We teach students not just how to make art, but how to think like artists which, in turn, helps students develop creativity and essential skills needed for all future professions.

Art and Design is a successful and valued subject at Sutton Grammar School. We are located in the new building with two light and spacious classrooms next door to a digital suite for creative use of up-to-date art and design software. We work hard to encourage all students to try their best and get involved with lots of extracurricular opportunities.

Please click on the sections below to find out about Art and Design for Years 7 to 9, Art and Design or Photography for GCSE and Art and Design or Photography for A level. We also have a virtual exhibition of recent GCSE and A level artwork, please click the button below to view our online gallery.

Sutton Grammar School Virtual Exhibition

Contact Head of Art & Photography


In order to:

  • Teach students how to think like artists
  • Instil the love for learning
  • Instil the love for art through open-ended, student-led projects
  • Give context through Art History (artists/movements)
  • Be better prepared for GCSE / A level art

We focus on:

  • Fun of learning
  • Exploration of a wide variety of art materials & techniques
  • Encouraging experimentation
  • Teaching art history (Chronologically)
  • Creative careers
  • Contemporary practices
  • The building blocks/tools of art (The Formal Elements)
  • The rules of art (the Principles of Art & Design)
  • Presentation of work

This is what we do to achieve our objectives:

  • The Formal Elements of Art & Design integrated into each project
  • The Principles of Design integrated into each project
  • Art history is taught to give context to each project
  • Contemporary artists are included with each art history lesson to create real-life links
  • Creative careers are highlighted and linked to individual projects
  • Each project explores a different art medium/technique
  • Each year, the techniques are scaffolded. For example, year 7s are introduced to printmaking through monoprints, Year 8s use foam plates to make prints and Year 9s use perplex to make etchings.

Teaching and learning take place in two light and spacious art rooms. The pupils can arrange to use these rooms during lunchtime Art Club. They are encouraged to use this time, space – and the available staff support – to develop personal projects, finish classwork and engage in creative activities for other subject areas (eg. making props for school productions or models for history projects). Independent learning is encouraged and all class/homework projects are designed such that there is ample space for each student to explore his interests and ideas.

Homework is set fortnightly and provides an opportunity for independent work and research. Tasks are always set with the aim of extending and reinforcing the students’ classroom learning.


Specification – Pearson Edexcel – Art and Design (1AD0)

Specification – Pearson Edexcel – Photography (1PY0)

Artistic enjoyment and creativity have never been more universal, more innovative, more easily distributed, shared and exchanged. The UK has the largest creative sector in the EU, with Art and Design qualifications highly valued, and recognised by every Russell Group University as a complement to core subjects. GCSE Art broadens horizons, stimulates new thinking, and inspires a way of thinking that positively sets students apart.


GCSE Art and Design encourages developing more personal projects with far more choice of preferred mediums compared to lower school. Gallery visits allow first-hand artwork study with a tutor. Media range from drawing and photography to digital programs, animation, film, installation, printmaking, and sculpture. Students quickly become autonomous, work experimentally, and meet deadlines. There is a GCSE Photography option exploring experimental, light and lens-based media instead of broader Art and Design.

During Year 10, students complete a series of short workshop-style projects designed to develop several practical and developmental skills. They then go on to develop more personal coursework. Year 11 involves the completion of a coursework project as part of the mock exam and the final GCSE exam project. Each student’s work is assessed at the end of Year 11 through an exhibition that is marked by both an external moderator and the Art Department’s teaching staff.

GCSE Art and Design can lead to careers in advertising, architecture, design, film, fashion, and more. It also complements careers needing creative, curious thinkers. The qualification is recognised for expanding horizons and developing highly valued skills.


Specification – Pearson Edexcel – Art and Design (9AD0)

Art at A level is about developing an adventurous approach to your practical skills and ideas. You will gain a deeper understanding of past and contemporary art, crafts and design to produce thought-provoking work, within sketchbooks and on a large scale. You will build upon your strengths from the Art GCSE, developing skills which support your studies in every subject. The course is suitable for students who have achieved the minimum of a ‘B’ grade for GCSE Art. If you think you want to do any Art, Architecture or Design-related subject in higher education you must take Art at A level as these university courses require you to show an Art portfolio as part of the application process.

What will I learn on this course?

  • Unit 1: Coursework – Body Language
  • Unit 2: Externally set exam theme
  • Unit 3: Coursework – Practical work and personal study (essay)
  • Unit 4: Externally set exam theme

How is this course assessed?

Assessment is through coursework and exam projects, not written exams. Students must critically analyze their practical work, including a 2nd-year A level essay.

Year 12: 10 hour final piece exam

Year 13: 15 hour final piece exam.

As with GCSE Art there is an exhibition at the end of each year to show off your work to family and friends. Your work is marked by the Art teachers and then by external moderators during the exhibition.

How will this course benefit me in the future?

You can use the portfolio you will have created to continue your Art studies at degree level, opting for a wide range of courses available nationally, with Architecture being a popular choice. It is also popular to complete a one-year ‘foundation’ course and then to study a more specialist three-year degree course. This course will help you in all areas of study by improving your creativity, flexibility, research and problem-solving skills.



Specification – Pearson Edexcel – Photography (9PY0)

Photography has been used by practitioners to record, document and present examples of everyday life, in ordinary and extraordinary circumstances. It has also been used as a vehicle for artistic expression, communicating personal ideas about the world around us.

Students will learn to define their image before it has even been taken by scouting locations and by planning a shot around specific weather conditions or time of day, using filters, lighting, reflectors, props, makeup, or backgrounds to control each element within the frame. Students will learn to consider the application and implications of new and emerging technologies that can be used in conjunction with traditional and digital photography materials.

You do not need to have taken GCSE Art or Photography previously but this may help. You need to be prepared to work creatively, showing the development of your ideas and documentation of each piece of work in your sketchbook. It is advised that you have your own DSLR camera although the Art Department does have some equipment which may be borrowed.

How is the course structured and assessed?

  • 60% Coursework
    You will be given a broad theme and teacher-directed workshops which you will then develop into personal projects. There is one written personal study, which is a minimum of 1000 words and worth 12% of the coursework. There are four clear assessment objectives to meet.
  • 40% Externally set exam
    You will work on an exam project from February to May on a theme set by the exam board. You must then make a related final piece within 15 hours over two to three days in May. As with the coursework, there are four clear assessment objectives to meet.

How will this course benefit me in the future?

You could use your Photography portfolio to get on to an Art Foundation Course or a relevant degree. This course will help you in all areas of study by improving your creativity, flexibility, research and problem-solving skills. You will also be able to take excellent photographs which will be useful throughout your life.