Crispin School


Art & Photography

Crispin Art and Photography Department prides itself on educating individuals to open their eyes to the wide range of artistic opportunities available to them; as well as allowing students to focus on their particular areas of interest if desired at GCSE. We are a popular GCSE option choice, with around half the cohort choosing either Fine Art or Photography; some students choose to do both.

GCSE results are among the highest nationally and have been over 90% A* - C/4 - 9 for the last six years. In 2016 the department was named the 'Area of Excellence' for the school Challenge Partners review.  Extra-curricular opportunities include prefect run art and photography clubs at lunchtimes and an open door policy on other lunchtimes so that students can do their Art homework, try out Photoshop or catch up with classwork. After school sessions are available every day for GCSE students to continue their work.  We have close links with Strode College and each year we take our GCSE students to visit their end of year art show. The department is well equipped and resourced; we have two art rooms, one photography/art room, a photography studio, and we have just moved into a purpose built Innovation Hub with new large rooms with inspiring views.

Key Stage 3

We run a structured programme at Key Stage 3 which allows for significant progress as the students develop from year 7 up to year 8. Each project is structured to allow for formal elements to be taught alongside development of their creativity. Homework is set via a “Connect 4” style homework sheet. From this sheet students can choose four or five homeworks to complete based on their interests, skills, and experience. These may include: a piece of artist research/analysis, a painting, photography, digital editing skills, and 3D homework.  In Year 8, students begin to have more freedom; they try out photography and are given projects which help them to become GCSE ready if they choose to take GCSE Art or Photography. All projects are informed by a wide range of cultural sources including: fine artists, cultures, designers, and photographers.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 students can opt to study either GCSE Photography or Fine Art. The beginning of the Fine Art course is based on identity. Students follow a structured programme until Easter in Year 10 when they start a Natural Forms project which is kicked off by a visit to Bristol Zoo, followed by the Eden Project.  This project continues to teach skills but also allows for students to identify and work toward their strengths. The idea being that by the end of Year 10, many students are working independently with tutorial help from their teacher.  We encourage more freedom and the structure allows all students the opportunity to develop skills and experience which help them to become successful in their GCSEs and develop as artists. They finish their coursework unit by the end of December in Year 11 and then start their externally set task in January before the practical ten hour exam in April.

In Photography we start an Identity project at the beginning of Year 10 and spend the first 2 terms developing the skills they need to become successful throughout the course with expertise in using the camera and Photoshop. The timeline of the course is similar to that of the Fine Art GCSE. 

Topics Covered this Academic Year

Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Year 7

Observational drawing of natural forms, illustration and printmaking.

Fauvism landscape painting. Developing use of oil pastels and acrylic paint.

Observational drawing of Insects. Drawing using a wide range of media.

Year 8

Self-portraiture collage, including structural portrait drawing.

Surrealism – students are introduced to Photography and may choose to produce work in drawing, painting, sculpture or photography.

GCSE style sketchbook project based on Somerset landscape and nature.

Year 9 Art

Drawing, painting, printmaking and photography still life foundation project


Identity project - sketchbook techniques, observational drawing, printmaking.

Year 9 Photography

Photography Identity project – Use of their camera and Photoshop skills. Sub-topics include - Viewpoints, Text & Image, Light and Experimental Portraits. All students produce their first final piece.



Year 10 Art

Development of independent Identity work which will lead towards an A1 size acrylic painting

Natural forms project

Fine Art – Zoo book, details and textures and drawing.

Photography – Zoo book, animals and fruit.

Year 10 Photography

Students will get the opportunity to develop work from a  wide range of natural forms sources; including fruit and vegetables, animals, seasons, water and four elements.


Year 11

Natural forms project

Students in both subjects work independently towards a final piece based on natural forms. Fine Art students have the option to go back and develop their Identity project.

Externally set task

Students get an exam paper which is set by the exam board in January. They may choose one of the titles to develop and explore in a new sketchbook. This concludes with a 10 hour controlled test where students produce a final piece and complete their GCSE.

Artwork of the Week

Each week, we select an outstanding piece of art or photography by one of our students to display. This gallery will display the current Artwork of the Week as well as all previous pieces.

To see more of our student's artwork and photography pieces, like our Art Facebook page and follow us on Twitter!

Last Updated: January 2021

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