Subject Overview

In the Art department we offer a vibrant and contemporary curriculum, preparing students to become creative thinkers who can decode the visual world around them in a personal way. Part of the process of learning through creativity teaches students to use critical and lateral thinking skills, alongside practical development of skills. The individuality of students is supported through personalised programmes of study. Students have options to study Art & Design, Photography and Graphic Design at GCSE and A Level.

Mrs Laura Lenander

Subject Leader for Art

Mrs Sarah Davis

Student Achievement Manager for Art

Miss Kirsten Adams

Art Teacher

Mrs Sharon Evans

Art Teacher

Mrs Rebecca Raynor

Art Teacher

Mrs Suzanne Chapman

Art Technician


Throughout KS3, students explore and learn a wide range of techniques and processes, from drawing and painting to ceramics and digital photography. They develop ideas, explore media, record observations and produce their own designs for artwork, gaining valuable experience with techniques preparing them for being advanced students in Art & Design, and transferable skills such as creative thinking and problem solving.


At KS4, students have the opportunity to study Art & Design, Graphic Communication and Photography GCSEs. The prior learning from KS3 is built upon, continuing to develop the foundational skills learnt in developing ideas, recording observations and producing own responses. Work is project based, with each endorsement having its own generic guideline sheets to follow. Regardless of the endorsement, students take an independent approach to their studies, with teachers acting as mentors and guides through the process. Individuality is something that is celebrated and students cover a variety of themes and techniques building on their interests. ArtZone is available after school to support students further in developing their creative practice, and regular competitions and visits to galleries support the development of creative thinking.


Students at KS5 are expected to be highly independent learners and build on their prior learning from studies at KS3 and 4. Art & Design, Graphic Communication and Photography are popular A level choices and provide students the opportunity to explore, expand and consolidate technical skills, developing exciting independent work as a response to themes and briefs. A level courses in Art & Design enable students to work both independently and collaboratively, building critical thinking skills and presentation skills, all important skills that transfer to society and workplaces across professions. The courses facilitate degrees in the creative industries and many students go on to study creative courses at university and work in this field successfully.

Art & Design develops students’ imagination and gives them the chance to experiment and take risks.  It also enables them to develop an understanding of the context of art and its place in our society. To assist with this, a range of trips and visits to galleries take place, including visits to local museums, London galleries and abroad in the Sixth Form. Many students proceed to a career in Art & Design and our strong alumni network contributes to the learning and development of students in school.

Year 7 Overview

Students are taught the following topics in Year 7:

  • Legendary Hybrids
  • Colour Revolution
  • Our Landscape

Year 8 Overview

Students are taught the following topics in Year 8:

  • Sign of the Times
  • Expressive Portraits
  • The Vibe

GCSE Overview

Students are taught the following topics in Years 9 to 11:

Across KS4 subjects in the Art & Design department, students are taught skills in exploring research, developing ideas, working across relevant medias and processes, reviewing and refining work and presentation techniques. Skills vary according to the endorsement and students’ personal interests as they develop their work. However, foundational skills are taught in each subject as follows:

Art & Design foundational skills:

  • Drawing
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Painting
  • Mixed Media
  • Digital Art/Photography

Graphic Communication foundational skills:

  • Industry standard software taught: Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and options to explore After Effects and Animate.
  • Drawing to design
  • Digital illustration

Photography foundational skills:

  • Digital SLR camera techniques (exposure, white balance, focus points)
  • Lighting, using studio lighting and ambient natural light
  • Composition in photography

A-Level Overview

Students are taught the following topics in Years 12 and 13:

Students taking A Level Art & Design, Graphic Communication and Photography spend time developing their independent practice through their chosen mediums. In Year 12, terms 1 and 2 are used to build foundational skills at A level to support students in developing their own creative practice. They learn how to address the assessment objectives with some tailor-made lessons before branching off and becoming more independent, taking risks and developing skilful and imaginative work. Students regularly present work in exhibitions in the department and learn how to build on their practice through critiques and tutorials. A range of foundational skills are taught in each subject, thereby allowing students to grow and develop deeper skills based on their personal interests.

Across key stages, students have the opportunity to explore the world around them. In Art & Design, we give students the chance to engage with art in the real world through a range of visits to museums and galleries. Regular visits include:

  • National History Museum, Tring
  • Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford
  • Photographers’ Gallery, London
  • Royal Academy College of Art, London
  • National Portrait Gallery, London
  • Commercial Galleries, London
  • A range of degree show exhibitions, London

In Year 13 there is an opportunity for a visit abroad. Past destinations have included Paris and a planned trip to New York.

In Art & Design there are many opportunities for students to participate in the wider life of the school. Students support work in creation of graphic promotional materials, recording for events, photographing events and exhibiting their artwork around the school site.

Students have the opportunity to enter competitions, such as the Rotary Club Annual Photography competition for young photographers and the Royal Academy Young Artist competition, amongst others.

ArtZone is run after school throughout the week to enable space and time for students to experiment, grow their skills and work alongside their teachers.

Waddesdon Creatives

See our new Waddesdon Creatives Alumni site by clicking on the image below: