Art and Design


Thorns Art Department is a welcoming and vibrant hub of activity. We have excellent facilities ranging from a specialist clay studio and kiln to laptops where digital work can be made. There are two main Art rooms both fully equipped with resources for a wide range of Art practices.

Why study Art? Art stimulates both sides of the brain and allows students to learn to use their senses. We aim to teach our students to think openly and have the confidence to try out new ideas and opinions. Art gives students the chance to learn how to think critically, as most questions about Art have no specific answer or solutions. Our students learn how to work as a team to collaborate and build on others ideas often resulting in large group Art pieces.

The internet has created an explosion of opportunity for digital designers and multi-media artists, therefore our role in delivering the skills students need for today’s society are paramount.

Take a look at this short video, filmed at last year’s Year 11 Art Exhibition.

Year 7 begin the year with a Base Line Test. This leads on an exciting project based around Colour Theory and composition of ideas. We use a wide range of media to produce some stunning collages based on the Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhaze’s work. Students will also learn the basic principles of working with clay to produce a colourful ceramic tile. Students are also introduced to Stop frame animation bring together all their research ideas.

Year 8 are to produce work based around the theme of ‘Abstract Architecture’. They will build on their skills from Year 7 and produce a multi layered Art work using card, stencilling and 3D relief work. Students will use Photoshop to help to understand layering and different composition ideas.

Year 9 complete a short GCSE project based on the theme of ‘Identity’. The project covers all the 4 objects for GCSE, Research, Artist Links, Experiment/Development, and Final Realisation. They will cover a number of skills and techniques starting with drawing and photography, running through to painting, collage, printing and computer generated art. Self-portraits are part of the theme and always lead to some stunning results!

Year 10 is the start of the AQA GCSE in ART and DESIGN. Students are required to complete a short workshop based project to complete the 4 Objectives. The theme of this project is ‘Belongings’. Students begin to build up a body of work which shows how their ideas have developed whilst honing their skills for the main project.

The students will have already worked in a variety of media so when they come to complete the extended project they are well equipped to make independent and creative work based around varying themes (e.g., ‘Inside Out’, ‘Sense of Place’ or ‘What Lies Beneath’). Students will visit the British Museum and various London galleries to gather research for their projects.

Students will carry on the extended project and it will culminate in a large-scale canvas being produced. In the January when all course work is completed, we hold our annual GCSE ART Exhibition and invite students and families to come in to see all of the stunning work that has been created.

Students then complete the SET TASK by choosing a question from the exam paper to investigate and make work. This is worth 40% of the mark. Students have a 10 hour timed session to produce a final piece.