The Art Department is at the heart of creative learning in the School. The art course from Year 7 onwards is designed to build and develop skills in media and techniques, creativity, individuality and a knowledge of the art and design throughout the ages. Students work is regularly displayed around the School and the monthly accolade of Artist of the Month inspires and motivates our students. Trips are organised in all year groups which allow pupils to experience art in context and to bring their experiences into their own art work.

Key Stage Three Curriculum

It is important to give students in Key Stage 3 the opportunity to explore and experiment with a wide range of techniques, media and processes, developing their personal skills and their creative identity. The Key Stage 3 curriculum provides opportunities to work in both 2D and 3D, individually, independently, and collaboratively, in School, at home, and in other locations. Students are encouraged to continue their learning at home with specific tasks designed to extend and consolidate their learning. Students are encouraged to develop their ability to draw and paint from direct observation as a starting point to develop more creative work.

Key Stage Four Curriculum (GCSE)

The ‘content’ (or subject matter) of artwork for GCSE and A Level Art and Design is not restricted by the syllabus and as such it is left for students and teachers to decide what ideas they would like to pursue.  In all elements of the course themes will be set with the ‘Externally Set Assignment’ provided by the examination board, these however can be interpreted in any way. At Teesside High School students will have the freedom to develop their own content, to argue and defend their ideas, to challenge themselves, each other and their audience, and to produce work that truly reflects the expectations of arts professionals. They are ‘artist students’ whose work is progressive, relevant, exciting and challenging.

GCSE - AQA - Art and Design - Fine Art Endorsement - 4200

The course covers the disciplines of drawing and painting, mixed media, sculpture, land art, installation, printmaking, lens-based media, animation and photography.

Unit 1 – Internally Set Assignment - A personal portfolio of work worth 60% of the total marks.

Unit 2 – Externally Set Assignment – Preparatory work leading to a Controlled Test worth 40% of total marks.


A Level Curriculum (AS and A2)

AQA AS and A Level Fine Art - 7242/7202 or Textiles Design - 7244/7204

Students can follow the Fine Art or the Textiles Design course.


Component 1 – Portfolio – Coursework worth 60%

Component 2 – Externally Set Assignment - Preparatory work and Timed Test worth 40%

A Level

Component 1 – Personal Investigation – Coursework worth 60%

Component 2 – Externally Set Assignment - Preparatory work and Timed Test worth 40%

Digital Learning

There are few changes that have had such a monumental impact on teaching in art than recent advances in digital learning. Students are able to begin by conducting personal research, self-differentiating their sources. They can use traditional and digital methods and techniques, and develop unique practices based on the integration of both. Image manipulation has become easier, faster, cheaper and accessible by all. Work can be stored, displayed, discussed and shared from any device, wherever there is a wifi connection.


The Art Studio is open at lunchtimes during the week, and students can use these times to complete coursework, homework, extension work or to develop their own ideas. This is a popular activity and is an excellent opportunity for students at different stages of their development to see and question what other students are producing. This often leads to the cross-pollination of some interesting ideas, or to the collaboration of students at different levels.

It is vital that students have the opportunity to view art first hand as this can change their whole perception of the work and the subject. Art is intended to be viewed ‘in the flesh’ so students at all levels have opportunities to view pieces in situ, which usually means visiting galleries and museums

Recent visits have included, Frieze Art Fair in London, the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Tate Modern in London, the National Gallery in London, The Saatchi Gallery in London and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Where does Art and Design lead?

It is still a commonly held and pernicious belief that the arts are both non-academic and do not lead to successful careers. Both assumptions are erroneous with the creative industries now being one of the fastest growth areas of the UK economy and worth £8.8 million an hour. That’s £76.9 billion a year. University schools of arts subjects have for some time now had the same range of degree levels and research opportunities open to them as other subject areas. This being such a new field, arts research degrees offer ground-breaking opportunities. In addition, any student wanting to be involved in business in the future would benefit greatly from a basic understanding of creative methodologies.

The National Careers Service profiles a number of jobs in the art and design family including:



Art editor

Museum/gallery curator

Arts administrator

Art therapist

CAD technician

Ceramics designer


Costume designer

Design engineer


Fashion designer

Fine artist

Footwear designer

Furniture designer

Game designer


Graphic designer



Interior designer

Jewellery designer

Landscape architect

Leather craftworker

Medical illustrator

Model maker


Product designer

Set designer