What Is Art?

Through Art and Design, students can become more critically aware and visually literate of the imagery that surrounds them. As a result we study a wide range of source material from historical works of art, to contemporary creations, cultures, craftwork, design and media imagery.


In Key Stage 3, courses seek to develop student’s abilities in core skills, to include use of formal elements such as line, tone, form, texture, pattern and colour through a variety of different media and processes. Each one centres on the processes involved in creating art work. Projects include research, investigation and experimentation and in addition core skills like drawing will be focused upon throughout the course.


In Art and Design, students will:


  • Learn methods of research analysing other artists’ work, before experimenting with techniques and realising final outcomes.

  • Develop observational drawing skills and techniques.

  • Analyse their own work and the work of other craft workers, artists and designers, using whole school literacy initiatives and writing frameworks.

  • Compare, contrast and record.

  • Organise work in a sketch book.

  • Express feelings and communicate meanings.

  • Explore and experiment with ideas, media and materials.

  • Use a wide range of processes, using both wet and dry media, and working in 2D and 3D formats.  

  • Work collaboratively and individually on project work.

  • Modify and refine ideas and outcomes.

  • Have support through the Homework Booklet issued at the start of the year as well as in Art clubs each week after school.

  • Expand their essential skills using ‘Communication’ and ‘Working with others’.


At Key Stage 3:

In year 7 pupils will be following the theme of 'Journey' in Art to collaborate with Music in a joint project under the umbrella title of 'Expressive Arts'. The focus is upon Aboriginal Art and music they produce. Pupils will combine their block printed art work and compositions in music to create a multi media outcome. Homework will take the form of a challenge booklet supplied and pupils will record their work in this document. The aim is for the course to run for 6-8 weeks depending on how much progress is made.

Also in Year 7 pupils will follow the 'Making Your Mark' course. Pupils work through a project based on the ‘Formal Elements’, providing a foundation to the basic elements of Art and Design where they produce a wide variety of 2D and 3D outcomes.

They will be studying a range of artists such as Kandinsky, Riley, Cezanne, Arcimboldo and Warhol. They will learn about still life as a theme, incorporating line, tone, form, colour, texture and pattern. Homework is set weekly, where a Homework Booklet can be used as a support for both pupils and parents. The project accumulates into a whole class 3D panel based on all formal elements studied using the still life/portraiture theme of Arcimboldo. This last theme follows onto year 8, enabling pupils to connect with the project.


Year 8 then study 'Print, Pattern and Portraiture' - pupils study the Mexican Culture ‘Day of The Dead’, learning about the proportion of the human skull, block printing, repeat pattern and symmetry. Numeracy skills are utilised using a grid system as a tool for drawing, as well as direct observation. They will also compare this work to David Cation and experiment with his technique. The project leads onto the study of the human face from varied artists’ styles such as Picasso, Munch and Opie. They will also look at the Maori culture and the use of facial tattoo, incorporating their own self portrait into various styles.  Homework is set weekly, where a Homework Booklet can be used as a support for both pupils and parents.


During Year 9, pupils study the theme 'What Lies Beneath'. Pupils will study the work of Scarpace and related artists such as Escher to develop ideas for a 3D sea life inspired mask. The emphasis is on individuality and creativity. Pupils will use observational drawing skills, and experiment with a variety of techniques and processes to develop ideas and explore materials. Homework is set regularly, using the Homework Booklet. Once the mask project has been resolved (usually at the start of the Summer Term) pupils will begin to follow a theme based upon the current GCSE exam paper. Pupils may interpret the theme in any discipline, which they continue into year 10 if they so wish to opt for GCSE. Pupils, in effect begin their course focusing upon art and design, photography or graphic communication. 


The department believes marking is integral to effective teaching and learning. Marking is vital in rewarding successful work and targeting future improvement. Homework will be set every week and sketchbooks will be collected and marked, so that pupils can be given comments and a level for their effort and attainment. ‘Pupil of the week’ will be awarded for outstanding effort and personal achievement as well as the chance to gain recognition through the school’s ‘Money Merit’ system. Homework throughout Key Stage 3 will support lesson work and will improve their overall end of key stage level. Pieces set will include researching and investigating topics and artists as well as developing skills. Examples of grade descriptions are given in sketchbooks for pupils to track their own progress.

At Key Stage 4:

Students who opt for GCSE Art and Design will follow a structured course divided into two projects. This comprises of one coursework (CP1) unit and one exam unit (EST2). One thematic project for coursework allows pupils to focus upon Art and Design, Photography or Graphic Communication, leading on from year 9. Pupils will follow the ‘exam style’ unit of work, allowing them to develop their own individual responses to the theme. This years’ theme is ‘green’, taken from the GCSE examination 2015. The project involves pupils studying a wide range of artists, designers or photographers, using a broad range of experimental techniques and processes. Pupils use an A3 sketchbook to record ideas, research and development. Pupils will be expected to produce at least two outcomes or more extending the project in a different direction.

This is the opportunity for pupils to develop their project in the area of study they wish to specialise in, such as 3D, Photography, Graphic Communication, illustration, drawing or craft. Pupils will be expected to have a strong interest and skill in the aspect they develop. The emphasis is very much on independent learning as pupils will be expected to work a lot at home or in art clubs after school. In year 11, pupils receive the examination paper in January, where they prepare, research and develop ideas for the controlled test of 10 hours six weeks later. (This is usually split over two days, and takes place in the Art room


The department believes regular marking is integral to effective teaching and learning. We follow the ‘Assessment for Learning’ process. Marking/formative assessment is vital in recognising successful work and targeting future improvement. As well as marking, individual advice and guidance are provided each lesson. Comments for improvement are written in the sketchbook, and targets given in the back of the book. Pupils will have an FFT predicted grade, which provides a guide to the minimum grade they should be expected to attain; they will also have a target grade provided by the teacher. Homework will be expected to be completed each week where pupils have individual tasks to complete. Some will be generic. Pupils also have the school’s ‘Money Merit’ system to gain recognition for their achievements. Homework throughout Key Stage 4 will support lesson work and will improve their overall grade. Pieces set will include researching and investigating topics and artists as well as developing skills. Examples of grade descriptions are given in sketchbooks for pupils to track their progress. Coursework currently counts for 60% of the overall grade; the examination project counting for 40%.

Outside Lesson-time:

All students have the opportunity to study Art in extra-curricular time. More able students are encouraged to participate in extension work, which will be provided throughout the year. Those students who require additional support with their studies will have the opportunity for one-to-one tutorials. Key Stage 3 pupils are encouraged to attend Art Club each Tuesday from 3.10-4pm; KS4/5 each Wednesday or by arrangement with the member of staff.


Key Stages 4 and 5 have two gallery visits a year, one in Wales and one in London. The timing of the visits co-inside with the Candidate Portfolio (Coursework) and Externally Set Tasks (Exam). It is imperative the pupils utilise the resources through primary source recording methods such as photography and sketching/note taking.


Competitions are regularly set to pupils as opportunities arise; such as The Royal Welsh Agricultural Show’s Art competition each Spring Term.

Call Us:

(01656) 740294

Cynffig Comprehensive School, East Avenue, Kenfig Hill, Bridgend, CF33 6NP

Fax Us:

(01656) 747940


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