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The Henry








60% personal portfolio 

40% externally set assignment


Grades 9-1



GCSE Art contains two components:

The Personal Portfolio 60% 

Students will work on projects from themes which are set by your teachers.

For each project students will produce supporting studies (sketchbook work) and personal responses (final pieces).


The Externally Set Assignment 40%

Students will work on an externally set theme

Students will produce sketchbook work and preparatory studies for around 10 weeks

Students will have 10 hours of sustained focus to produce personal response(s)

Within each project/component students will use and experiment with a diverse range of materials, media and techniques and explore and respond to work from a wide range of artists and craftspeople. Students will need to be able to meet deadlines and work independently, imaginatively and creatively.


Please note: This option cannot be taken with Photography.


Year 7 and 8

As soon as they start art lessons in lower school, students are encouraged to be curious about the visual world and to experiment and explore their own ideas and creativity in a structured way in order to develop their own practical and creative thinking skills. 

Themes and skills overlap through the course so that students can develop these skills while gaining insight into how visual ideas link and the way in which the visual arts and the made world connect. 

Project themes are based around: Natural forms, Architecture and Portraiture. 

Projects are designed to be thoroughly inclusive and give students a taste of these genres in both a traditional and more contemporary sense by looking at specific artists and craftspeople from very different cultural contexts and eras, encouraging all students to understand how Art & Design has evolved over time. 

Year 7 students start the curriculum with a short baseline drawing project called “About Me” in order to capture their imagination and introduce Artists that they may revisit later. 

This is followed by our “Elements” project based around the Visual/Formal Elements which enables students to learn about the building blocks of visual communication enabling them to vocalise their own ideas and thoughts about Art and Design. Importantly, this also helps students to learn a broad range of skills and techniques in order to create their own visual work within their next 2 projects based around Cubist Portraiture and Insects/papercutting.

The year 8 curriculum revisits and builds upon skills and knowledge allowing students to progress and develop their own creativity and visual language using the same sketchbook so that yr7 learning can be referenced and built upon. 

Further emphasis is placed on future Career opportunities and the Commercial world of Art and Design with the “Typography and Identity” project.

Skills and ideas learned about Portraiture and Cubism are then developed and explored in more depth and with more ambitious use of materials in 3d with our “Gargoyles and Grotesques” Project

This curriculum is designed to give yr7 and 8 a broad education in the visual Arts which will act as a springboard and enable students to develop their own creative language if they choose to opt for either Art, Craft and Design or Photography GCSE.