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“Art develops spiritual values and contributes a wider understanding to the experience of life, which helps to build a balanced personality.”

–Bridget Riley, British Artist 

At Notre Dame we take the subject of Art and Design very seriously, delivering high-quality art education that engages, inspires and challenges students to think for themselves.  We have created a comprehensive programme of study so the girls can build on their creative skills and have confidence to respond visually to their immediate environment and the wider world in which we live.

Key Stage 3

The curriculum for students in years 7 to 9 is carefully designed to enable pupils to:

  • Learn how to draw and paint directly from observation, building on their existing skills.
  • Use a range of artistic materials and techniques to create their own visual responses to given themes.
  • To develop an appreciation for their own work and that of other artists and craftspeople.
  • To evaluate and analyse the work of others using specialist terms and vocabulary.
  • To develop their imagination through experimenting and taking risks in their work.

Key Stage 4 

GCSE Level Art and Design

Examination Board: Edexcel

There are two units of work in the GCSE course:

  • Unit 1 – *Controlled Assessment, 60%
  • Unit 2 –  Externally Set Assignment, 40%

*Controlled Assessment, (formally referred to as coursework), is everything that is created at home and in class, during the whole of Year 10 and the first term of Year 11.  This becomes the student’s portfolio and is worth more than half of the marks in the final GCSE grade. 

The Externally Set Assignment is a theme sent by the exam board, given to the students in the spring term of their final year; this is worth the remaining 40% of their final GCSE grade.

Studio time and support is offered every day before school, and twice weekly after school the department will be open and supervised, so students can make the very most of our facilities, guidance and on-going support.


GCSE Art Exhibition





GCSE Bitesize