas taking inspiration from the work of contemporary ceramicists Neil and Sally MacDonell and make their own ceramic wall mask inspired by at least two different cultures using a range of Art media. Finally, they will evaluate their final ceramic mask design.


Project 2 – I, Me, Mine

Project Overview

The pupils have been set the GCSE style brief of responding to the theme I, Me, Mine which will end in them producing an A3/2 mural, which illustrates them and their significant beliefs, values, interests or personal events. They will begin by drawing themselves and learning how to draw a portrait in proportion. They will explore using pencil, chalk pastels, charcoal, paint and ink. They will take photos of themselves and things that are important to them and explore digitally manipulating them. After exploring the work of a variety of contemporary artists and local and global wall murals (Eduardo Kobra) they will use this information to produce their own mural inspired by the artists which they had explored. Finally, they will participate in a Year 10 exhibition and exhibit their work and compose an artist’s statement explaining their mural and what it says about them.

GCSE (Years 11 & 12)

Art is a popular subject at GCSE. It is ideal for any student who enjoys art and is good at it. Our love of studying and making images guarantees a creative environment in the art studio. We study the CCEA Art and Design specification. This allows students to further develop creative skills as they assume greater responsibility for the development of projects.

The specification has two components:

Component 1:

Part A: Exploratory Portfolio (25% of course)
Part B: Understanding the Creative and Cultural Industries (35% of course)


Component 2:

Externally Set Assignment. (40% of course)

Key Stage 5 (Years 13 and 14)

The CCEA GCE Art and Design specification develops in-depth knowledge and understanding of art and design through research and practical activities, intellectual capabilities, and independent approaches to learning.

In the AS units, students develop their creative process in response to a theme. They explore concepts, and develop knowledge, skills and techniques, including drawing.


They present a portfolio and resolve their learning into a personal response.


Students who continue to A2 undertake a more focused investigation based on a given theme. This takes the form of both written and practical investigations, which are followed by producing a resolved outcome.


The specification has four units:

  • Unit AS 1: Experimental Portfolio

  • Unit AS 2: Personal Response

  • Unit A2 1: Personal and Critical Investigation

  • Unit A2 2: Thematic Outcome.

Art & Design Department: Careers


Art & Design Department: Gallery

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