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“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” Edgar Degas

We believe art is for life. The Art department staff work passionately towards developing a love of art which we hope will stay with our students. Art is both a form of communication and a means of expression of ideas and feelings. It forms a creative language which complements those of the literary, mathematical, scientific and factually based subjects. Studying art develops skills and is liberating, challenging and exciting – it offers the prospect of research, analysis, discussion, experimentation and risk-taking leading to independent learning. When you walk the Art department corridor, you immediately see the range of opportunities offered to our students.  Inspiring displays of work, created by students with different abilities across all years, show that high expectations are achievable by all. Our teaching aims are to offer every opportunity to enrich students’ art education, whilst diligently covering the expectations of the curriculum and exam specifications. The department has gained a national reputation for excellence and has enjoyed outstanding results at every level for many years. Students enjoy success and their work is often showcased locally, or in national competitions and in galleries such as the Turner Contemporary and Mall Galleries, London. We provide an exciting platform for further education, with students achieving places at the most competitive universities and specialist art colleges.

View our students' work at the bottom of the page and in the school images gallery.


Head of Department

Mrs S Strand





Mrs N Eaton-Baudains

Mr P Kenny

Mrs J Morton

Mrs S Welch

Art Prefects

Molly Bax

Emma Bingham

Dora Pursey

Mazie Watson


Becki Arnaudova

Keira Ball

Keira Beerstecher

Eva Freedman

Maddy Goddard

Bethany Mitchell

Issy Moir

Madison Neal

Rosie Creighton

Mabel Norman

Evie Simpson

Amelia Smith

Key Stage 3


The Years 7, 8 and 9 curriculum provides a foundation to broaden students’ understanding of the diverse approaches to, and the expressive qualities of the subject, helping to develop an historical or critical awareness and artistic vocabulary. Students will have a new project focus each term and our teaching covers many skills but the essential aims are to stimulate curiosity, individuality, expressive confidence, independent learning and a cultural awareness. Students will be given opportunities to explore a range of artists, Art Movements, crafts or cultures past and present. They will be shown different ways of recording from observation or secondary resources allowing them to develop ideas, learn new skills and gain knowledge of processes leading to the completion of final pieces of artwork. Exploration will include a mixture of formal and experimental exercises with a wide range of art mediums. Each teacher will try to ensure a balance of media from textiles, paint, pencil, 3D, print or mixed media.

Students will compare, analyse and describe different ideas and approaches used by artists and designers, recognising the influence of contexts, cultures and times on their work. Students will be shown how to present their ideas and work in an organised manner recording progress within their sketchpads. They will be able to engage with a range of artwork to allow them to develop their own views and express reasoned opinions. 

Teaching groups will have projects tailored to them and the focus of the project may vary to show different responses to one theme, thus exposing students to a greater breath of images when all work is celebrated and displayed in the department.

Please visit our image gallery for examples of Key Stage Three work.

Assessment, Marking and Feedback

Key Stage Three

Through the nature of the subject, visual and verbal feedback is an ongoing and regular process and feature of lessons. Within each project, the student will be assessed against 3 assessment objectives which filter into the skills required for success at GCSE.


Students will sit a baseline test at the start and end of the year. This cannot be revised for because it is a diagnostic test. Student work will be assessed at the end of each term/project in relation to the 3 Assessment objectives. These objectives filter into the skills required for GCSE and an overall mark awarded W, M3, M2, M1 or E. Positive Events will be given where appropriate and a developmental comment.


Marking will be regular and homework will be marked in sketchpads with a stamp which indicates the mark. This will happen at least twice per term with a comment and a mark W, M3, M2, M1 or E.  At appropriate times, students will be involved in this marking with peer and self-assessment exercises. The homework tasks will contribute to the overall assessment for that term. Positive Events will be awarded as appropriate.


Key Stage 4


GCSE Art is a popular option at Highworth for those students wishing to develop and explore the skills, practices and ways of thinking associated with Art and Design. The two year course is broad-based and teaches creativity and critical thinking, whilst exploring the elements of drawing, painting, printmaking, ICT digital manipulation, photography, mixed media techniques, sculpture and textiles.

The course is broken into coursework projects contributing to 60% of the overall grade.

Year 10 focuses on genres of art such as landscape, still life and portraiture with varying themes.

Years 10 and 11 focus on an independent project that is set around a theme or question. It is good preparation for the externally set exam project. This project normally ends with a PPE timed examination which again prepares the students for the final timed exam and will give them preparation for a sustained piece of work.

Coursework is assessed at the end of each unit and once coursework has been completed, the final exam paper will be given out in January of Year 11.

The exam final project set in Year 11 is an externally set exam question and worth 40% of the final grade.

Students will prepare and make developmental studies in a preparation period for personal work and sustained focus session of 10 hours for the final response. At the end of the course, the work will be graded and checked by a visiting moderator.

GCSE is a valuable imaginative foundation in awareness and thinking which is basic to all education.  The study of art can help you develop transferable skills for any career or job. It will help your research skills, the ability to work independently and to share ideas visually. You will be able to: be innovative; make informed judgements; evaluate; present and refine your ideas; and, with excellent support, you will have the opportunity to achieve excellence in the area of Art and Design.

It is a great choice if you feel motivated to develop your artistic skills through sustained work, leading to many wonderful final artworks and, more importantly, fascinating career opportunities.

Please visit our image gallery for examples of Key Stage Four work.

Assessment, Marking and Feedback 


The final grade is determined by one unit of coursework and the final examination which will result in a breakdown of 60% coursework and 40% examination work.

There are 4 assessment objectives and each component is marked out of 72:

AO1: Develop your ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources (18 marks);

AO2: Refine work through exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate sources, media, materials, techniques and processes (18 marks);

AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses (18 marks);

AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language (18 marks).

Our assessment aims are:

  • To review student progress and responsiveness to activities each lesson;
  • To monitor progress against the GCSE criteria and give one to one/whole class support;
  • To give verbal praise and positive feedback throughout project work;
  • To give verbal targets and encouragement during group presentations and use peer assessment regularly.

We will take in coursework formally at interim dates and for final assessment at the end of a project or unit. This aids departmental standardisation and early remedy for underperforming students. Students will be given a mark using the GCSE Edexcel assessment criteria, a descriptor and a number 9-1 on formal reports.  Verbal discussion will follow and targets for improvement.

Years 10 and 11 will have internal examinations to produce final sustained outcomes and allow them the experience of the external exam. Again, feedback will be given verbally on this outcome. The finished work is marked as part of the overarching coursework project and final marks are always related to national standards.

Throughout Years 10 and 11, a unit of work will be marked as a whole and given feedback using 9-1. Weekly homework will be recorded in teachers’ markbooks and marked as part of the overall project or unit. Verbal feedback of a descriptor will be given with improvement targets or written targets.

The students will be able to track their progress as they are made aware of the mark scheme and assessment objectives regularly. This will inform them of how they are progressing because they can see the rationale for their current grade.

Students will receive Positive Events regularly because teachers link them to lesson planning, creating opportunities for students to demonstrate these qualities.

Department standardisation happens strategically, with work scrutiny to identify underachievers. Students are monitored closely and individual targets are given to address their needs. Lesson planning is refined after the teacher has assessed work in line with national standards and exam board criteria.


Please click here for the Edexcel GCSE Art and Design specification 

A Level


The aims and objectives of the Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in Art are to enable students to develop:

  • Intellectual, imaginative, creative and intuitive capabilities;
  • Investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills, aesthetic understanding and critical judgement;
  • Independence of mind in developing, refining and communicating ideas, intentions and personal outcomes;
  • An interest in, enthusiasm for and enjoyment of art, craft and design, working with a broad range of media;
  • An understanding of the inter-relationships between art, craft and design processes and an awareness of the contexts in which they operate;
  • Knowledge and experience of real-world contexts and links to the creative industries;
  • An awareness of different roles, functions, audiences and consumers of art, craft and design, preparing students for course content and further education and employment.

Examination Format

Component 1: 60% of Final Mark.

You will be expected to complete an exciting range of skill based workshops looking at the following areas of study and looking at the formal elements of art: painting and drawing; printmaking; sculpture and lens-based image making.

You develop your Personal Investigation portfolio to a more sophisticated depth and breadth, continuing to work closely with a designated Art tutor who will be responsible for setting and marking your work each week as you are set specific tasks to complete. You will create a personal theme to fulfil the expectations of the unit of coursework. In the summer term of the first year, you will be expected to conduct extensive, focused and academic research into your Personal Study.  A related written study of between 1000–3000 words will be completed in the first term of your second year. During this second year, you are encouraged to build upon skills and techniques learnt in order to produce a more considered body of coursework with supporting work and final outcomes. The emphasis is on personal independent creative work, supported by regular tutorials and guidance. Visits to galleries and exhibitions will be used to enhance and develop your work. All your work is graded by the Art department before being moderated by an external moderator.

Component 2: 40% of Final Mark

Your final assessment is the Externally Set Assignment which starts at the beginning of February in your second year. You will be given a set starting point or theme and will be expected to develop a body of preparatory work over eight weeks, followed by a 15 hour examination. During the 15 hour period of sustained focus under examination conditions, students will produce final outcome(s) extending from their preparatory studies in response to the Externally Set Assignment; this is normally spread over three days. Work must cover all four assessment objectives and will be marked by your Art teachers before being moderated by an external moderator. We celebrate the work of our students each year with a final impressive exhibition of work.

Please visit our image gallery for examples of A Level work.

Assessment, Marking and Feedback 

Assessment objectives

AO1 Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding;

AO2 Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops;

AO3 Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress;

AO4 Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements.

Termly overall predicted grades awarded. Coursework is taken in at interim assessment points to allow staff to standardise and offer support for underperforming students. Students will be given regular verbal instruction after these assessment points and discussion. This verbal feedback is recorded in a journal in relation to the Edexcel mark scheme.


Weekly homework will be given and a mark recorded in teachers’ planners. Verbal feedback on each independent task will be given to let students know how they are progressing towards their target grade and clear developments explained. Students will be given regular verbal instruction. Weekly mutually agreed individual targets for practical class work will be recorded by the teacher in the form of a journal.  This journal works in relation with the Edexcel marking scheme.


Students are made aware of the mark scheme and assessment objectives, when setting new work and targets, to inform their decisions and progress. This lets them know how they are progressing, why they are achieving their current projected grade and how to get to their target grade. Students will receive Positive Events regularly because teachers will create opportunities for individuals to demonstrate the relevant qualities.

Department standardisation happens regularly to identify underachievers and challenge others to achieve ambitious target grades. Students are monitored closely and targets given are specific to their needs. Lesson planning is altered to meet the individual needs of the students, after the teacher has assessed their work in meeting national standards and exam board criteria.


Please click here for the A Level Edexcel Art and Design specification

Exam Support

Useful external links:

Useful Books:

Harthill B and Clarke R – Collagraphs and Mixed Media Printmaking Handbook (A & C Black, 2005)

Beverly Hale R – Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters (Watson-Guptill Publications, US, 1989)

Simpson I – Drawing, Seeing and Observation, 3rd revised edition (A & C Black, 2003)

Phaidon Editors – 30,000 Years of Art: The Story of Human Creativity Across Time and Space (Phaidon Press, 2007)

Hughes R – The Shock of the New – Art and the Century of Change, enlarged edition (Thames and Hudson, 1991)

Pointon M – History of Art – A Student’s Handbook, 5th edition (Routledge, 2014)


Careers and Alumni

What careers might this subject lead to? 

If you are considering any career in Further Education in the visual arts, you will need to have followed a GCSE course in Art.

You could go on to take a higher qualification in Art and Design such as A Level. Ultimately you may wish to go on to university and work towards careers in such fields as design which could be from Architecture to printmaking and so many more.


Pattern And Surface Design


Digital art /Computer Games Design


Garment Technology

Jewellery Design





Arts or Crafts

Costume Design / pattern cutting

Product Design

TV Or Film Production

Product Innovation/Promotion

Accessories Design

Fashion Merchandising

Concept artist

Photo Journalism

Textile/Fabric Design

Fashion (Retail Or Product)

Creative Marketing and Journalism

Footwear Design

Fashion / Millinery

Storyboard Artistry 

Brand Developing

Art Therapy/Youth Work



Architecture/Technical Designer

Visual Film Prosthetics /Special Effects


Web Design


Graphic Design



Many of our students go straight onto university courses and/or complete a one-year diploma (foundation studies) in general Art and Design. This allows them to learn more about the many options or specialisms available within art related courses. This can lead them to enter many competitive university choices or careers within the Arts.

Francesca Newington – Works for Sony

After studying A Level Art and leaving Highworth in 1996, Francesca then completed a BTEC National Diploma in general art and design at KIAD Canterbury.

“I then studied Fine Art at UWE Bristol. After a year out I was lucky enough to get a job as an art assistant on the children's TV series Art Attack based at the Maidstone Studios, making props and artwork both in the studio and outdoors on a larger scale. This led to other art and design assistant positions on other children's TV shows and then to associate producer roles, script editing and ensuring the set/props looked great on camera. After nearly 5 years, I moved to London and went from TV production in to TV broadcast as a children's TV channel manager. This involved script writing, conducting voiceovers, cutting TV promos, commissioning animated idents and music and acquiring TV programmes. I am now head of kids’ channels at Sony where I acquire TV shows for four channels in the U.K. and Africa and manage a team of channel managers and coordinators. In short my job is to drive TV ratings to ensure the channels stay as profitable and competitive as possible and to ensure the channels maintain their brand values through the choice of programming and tone of the continuity- i.e. branding, scripting and voiceovers. I meet with producers and distributors of children's TV content on a regular basis. I also work alongside a digital team to ensure the brand promise is echoed across all our websites and apps.”

Charlotte Harris – Artist

Charlotte studied at Leeds Metropolitan University, during which time she worked as a studio assistant for the artist Tom Wood, whose work is featured in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London. At the age of 21, she won the BP Portrait Award in 2003 with a painting of her grandmother winning a £25,000 prize fund.

Charlotte has exhibited throughout the UK and in London including at the ING Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries; Hunting Art Prize, Royal College of Arts; The Hart Gallery, Islington; Affordable Art Fair, Battersea and Fairfax Gallery, Tunbridge Wells. Charlotte's painting of Dame Vivien Duffield was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to form part of their primary collection. Further notable commissions include portraits of the Rt. Rev. Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford, Sir Peter Jonas, the Staatsintendant of the Bavarian State Opera, Lord David Rowe-Beddoe and Brenda Billington, President of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

Diana Auria Harris - Fashion designer with own label

Whilst at Highworth, Diana studied A Levels in Art, Textiles and Business Studies she completed a self-sourced work experience placement whilst at Highworth with Zandra Rhodes fashion house and museum. She then completed a Foundation course in Art and Design at Central St Martins and then achieved BA (hons) Fashion Contour at London College of Fashion. Whilst at university, she completed work experience at a fashion company in New York.  Diana says that the steps which has led to where she is now are:

“Having parents who supported me, having teachers that nurtured my creativity, and having self-confidence and belief in myself to follow my dreams (cheesy, haha!) also, networking is very important and last but not least, hard work!

Emma Kingsnorth – Motion Designer

Emma studied Art at Highworth before going to Brunel University to study Multimedia Technology and Design (now Digital Media).

"I was lucky enough to get a place at Dare School - a year long Grad Scheme at Dare, an Ad agency in London. I loved working here and stayed another 3 years after the grad scheme finished. During this time, I got the opportunity to learn animation and changed my job title from Designer to Motion Designer. I left Dare to work for a Post Production House, Unit to improve my tech skills, I stayed here for 3 years. In 2013 I set up on my own to freelance in Motion design and Animation and now work from my small studio in Brighton."

Harpreet Nandha – People Comms and Creative Manager

Harpreet studied Art A Levels at Highworth before studying Marketing at Brunel University.

"Between my first and second year of university, I volunteered to work at a print company as an admin assistance, it exposed me to the world of work and gave me some relatable experience to add to my CV ahead of applying for a placement. After graduating I worked at quite a few places as I really wanted to understand what I wanted to do long term. Below is a list of roles:

Marketing Assistant at Brunel Union working on their Freshers Week campaign and events.

Accounts Executive at Publicis (Ad agency in London) – supporting their digital campaigns for the pan-European account TASSIMO.

Marketing Coordinator at Kent Frozen Foods – Managing the process and delivery of marketing materials. For example bi-monthly trade brochures, supporting sales leaflets, managing their Twitter account.

After moving back to West London, I was head hunted for a role in Employer Brand – which is like Marketing and HR put together. I lead a targeted, global social strategy across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.  I then moved to Sky in a similar role and created #LifeAtSky, I progressed into managing campaigns and more recently as the People Comms and Creative Manager, managing a team of 4 to deliver HR comms to the business."

Imogen Dale – Graphic Designer

Imogen studied Art at Highworth before going on to Foundation Degree at UCA, then Middlesex University in North London studying Illustration for three years. 

"I currently work as a Graphic designer in London for Sportfx, Sports Direct, House of Fraser and a few other brands. After university, I worked as a graphic designer and creative artworker/videographer/social manager at a company that managed clients like Avon and Herbalife before transferring to another company within house, to work in cryptocurrency doing the same content and then came to work at my current position in London in April 2019. I now do product design, print design, film, labelling, event design, primary and secondary packaging design, web design and more."

Holly Chapman - Fashion

Holly studied Art at GCSE, then photography at A Level. She left to study at the London College of Fashion and completed an internship at Vivienne Westwood.  She was a former Fashion Assistant at Hunger Magazine and is now Executive Assistant at Emilia Wickstead.

Octavia Hersden- Illustration

Octavia studied Art and Photography before going straight onto a degree course. She is currently just finishing her third year at Portsmouth university and publishing a children’s reference book.




For Years 7-9, is held weekly in terms 1-3 and run by Prefects and/or Subject Ambassadors.

Open studios – GCSE students are encouraged to work in the studio supervised by their art teacher on a designated lunchtime.

Trips and visits

London Galleries

Godinton House

Chatham Docks

London Galleries

Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio tour

Plus visiting artists for workshops or primary workshops.


The John Downton Awards 2020

Every year The John Downton Arts award takes place showcasing the strongest art work of students in Kent. These awards were first organised in 2000 at the request of Miss Hilda Downton – sister of the celebrated Kentish artist, poet and philosopher, to recognise the achievements of the young artists of Kent in the fields of painting and drawing.

This year of course is different and the show is being presented as a virtual exhibition.  The really good news is that we have been represented by some of our very own superb young Highworth artists.  The students selected are Rosie Creighton, Bethany Mitchell, Phoenix Brown, Hannah Rolfe, Dora Pursey, Bethan Gubb and Isabelle Coombs.

We are delighted to confirm that Phoenix Brown in Year 13 won the 17-18 yrs category for the best drawing prize. Congratulations to Phoenix for being in attendance and speaking briefly on screen giving an account of her digital artwork 'Hypernormalisation' to the judging panel and online audience (image displayed below).

The John Downton Awards Online Exhibition is now live, please click here to view it.

Phoenix brown 2020

Page Gallery