The St Richard’s Art Department aims to open all pupils’ eyes to the world and prepare those continuing on with art with the creativity and skills to make a success of higher education. Individuals going into Higher Education and gaining degrees in Art and Design are well-equipped for the world of work. Creative thinkers are highly employable and are much sought after in the world of design, television, media, film, galleries, museums and education. The creative industries are now one of the highest graduate employers in the UK.


Meet the department
  • Mr Peachment – Subject Leader of Art
  • Miss Pennington – Teacher of Art
  • Mrs Miller – Teacher of Art
  • Mr Pavey – Teacher of Art


Art Essentials

All Key Stage Three pupils receive art lessons that base practical activities on a growing understanding of critical studies. Basic studies in technique and understanding develop in Year 7 into more open ended work that prepares pupils for GCSE in Year 10. Pupils may opt to study Art, Craft and Design or Fine Art in Year 9 where GCSE level work is embedded. Pupils are encouraged to work in GCSE styled sketchbooks during Year 9 and pupils may opt to attend extra lessons in term 6 of Year 9 to ensure a smoother transition to GCSE.

 The department has its own Twitter page:

Art Department website:


Exam Success

The GCSE results for Fine Art and Art Craft and Design were excellent in 2023, one of the best sets of results we have achieved, with 100% of the cohort getting a 4 or above. Our grades are well above the national average and the percentage of grades at 7,8,9 are exceptional. Overall the Department achieved twelve 9s, four 8s, twelve 7s, six 6s, and one 4.



Pupils opt in the latter part of Year 9 for either the Edexcel Fine Art course or the Edexcel Art, Craft and Design course. Both courses require pupils to develop a portfolio of coursework and complete an externally-set task.


Fine Art and Design develops the following skills:

  • the ability to research and analyse
  • objective drawing, painting and other media techniques
  • hand-eye co-ordination
  • ability to develop and manipulate ideas and to think laterally in the process of problem-solving
  • the ability to express oneself creatively


Art and Design pupils will be expected to demonstrate skills and techniques in the context of their chosen areas of study within art, craft and design:

  • making appropriate use of colour, line, tone, texture, shape and form.
  • using different approaches to recording images, such as observation, analysis, expression and imagination.
  • showing in their work an understanding of the conventions of representational and abstract/non-representational imagery and genres.
  • investigating different ways of working, as appropriate to their chosen areas of study within art, craft and design.
  • providing evidence of an understanding of spatial qualities, composition, rhythm, scale and structure.
  • providing evidence of the use of safe working practices.

Pupils may progress to A Level. A Level pupils usually take a Foundation Course (Diploma in Foundation Studies) prior to university. Pupils progress from it onto university degree courses. Individuals going onto Higher Education and gaining degrees in Art and Design are well-equipped for the world of work.

Creative thinkers are highly employable and are much sought after in the world of design, television, media, film, galleries, museums and education. The creative industries are now one of the highest graduate employers in the UK.

Possible career choices include:  artist, product designer, TV set designer, exhibition designer, sculptor, architect, cartoonist, video games, print-maker, graphic designer, window dresser, fashion design, illustration, film work and the music industry.

General Aims

The Department aims to develop the aesthetic and practical capability of each pupil irrespective of ability, sex, colour or creed, through a course that links both the critical and practical domains.  Pupils will progress from more teacher-based activities in the lower school to more individual project based work required for GCSE.


The pupils as a method of examining and understanding both their religious and secular environment and other issues that affect their lives should use Art and Design.


Pupils should learn both how to co-operate in working with others whilst independently pursuing their own work.


Pupils should learn through Critical Studies in Art and Design how the latter has affected and been affected by society and try to develop a context within which to place their own practical work.  This should also involve pupils in looking beyond our own Western society.


The environment in which the pupils work should foster good working practice matching the needs of numbers to available space, whilst taking care of aspects such as safety, visual stimulation and the availability of working equipment.  Also there must be the availability of space, equipment and advice for those pupils wishing to develop their work outside of lesson time.


The Art Department aims to foster links with other departments through Cross Curricular work, with other establishments through competitions and exhibitions and with the home through normal homework and the encouragement of pupils to continue major pieces of work both at home and in school.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

All Key Stage 3 Year 7 groups will be introduced to a foundation course in Art and Design.

In Year 7 and 8 pupils will spend a half a year working in Fine Art and half a year working in Art and Design. In Year 9 pupils opt for a pathway subject and focus on either Art, Craft and Design or Fine Art.

Critical studies work to be undertaken at KS3 will cover a range of artists, designers, photographers, architects etc. The critical studies will normally be directly linked to practical activities.

Year 7 will continue to be a year in which many basics are taught from drawing and painting and 3D through to research and analysis.

Year 8 will broaden the theory learnt in Year 7 with the introduction of far more sight work and the introduction of thematic compositional studies as the basis for 2D and 3D work.

Year 9 pupils will research a variety of topics in relation to their critical studies. They will become more aware of their potential to develop set themes in a more individual way making more use of research material. They are expected to work at a GCSE level 5 or above. They will develop work in a way that prepares them for the project work encountered in Year 10.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

In both EDEXCEL endorsements pupils create work that demonstrates knowledge, understanding and skills. All pupils will have to submit evidence of drawing to support the development process in both the Personal Portfolio and Externally Set Assignment (ESA). All pupils will have to use written annotation and appropriate specialist terminology to record their ideas, observations, insights and independent judgements.

Pupils undertaking Art, Craft and Design must create work associated with areas of study chosen from at least two of the endorsed titles Art, Craft and Design; Fine Art; Graphic Communication; Textile Design; Three-dimensional Design; Architecture; Photography. Pupils will be introduced to a variety of materials and techniques and will learn about artists’ work through research and gallery visits. Pupils are encouraged to be experimental, to work from observation and imagination, and to develop their ideas from the beginning to the end. Drawing is at the heart of art, craft and design – from initial sketches and detailed observations to mark-making and expressive lines – and forms a core element of the practice of artists, craftspeople and designers.

Fine Art may be defined as work developed primarily to communicate aesthetic, intellectual or purely conceptual ideas and meaning, rather than to serve a practical or commercial function. For example, work could be the outcome of personal experiences, thoughts and feelings, or simply to observe and record people, places and things in new and unique ways. Fine art work will demonstrate an understanding and application of formal elements and creative skills, including mark-making, painting, drawing and printmaking. Pupils will use visual communication sensitively and thoughtfully to document their artistic journey and fully support their intentions.

Assessment in Art

In KS3, all pupils are set an aspirational target level that is based on their KS2 average point score and other relevant data.  At KS4, pupils are set an aspirational target grade based on Fischer Family Trust and our own internal assessment data. Pupils are expected to achieve this grade and will be supported to do so.

Work is marked using levels at KS3 and GCSE grades at KS4. Past paper questions are marked according to exam board mark schemes.

Personal Portfolio is 60% of the GCSE qualification. Pupils create a personal portfolio of work comprising of supporting studies and personal response(s). Externally Set Assignment is 40% of the qualification. It draws together all the knowledge, understanding and skills developed over the coursework. Externally set broad-based thematic starting point released on 2 January. A centre-devised preparatory study period followed by a 10-hour sustained focus period in which pupils create personal response(s) and supporting studies.

Extra-curricular Activities & Enrichment

All our pupils experience lots of positive enrichment in the St Richard’s Art and Design Department. We took part in the Farley Art Trust Awards – A Celebration of East Sussex Schools and Colleges Visual Arts at Farley Gallery.  I am happy to announce that our pupils won the very prestigious first prize in each of their categories. First prize in the GCSE painting category, first prize in the GCSE works on paper category and first prize in the sketchbook category. David Dimbleby handed out the prizes.


Our Year Sevens worked with enthusiasm on their excellent submissions for the ‘Design a Front Cover for The Year 7 Welcome Mass’ competition. The chosen submission took pride of place on the cover of the Welcome Mass Booklet.


Year 10 took part in a series of art and printmaking workshops to develop their GCSE Art coursework and were taught by art teachers at the School of Education at Brighton University. It was a fantastic opportunity to try new skills and experience life in university. They also took part in a trip to The De La Warr Pavilion to study the Peter Blake exhibition, ‘Alphabets, Letters and Numbers’. They made portfolio work inspired by their trip.


Our Year 8’s successfully won The Lions Peace Prize; a cheque and trophy. We also teamed up with the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Children’s Fund for their annual Art Competition, and we won first, second and third prize. The ‘Comets and Rockets in Space’ competition was very successful with our pupils winning work being represented at the Astronomy and Space Exhibition, Battle Memorial Hall, Battle. The Department was very happy to organise posters for Anti-Bullying week. The Christmas Card design competition for Miss Cronin had some fantastic entries and the winning entry was printed. The Department also ran an ‘Artful Physics Competition’.


I accompanied the MFL Department to Barcelona to provide input on the artists and architects of the city. A photographic display is currently in B Block. The Department also designed and made a stage set for the final Christmas Advent Service based on Matthew 2:13-15 ‘Mary and Joseph flee as refugees to Egypt with the baby Jesus.’ Year 7 are currently designing the stage set for ‘Our House’ the end of year drama production.


We had The Towner Gallery from Eastbourne in and they ran a workshop for our Year 9 pupils who intend to study Art GCSE next year. All the pupils were focused and there was a real buzz of activity in the room. The excellent work produced was exhibited back in The Towner Gallery. We ran a Mask making workshop on behalf of the MFL Department carnival celebrations with fantastically colourful results. We ran a Show and Tell enrichment evening for staff. Topics were 1. Mindfulness and the Art of Drawing 2. Staff Sketchbook Circle 3. Art Department use of exemplar material and personal sketchbooks 4. Ian Murphy CPD Drawing Workshop and Giacometti at Tate Modern 5. St Richard’s GCSE Art and Design Exhibition.


We held an Ian Murphy Art Workshop for teachers at school. It was an excellent, teacher centred development programme delivered by the highly regarded Fine Artist, Ian Murphy. From the website:

‘’You will be able to see and flick through his sketchbooks and finished artworks, whilst being given the opportunity to photograph everything, as a valuable resource for your school. You will experience the impressive layering techniques first hand, as he challenges you to undertake all the processes he uses in his studio. As an experienced Artist Educator, Ian Murphy guides you through every strategy he uses with students, and disseminates the best way to enhance your professional development, for easy use in the classroom. All the techniques naturally evolve from the small scale sketchbook drawing, through to the exciting, layered qualities that students love to embrace.’’


Further enrichment projects for our pupils were as follows. Year 10 GCSE Art pupils worked on a stimulating project with the DLWP and artist Felicity Truscott. The pupils visited the Simon Patterson exhibition at the DLWP, met the artist and asked him questions about his work. Ten Year 7 pupils took part in a fantastic sound project with the De La Warr Pavilion. Pupils visited the Simon Patterson exhibition before it opened to the public for a preview of his work and then were recorded discussing the work. The recordings ended up as part of the exhibition for visitors to listen to. We had a virtual robot tour around the Hastings Contemporary, and have a Carne Griffiths workshop booked where pupils will produce an ink drawing with the artist.


Further staff enrichment was in the form of a ‘Sketchbook Circle’.


The original sketchbook Circle is a year-long collaborative project established to encourage artist educators to make time for their own personal work.


Finally, we ran a GCSE Art trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The pupils took part in a workshop run by the V&A learning team to help develop their GCSE Art coursework. The pupils visited the exhibition – Their Mortal Remains, an experience that was  a spectacular and unparalleled audio-visual journey through Pink Floyd’s unique and extraordinary worlds; chronicling the music, design, and staging of the band, from their debut in the 1960s through to the present day.