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Art, Graphics and Photography

The positive contribution Art and Design makes to the ethos at St Edmund’s Catholic School is evident by the work proudly displayed and celebrated throughout the school. At St Edmund’s we have a long history of success at GCSE and the Art Department prides itself on developing independent learning among the students.


Key Stage 3

Art is taught for one period per week in Years 7-9. Skills such as drawing in a variety of media, painting, collage, mixed media and three dimensional work are encompassed within the topics studied during this time. Currently, Year 7 learn about Portraiture, Pattern (including Aboriginal Art) and Landscape. Year 8 study Pop Art, Cubism and Art within other cultures. Year 9 are educated about Surrealism and Architecture before developing individual projects in preparation for further study at Key Stage 4 as an optional subject. Within each of these topics, pupils are introduced to relevant artists and gain an understanding of how their work impacted on these genres.
The amount of artwork enjoyed at primary level varies greatly between schools and some students are a little nervous about their levels of artistic skill in this subject when they arrive at St Edmund’s Catholic School. We work hard to enhance students’ skills, however basic, giving them the self-confidence to express themselves within a variety of media and fully develop their God given talents. As in any subject, there are strategies which can be learned and, with practice, all students make marked progress.
The Key Stage 3 course gives a very good grounding for those wishing to take a GCSE in Art, Graphics or Photography.


Key Stage 4 Art

We currently study the AQA specification for GCSE Art in Key Stage 4. This comprises of three units of work. Each unit consists of research regarding relevant artists’ work, and experimentation in a variety of media, which can include the use of Photography and Photoshop as well as 3D work. There is a limited amount of written work required at this development stage. Each unit evolves through research, experimentation and refinement of ideas until it culminates in a final piece or series of pieces reflecting on the artistic journey the student has undertaken. At present, the first unit commences with the study of Natural Forms. The subject matter for the second unit is the guided choice of the student and the third unit is set by the examination board. A series of approximately eight options is given by AQA and the student builds their own project around one chosen subject. The Final Pieces or pieces for this particular unit are completed under examination conditions over a two day period. All work during Years 10 and 11 is submitted and goes towards a final grade for GCSE Art.


Key Stage 4 Graphics

Students taking Graphics are encouraged to design for a purpose, often for print media or advertisement. Topics covered may include Book Cover Designs, T-Shirt designs for advertising, and Typography. All work is tailored to each student’s preferences and includes targeted help based on topics chosen by individual students. Students are taught Photoshop techniques as well as other artistic processes. Students are encouraged to try interesting and original styles and have the freedom to experiment with various techniques. During the course, students will learn how to research and analyse existing work as well as developing and evaluating their own work.


Key Stage 4 Photography

Students are taught how to compose professional photographs and how to edit photographs on Photoshop. Students have access to computers and DSLR cameras, as well as full Adobe Creative Suite software including Photoshop and Illustrator. They also have access to a have a photography studio, as well as a range of props and backdrops. Topics covered may include Still Life, Close Up, Landscape, Portrait and Natural Forms. All work is tailored to each student’s preferences and includes targeted help based on topics chosen by each individual student. Students have the freedom to experiment with various techniques and styles.



Art, Graphics and Photography students are invited on a school trip to two Art Galleries in London on a yearly basis. Galleries often included in this visit are; National Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern and the Saatchi Gallery.
Extension sessions run afterschool weekly for students to improve their work or just to have extra help with their work.



Many of our students go on to study Photography and Lens Based Media at college, or a two year Diploma in Art and Design at UCA.

Key Contacts

Subject Leader:

Ms Linda Walmesley:

Photography and Graphics Subject Teacher:

Miss Stefania Testa: