Art and Design

Art, Craft & Design qualifications challenge students to develop their observational skills and aesthetic appreciation. Investigation, experimentation and self-expression are prized at all levels, and this ethos helps students as they learn how to express their inner-most feelings and perceptions visually.



The work initiated in primary schools will be developed and enhanced in more complex and comprehensive ways.  It will be personal and self-directed, working from ideas, images and the imagination as well as from direct observation, indirect research and relevant Art and design vocabulary.


All Key stage three students will have homework set every month, is completed in their sketchbook.


Year 8 pupils follow a programme of work with portraits being the core theme. The theme is expressed through various media and materials. Students have 2 periods per week of Art and Design.



In Year 9 the theme of animals in art is used in a local and international setting. Students will be given the opportunity to extend their skills further in drawing and graphic, printmaking, ceramics, construction as well as painting.  The contextual references for this year group is ‘Surprise’, by Henry Roseaux.


Year 10 then broadens out to the environment where students once again are extending not only their skills but also their own personal view of their inner world as well as the external world.  We are preparing students to consider GCSE level and that the three years have created a visual vocabulary which they can further add to at a higher level.  All students complete an ICT accreditation task.


Literacy and Numeracy within art, craft and design

The development of Literacy and Numeracy skills in Art is a key focus as well as ongoing literacy tasks throughout the three years.  We feel this offers a very good sounding board to take our subject into both GCSE and A level.



Year 11 Unit 1

A written creative statement must be completed by each pupil for each unit of artwork

20 marks

  • This component comprises a major practical portfolio and outcome/s to be based on internally set themes and subject matter developed from personal and/or given starting points.
  • This component will be internally set, internally assessed and externally moderated.
  • Work will be selected, evaluated and presented for assessment by the student.
  • Evidence is required of how the student has met each of the assessment objectives.
  • No time limit: duration to be determined by the centre.

Year 12 Unit 2

% of qualification: 80 marks

The Externally Set Assignment consists of two parts:

Part 1: Preparatory study period

  • Externally Set Assignment materials set by WJEC are to be released to the students no earlier than 2 January (in the calendar year in which the assessment is to be taken) and will consist of assignments based on themes, visual stimuli and written briefs, which are to be presented to the student at the start of the preparatory study period.
  • One of the assignments is to be selected by the student and used as a starting point from which to elicit a personal, creative response.
  • Responses are developed during the preparatory study period. They should take the form of practical, critical and contextual preparatory work/supporting studies which inform the resolution of the student’s ideas in the 10 hours sustained focus study.
  • The start of the preparatory study period is defined as the date upon which the externally set assignment materials are presented to the student. The preparatory study period may commence on or after 2 January. The preparatory study period finishes upon commencement of the sustained focus work.
  • Start and finish dates of the preparatory study period to be determined by the centre taking into account the May deadline for the submission of internally assessed marks to WJEC.


Part 2: 10 hour period of sustained focus work

  • The resolution of the student’s ideas from the preparatory work must be completed during the designated 10 hours of sustained focus work.
  • The period of sustained focus work must be completed under supervised conditions.
  • Centres determine the scheduling of the supervised sustained focus sessions, taking into account the May deadline for the submission of internally assessed marks to WJEC.
  • Work will be selected, evaluated and presented for assessment by the student.
  • The Externally Set Assignment will be set by WJEC, assessed by the teacher and externally moderated.
  • Both the preparatory work and sustained focus work will be assessed together using the assessment objectives.


As & A Level (WJEC)

Through studying GCE Art and Design, students have opportunities to:

  • develop an interest in and enthusiasm for art, craft and design;
  • gain knowledge and understanding of art, craft, design and media (including technologies) in contemporary and past cultures;
  • gain experience in working in a broad range of media (including traditional and new media and technologies);
  • gain an awareness of different roles, functions, audiences and consumers of art, craft and design practice; and
  • develop and enhance their creative, intellectual and artistic abilities.

A written creative statement must be completed by each pupil for each unit of artwork

The revised GCE Art and Design specification is available at two levels: AS and A2. Students can take the AS course as a final qualification or as the first half of the A Level qualification. Students who wish to obtain a full A level qualification must also complete the second half of the course, which is referred to as A2.

The course is comprised of 3 units: 1 at AS level and 2 at A2 level. These are listed below:

AS Unit 1: Coursework Portfolio
A2 Unit 2: Personal Investigation
A2 Unit 3: Externally Set Assignment


Art Department showcases student work

The Art Department will be showing this year’s amazing GCSE and A Level work on Monday 24th June in the Hamilton Building from 2.45 – 4.00 pm. If you get a chance pop in for some tea and cake to celebrate all beautiful pieces of Art created this year. Pupils, parents and members of the community very welcome! #aspiretosucceed #learningwithoutlimits

Ross Wilson returns to GHS

Ross Wilson attended Glengormley High School during the 1970s. He went on to study Fine Art at the University of Ulster and at the Chelsea College of Art and Design.  He and has often been a visiting speaker at Harvard University and the University of Oxford.

In 1997 his first public sculpture commission in bronze (The Ulster Brewer) was placed at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.  He was commissioned for the centenary C. S. Lewis Sculpture in 1998, placed in east Belfast.  His many portrait commissions have included Nobel Laureates Derek Walcott and Seamus Heaney, and the playwright Arthur Miller.  His work is displayed across the world among several public and private collections.

On Monday 18th June Ross spent the day with a range of our GCSE and A Level students telling them about his life, work and advising them on their own Art. To have Ross return to the place where he states his ‘journey started’, was an absolute privilege for both the students and staff who spent the day with him.

Ross attributes the success he has had to Sheila Doris his Art teacher who recognised the talent that he had and inspired him to follow his dream.

Mrs Doris changed my life, I still remember the moment where she had a 4 minute conversation with me in a corridor and I could see exactly what I needed to do, it changed my life

The students were inspired by this unassuming man who took a genuine interest in helping them progress and follow their journey, in the same way that Mrs Doris helped him.

Ross is the epitome of modesty, humility and honesty.  He is as comfortable in the company of royalty, the President of the United States and several noble peace prize winners as he is amongst high school students. His passion for creativity is infectious.  His message to our students was

follow your dreams, don’t let anything stand in your way, if I can do it so can you!

In September we launch a new House System.  The houses will be named after people from the province that the students should aspire to.  They have not only been selected for their success in their fields but also for their character.  It is no surprise therefore that one of the houses will be named ‘Wilson’. Welcome home Ross!

Year 12 showcase artwork

Our Year 12 Art classes have been working very hard to produce fantastic artwork for their final pieces. Keep up the fantastic work guys!!