The King's School in Macclesfield


      Art and Design

      About the Department

      Art at King’s offers pupils the opportunity to develop their creativity in a wide variety of contexts. Through exploring and sharing ideas, pupils develop confidence and independence in learning. By engaging in imaginative and creative activities pupils learn to take managed risks, trying out new ways of working without fear of failure. Art helps pupils to appreciate the diversity of ideas with their own and other cultures and traditions. Art promotes an enterprising culture and develops pupils’ ability to work collaboratively. A pupil’s understanding and appreciation of fine art, design and craft will enrich their lives now and in the future. Art at King’s offers every pupil the opportunity to think, organise and plan ideas, build up confidence and become independent learners. The King’s five Learning Habits underpin all that is done in the Art Department.

      The Art Department consists of three full-time specialist Art teachers and an Art & Design Technician, all of whom are also practitioners within their own specialist areas. We pride ourselves on the preparation that we provide for our students to enter a world of education and employment within the creative industries.

      Examination Results

      We have an outstanding academic record at GCSE and A Level:

      GCSE         9-7 = 56%         9-4 = 100%

      A Level       A*/A = 43%      A*- B = 93%

      Subject Content & Syllabus

      The Art Curriculum is as follows:

      1. The KS3 Visual Studies Course for everybody in Years 7 & 8 and for those who opt in Year 9.

      2. The two year GCSE Course in Art & Design (EDUQAS) 60% of marks are for coursework and 40% for exam. Class sizes are typically 10-18 in Years 10 and 11, ensuring a great deal of individual attention. Pupils follow a broad ‘Art, Craft and Design’ course allowing them to experience breadth of technique before selecting specific areas of focus.

      3. The two year A Level in Art & Design (EDUQAS) Coursework (60%) and exam (40%) are examined in the form of an exhibition at the end of Year 13.

      4. The Arts Award qualification, as part of the Extended Studies programme in Year 13.

      5. The Recreational Art course, available to any Year 12 and 13 students.

      Monitoring & Assessment

      At Key Stage 3, all pupils are marked and assessed on their classwork and homework with many opportunities for extended project work and assessment. At Key Stage 4 and 5, pupils’ work is continually assessed as their portfolios progress and there are several exam opportunities for students to practise their exam technique. End of year examinations are taken in the summer of Years 7 and 10. Public examinations are taken in Years 11 and 13.

      Enrichment Opportunities

      Pupils are encouraged to participate in competitions and exhibitions. We have had winners in the HMC Schools Art Exhibition, Junior Cartoonist of the Year, Portico Schools Art Prize, Bullseye International Glass Competition, Living Edge Schools Art Prize, Merchant Taylors’ Photography Competition, Specialist Crafts School Art Prize and the National ‘Design a Book Cover’ Competition.

      The school has recently had work exhibited at The Birley Gallery in Manchester, Jobling Gowler Gallery in Macclesfield, Manchester City Art Gallery, Merchant Taylors’ Hall in London, The Lowry and the Portico Gallery in Manchester.

      Art Clubs are available most lunchtimes each week. After-school Art Club takes place several times a week, often more frequently during busy times of the year.  These can either target specific groups or be open access. Life Drawing is offered after school for Sixth Form students.

      Recent trips include: Year 12 London trip, North Wales annual drawing weekend, Cheshire in Italy residential course, Michael Brennand Wood at Ruthin Craft Centre, Chatsworth House, Styal Mill, Peter Randall Page at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Cheshire Gifted and Talented Residential Weekend in Anglesey, Design Your Future at MCCC. We also host visiting Artists in Residence, most recently Aimee Dymond and Rebecca Moore.


      Students combine Art with an extremely wide variety of subjects, from traditional Arts and Humanities subjects to Maths and Sciences. Art students at King’s have progressed on to an impressive range of top courses at University, both within and outside of creative fields. This includes the best Art, Design and Architecture courses and also a wide range of non-art related degree courses at many of the top universities including Oxford, Cambridge and Russell Group Universities, studying subjects including Pharmacy, Psychology, Law, Biochemistry, English Literature & Language, Advertising, Engineering, MFL and Business. Many careers in Art and Design are now within skills shortage areas, which can lead to excellent job prospects. Employment demand within the creative industries has huge growth potential and employers will need creative minds to fulfill future employment requirements.

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