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Claremont High School Academy

Art & Design

Head of Department

Ms Bianca Davis


A Level

Exam Board


Entry Requirements

  • 5 or above at GCSE Art & Design / Fine Art / Graphic Communications
  • 6 or above in any other Visual GCSE e.g. Product Design, Photography etc.
  • Students who do not have the above may be considered based on portfolio evidence

Why study this course

The Art & Design A Level at Claremont has been designed to offer a broad-based art, craft and design education enabling you to pursue any of the wide range of Visual Arts pathways available post 18.

The course introduces you to a broad range of visual disciplines including fine art, graphic communication, 3D design, textile design and digital arts. You are supported in exploring the specialisms and media that you are interested in, whilst developing your strengths. You will have the opportunity to learn about career opportunities and the work or artists, designers and craftsmen, and how to develop a portfolio to enable you to access further education in Visual Arts.

Engagement with the arts helps you to develop a sense of your own identity and value. Studying Art & Design enables you to develop an appreciation of difference and diversity and the views of others. This, in turn, develops personal responsibility within the school and wider community. 

Course Overview

We run the AQA A Level in Art, Craft & Design. The course runs over 2 years and all work produced in that time is eligible to be submitted for assessment.

Unit 1: (60% of final grade)

Portfolio Module

Personal Investigation

Year 12 and Year 13 (till January)

Students explore a range of 2D and 3D processes and specialisms through their initial ideas. This will then lead into a negotiated individual practical project supported by a piece of written work between 1000 and 3000 words. This project is an in-depth investigation into a theme exploring relevant media and techniques thoroughly. The portfolio must be meaningful and well researched, exploring a range of contemporary and historical sources.

Unit 2: (40% of final grade)

Externally Set Assignment

Year 13 - February

From a limited range of options given by the exam board, students select one option for an independent visual research project. This project is expected to be an in-depth investigation leading to the production of a high-quality outcome, produced over 15 hours.


All projects are assessed across 4 equally weighted assessment objectives. The course is taught so that you work through each Assessment Objective with a process of exploring and refining to develop your ideas and skills and you progress.

The Assessment Objectives are:


Objective 1


Objective 2


Objective 3


Objective 4

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

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

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

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

Exam specification


SoW Checklists

Assessment Grid


Residential Trip is offered in year 12 and year 13:

Every year we run a residential trip either in the UK or abroad, this is a chance to explore different cultures, quality of light and scenery. This is timed to coincide with Unit 2 to help students develop visual research and ideas quickly.

Visits to museums and galleries:

Living in London you are surrounded by a wealth of art, design and cultural inspiration. We have some of the greatest formal collections of Art & Design in the world as well as cutting edge contemporary commercial galleries. The visual and cultural world around you should be explored to develop your understanding not just in Art & Design but across all areas and disciplines of learning.

Opportunity to support in running Animation clubs for lower years:

Working with younger years supports our students with their own technical understanding whilst also developing their communication and social skills. It is a fantastic opportunity for 6th former to work outside of their specialisms as well as build their CVs.

Film Club:

This club is 6th form only and is a chance to build a broader cultural understanding of the world around them. Films range from factual to fantasy and everything in between. The cinematic world is a brilliant way of learning beyond the classroom.

Future Pathways

Art & Design is the preferred pathway for a huge range of creative and visual areas. Our students consistently get places at Russell Group Universities as well as highly competitive courses such as Central Saint Martin’s Foundation and Goldsmith’s Fine Art. In recent years, many of our students have gone on to graduate with First Class BAs in subjects like Architecture and Fine Art from; Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, Newcastle and Queen’s University Belfast. 

Beyond academic pathways, the career opportunities for those with a creative background are enormous. All careers and professions value someone with critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as someone who can think outside the box. For example, visually and clearly communicating an idea from research to execution, to implement change within a company. The creative process is what sets individuals apart from the rest and is highly recognised by all professionals; Problem – Idea Generation – Solution – Execution.

BA Courses that specify Art & Design as a preferred or required pathway include but are not limited to:

  • Architecture
  • Animation
  • Advertising
  • Cinematography
  • Digital Arts
  • Fashion Design
  • Fine Art
  • Game and Media Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration
  • Interior Design
  • Model Design
  • Textiles
  • Visual Culture
  • Visual Communiation
  • 3D Design BA.