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Why study Art and Design?

 A piece of student artwork using a floral designThe ks3 curriculum and ks4 and 5 projects are designed to give each students experience of a wide range of materials, techniques and processes, and the ability to analyse and discuss work of their own and others. The exam boards for our GCSE, BTEC, A/S and A level courses are AQA and EDEXCEL. Staff at DYCA have years of experience of marking and assessing work for these qualifications, and a number also examine and moderate externally for the exam boards.

Art and Design at key stage 3 allows students to develop their skills and explore a variety of art materials through a range of projects. Alongside the development of practical skills, students are encouraged to question, analyse, evaluate, and express opinions on a range of art works from different times and cultures.

Course overview

 A piece of student artwork, model makingThe fresher students initially undertake a core skills project that allows students to explore a range of techniques and processes, resulting in a collaborative final piece as a class. Portraiture is also taught, and students are given the opportunity to experiment with a range of drawing and painting techniques, referencing the styles of contemporary artists.

Prep students undertake projects which include Under the Sea and Heroes, both of which allow students to develop their two dimensional design skills, and produce three dimensional sculptural pieces.

These projects reflect the process that is undertaken throughout KS4 and KS5 in both BTEC and GCSE specifications. Research, analysis, design, development, experimentation, production and evaluation are some of the key processes that students learn over the course of their two introductory years. This ensures they have the knowledge, experience and ability to achieve in Art and Design in their senior years.

To monitor the progression of all our key stage 3 students we have developed a thorough tracking system. This enables every student to reach thA piece of student artworkeir full potential during their journey through the key stage 3 Art and Design curriculum at DYCA.

Art and Design at key stage four, expands and develops skills learned in key stage three, and introduces concepts and wider idea development. Projects include Still Life, Portraits, 3D Faces, Skateboard Design, Mondrian Fashion Design, Album of Me, and Working in the Design Industry. Students have the opportunity to explore art materials, concepts and processes further, and produce original responses to the briefs set. Annotation and visual sA piece of student artworktory telling are used to express opinions and thoughts on art works created. During the three year program, students develop and produce a portfolio of work, which will be necessary should they wish to progress on to art and design courses in further educational establishments.

Key stage five in Art and Design introduces specialist techniques to BTEC, IB and A level students. Projects include; Shells and Natural Forms, Gustav Klimt, Costume, Felting, Yorkshire Landscapes, Photography, Recycling/ Paper Making, Digital Photography, and Photography Processes. Students are encouraged to develop their skills through independent work, and are able to pursue particular avenues of interest such as digital photography, sculpture, print making, textiles and graphic design.

Art and Design students in key stage five are strongly encouraged to develop a personalized portfolio of work should they wish to progress on to art and design courses at a specialist college or university.

The art and design department organize a variety of trips and visits throughout the year, designed to inspire and provide opportunities for primart research. Past trips have included; Liverpool - Beatles Exhibition, Liverpool - Tate Picasso Exhibition, Leeds - City Centre Architecture, Ripon - The Great Yorkshire Show, Temple Newsam - Ashley Jackson Landscapes Demonstration, and Birmingham - The Clothes Show Live. 

Further study


IB students undertake a thorough investigation of themselves, emotionally and physically, and question origins of themselves and family members. Opportunities to explore specialist techniques and processes including digital photography and image manipulation, creative textiles, mixed media work, and three dimensional sculptures are encouraged throughout the course. Students undertaking the IB in visual art, develop skills and pursue interests independently to their lessons. 

For information on careers in Art and Design visit:

Types of jobs - creative, art & design

Career Sector - art & design



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