Visual Arts

Visual Arts

Observing the ordinary, creating the extraordinary.

In the Visual Arts we

  • see the world through different eyes
  • are happy to ask questions even if they cannot be answered
  • continually place our work in a professional context
  • aspire to professional standards
  • showcase our creativity through professional displays
  • are creative and innovative
  • are independent individuals
  • have self-belief and take pride in our work.


Caludon Castle School’s Artsmark Gold award was extended in 2014, which highlights the excellent work done within the Visual and Performing Arts Faculties. The Visual Arts staff work very closely as a team to enable all our students to enjoy rich and varied opportunities in the Visual Arts, both in lessons and in extra-curricular time. The faculty encompasses Art, Media Studies, Moving Image, and Photography, with qualifications being offered in all areas.

We have outstanding resources including three dedicated Media / Photography studios with two smaller suites and a darkroom, and three large Art studios. We run Apple Mac computers throughout with industry standard software, which is regularly upgraded.

Year 7

All year 7 students have weekly lessons in Art. All year 7 Art lessons are taught in the students’ mixed ability tutor groups.

Year 8

All year 8 students have weekly lessons in Art. Year 8 Art lessons are taught in smaller mixed ability groups.

Year 9

In Year 9 students opt to study a range of subjects which can include Art for either one or two periods a week. These lessons are taught in mixed ability groups.

Year 10

Visual Arts Options available for year 10 students are:

  • GCSE Art & Design
  • GCSE Photography
  • GCSE Media Studies

We are continually looking at new options to see if there are courses that would benefit our students.

Year 11 

Students continue with the options they began in Year 10.


A level Visual Arts options available for students in our sixth form are:

  • Art & Design
  • Media Studies
  • Moving Image
  • Photography


Art and Design is a subject area that not only develops practical and imaginative skills, but informs our understanding of the world we live in. It provides the opportunity for everyone to focus on developing creativity and imagination through a Visual Language.

Key Stage 3 – (Year 7-9)

The curriculum delivered focuses on introducing pupils in Year 7 to the formal skills of Art and Design, and build upon these through Years 8 and 9. They are encouraged to develop their two-dimensional and three-dimensional skills by responding to ideas and themes.

In the projects covered, all pupils will:

  • Develop their drawing and observing skills.
  • Their ability to research and analyse artists and their techniques.
  • Learn about the qualities and constraints of a variety of media through experimentation.
  • Create outcomes that reflect the skills, knowledge and understanding developed throughout the projects.

Curriculum Content

At KS3 students are expected:

  • To use a range of techniques to record their observations in sketchbooks, journals and other media as a basis for exploring their ideas.
  • To use a range of techniques and media, including painting.
  • To increase their proficiency in the handling of different materials.
  • To analyse and evaluate their own work, and that of others, in order to strengthen the visual impact or applications of their work.
  • To study the history of art, craft, design and architecture, including periods, styles and major movements from ancient times up to the present day.

Key Stage 4 and 5

Assessment Format:

Key Stage 4 = Eduqas GCSE Art and Design which is split between coursework and an examined practical component.

Key Stage 5 =

Eduqas AS Level. This first year of A Level study is practical, coursework-based learning.

Eduqas A Level. The second year of the course comprises two units: practical coursework integrated with a written personal investigation, and an examined practical component (15 hour examination, plus preparation time during lessons over three months).

Attraction of the Subject:

  • Totally absorbing.
  • Plenty of opportunities to get hands on experience.
  • Encourages personal creativity and allows great freedom to explore ideas.
  • Teaches lateral thinking, problem solving and observational skills.
  • Helps you to communicate better and express your ideas more easily.
  • Widens your cultural horizons.
  • Opens up a variety of career opportunities.
  • Develops understanding of contemporary and historical movements in Art and Design.

Special Requirements:

  • Well organised and self motivated.
  • Good drawing, observational and creative skills.
  • Willingness to experiment with materials and have a hands on approach.
  • Determination and commitment.

Curriculum Content

At Key stage 4 students:

  • Develop ideas that are informed by investigative, contextual and cultural studies of historical and contemporary art, craft and design and other sources relevant to their selected areas of study in their own and other societies.
  • Explore a wide variety of work produced by artists, craftspeople and designers and the differences in their methods, approaches, purposes and intentions.
  • Refine and reflect upon work as it progresses by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes. Exercise skilful and safe application of these to maximise creative potential and produce quality outcomes.
  • Explore a stimulating and rich variety of resources to initiate and develop innovative ideas. Pay due regard to line, tone, colour, shape, texture and other visual elements and, where appropriate, use drawing to explore and communicate ideas.
  • Gather, select, organise and communicate information that is relevant to their personal interests as a consequence of careful research and analysis of a rich variety of resources.
  • Record ideas, first-hand observations, insights and judgments by any suitable means, especially drawing, including for example, line, colour, tonal and textural studies, photographs and annotation in sketchbooks, study sheets and/or on tablets or other means, to support personal intentions.

Further information can be found at:


Media Studies 

Media Studies is taught as an option in years 10 and 11, and post-16. Students look at the impact of the Media on society, they learn how to analyse a media text to find its obvious and hidden messages, and they learn to create Media products themselves, using industry standard hardware and software. The department is extremely well equipped, allowing students to use ICT equipment creatively.

Curriculum Content

GCSE students follow the AQA specification, which allows them to experience a range of Media forms, such as television, magazines, newspapers, radio and video games.

There are two written exams, each worth 35% of the overall grade. Questions take a variety of forms, but focus on the Media concepts of media language, representation, audiences and industries, applying these to 18 close study products.

In addition, NEA (non-exam assessment) makes up 30% of the overall grade. Students are given a brief set by the exam board in September of year 11. They have to write a 300-word Statement of Intent in response to this brief, and then create a media product.

Further information can be found at:

Post-16 students can opt to take A level Media Studies following the AQA specification. This course is very similar in structure to the GCSE course with two exams at the end of the two-year course worth 35% each, and NEA work which is worth 30% of the overall grade. For the NEA work, students are required to create two media products which show digital convergence, in response to a brief set by AQA. For the examinations, students will answer a series of questions about the media, using their 18 close study products as case studies.

Curriculum Content

For both qualifications, students must study the following media forms:

  • Magazines
  • Films
  • Newspapers
  • Radio
  • Video games
  • Online, social and participatory media
  • Music videos
  • Television
  • Advertising and marketing

Moving Image

The Moving Image course leads to an A level in Art & Design (Photography) that focuses entirely on film-making. This is coursework based, following the same structure as the Art A level course, and develops a student’s skills in and understanding of film-making practices. Students make a series of short films as they learn filming and editing techniques, culminating in a narrative film or animation for which they have sole responsibility. Alongside this practical work, students are taught to analyse existing films, looking to uncover the director’s intentions.

Curriculum Content

In key stage 5 students study a wide range of content including:

Basic skills, drawing on film, photograms, flip books, creating GIFs, aperture, lighting, macro, still life, mise-en-scene, documentary, architecture, landscape, green screen, layering, photomontage, text, research skills, scanography, camera obscura, experimental film making, toning, solarizing and pinhole cameras.

For further information go to:


Photography is a well-resourced area of GCSE and post-16 study, with students working both in a traditional darkroom and using digital technology, building a portfolio towards their qualification. Students learn to use the camera, enlarger and computer as tools to create aesthetic and thought-provoking work. The results, both in terms of images and exam rates, are very good. Photography students follow the same specifications as Art students, leading to a consistency across the faculty.

Curriculum Content

Key Stage 4 includes:

Focus and image size, composition, printing, mounting annotating, photomontage, apertures and shutter speeds, ghosting, landscapes, scenography, use of texture, stitching into images, lighting, light painting, studio photography, backgrounds and framing, film genres, telling a story, documentary, layering and refraction.

Key stage 5 covers the following content:

Photograms, using film, using the darkroom, panning, blurring, freezing, aperture, studio lighting, macro, still life, studio portraits, documentary, architecture, landscape, photomontage, text, scenography, camera obscura, chemigrams, toning, solarizing, pinhole and displaying work.

For further information go to:


The work of our Visual Arts students, in all disciplines, is showcased at ‘SENSED’ the Visual Arts and Technology Exhibition in July every year, alongside the work of our students in the Technology faculty. The permanent Gallery situated within Art holds displays throughout the year, and is complemented by an online gallery.


Students’ work within Media Studies and Moving Image Arts is shown to the public at the annual CRaFTAs ceremony in May. This is an evening of great entertainment in a convivial atmosphere.


  • Ms Steff Hutchinson – Assistant Headteacher, Leader of Photography and Moving Image
  • Ms Alison McDougall – Faculty Leader of Visual Arts, Leader of Media Studies
  • Mr James Owen – Leader of Art
  • Ms Amy Petty – Teacher of Art
  • Ms Ellie Brookes – Teacher of Art
  • Ms Rebecca Fell – Graduate Learning Facilitator
  • Ms Rebekah Grindell – Art Technician and Student Support Mentor