Art & Design

Art, Design & Technology, Food, Photography & Textiles

The Faculty of Art & Design seeks to inspire all students to think creatively, to take risks, to be ambitious with ideas and to celebrate individual success.  Our aim is that students develop their own creativity through engaging with a process of understanding, making, investigation and evaluation.  We actively encourage students to look at the work of others, celebrating other cultures and encouraging diversity.  

The curriculum is designed to enhance and broaden students’ experience of the creative environment.  It is rich in skills and knowledge, it is dynamic and vibrant, and it is accessible to all students.  Across the curriculum we provide learning contexts that promote an understanding of the creative design industries, their role in the economy and how they can lead to exciting career opportunities.

  • Through the planning and delivery of lessons we aim to:
  • Make creativity relevant and stimulating.
  • Create curiosity, interest and enjoyment in each of the subject areas.
  • Expose students to key knowledge, skills, principles and vocabulary so they can confidently produce creative outcomes with a reasoned and informed rationale.
  • Allow students to experience success and enjoyment in their work and recognise that experimentation is a key part of the creative process.  
  • Instil the routine of refining and reviewing work so that students naturally challenge themselves, have increasingly higher expectations of what can be achieved and develop confidence in their creative thought process.
  • Enable students to develop a range of desirable personal qualities, such as safety awareness, respect, perseverance, initiative and independence.
  • Develop valuable transferable skills which can be used across other subjects, outside of lessons, and importantly for future career and life.

We aim for our students to be:

  • Successful independent learners who enjoy the creative process, understand how to make progress and achieve to their full potential;
  • Confident self-managers and team-workers, who are willing to take risks and keep an open-mind about new ideas and techniques;
  • Responsible citizens who are aware of the role they play in society and the importance of creativity in contributing to society.

Our shared vision and collaborative teaching will help reinforce and embed the love of creativity within our students.

Beyond the curriculum, the faculty offers a range of enrichment opportunities that allow students to further develop in their known areas of interest, enjoy new creative experiences or provide a stimulus for future classroom based work.

In Years 7 - 9 students enjoy attending Masterclass sessions where they can experience specialist areas such as photography, printmaking, clay, mixed media work and batik.  Open Studio and Enrichment sessions in Years 10 & 11 offer students the opportunity to work on their own areas of interest, with support if required, within the creative environment of our Art Studios.  Year 10 & 11 students can also take the opportunity to be creative with food at our Open Kitchen session.  Our A Level Art students participate in life drawing classes, an opportunity more usually aligned with degree and further education study.

Through our enrichment programme we want students to experience a range of professional pathways within the subject areas covered by the faculty.  Students studying GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition have multiple opportunities to work in a professional kitchen at West Herts College and attend sessions taught by professional chefs.  Students studying A Level Art & Photography visit professional studios run by industry specialists and experience working with machinery and tools that are beyond that available in school.  

To inspire our GCSE Art students, we start the course with a residential trip to Cornwall.  Students are enthused by their visits to artists’ studios, workshops, galleries and en plein air paintings and studies.  Students collect primary resources and develop skills that form the basis of their first GCSE project, the outcomes of which are inspiring.

For details of our curriculum for each subject area within the Art & Design Faculty, please click on the links below.