“Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses, especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”

Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) 





  • Mr John McLaughlin (Head of Department)
  • Mr Charles Fitzsimons


Art & Design Facilities

Students and staff enjoy excellent facilities in our school building including a large 3D design studio with a adjacent kiln room, a 2D Fine Art studio, an A level study annex, and a state of the art Mac computer suite.  In addition there is a purpose built display area located outside the practical classrooms.


General Information About the Art & Design Department

This subject is offered to all students from Year 8 – 14 with many students opting at the end of Key Stage 3 to study at GCSE level leading on to AS/A2 level. As a Department we are very proud of our student achievements both academically and in art competitions. Art & Design is a very successful and popular subject with a consistently high pass rate in public examinations each year.

Key Stage 3

Year 8 - 10 students are encouraged to be active independent learners where they can think inventively and creatively and at the same time acquire practical and perceptual skills. In addition to drawing & painting, students are encouraged to use a wide range of media, materials, and techniques as part of experimentation e.g model making, ceramics, sculpture, textiles, print making, graphic design using ICT.

Art work units are carefully structured and mapped within monthly themes linked to a connected homework schedule in order to reinforce classroom teaching and learning among our students and to build skills incrementally. Students are encouraged to widen their knowledge & understanding within the subject by visiting local museums and art galleries in order to develop literacy & recording skills.

We also try to give students access to local artists in different fields with a series of one day pupil workshops during the school year. 

Assessment & Evaluation in Art & Design

Departmental planning involves tracking individual progress by continuous assessment and evaluation. Student participation, engagement, motivation and creative development is encouraged throughout these activities, to build confidence and self esteem on an individual basis and at a class level leading to progression and achievement.

As part of our continuous assessment, careful attention is given to the homework schedule followed by KS3 students as a way to measure progress and develop closer links with parents. In the art department we encourage our students to take pride in their own work and appreciate and value the work of other pupils.

"Education is not the filling of a bucket but the lighting of a fire"

W.B. Yeats. 


At the end of Key Stage 3 (Year 10) our students choose which subjects they are going to study for GCSE. If your son has chosen GCSE Art & Design he will start the practical course in September of Year 11.


(Glenn O'Neill Art & Design coursework sculpture at Stormont buildings)

General Course Outline:

The Coursework Portfolio (Part 1) is based on a selected theme chosen by each pupil, starting in Sept of Year 11 and concluding in January of Year 12. During this time each pupil will complete various planned activities using an A2 size sketchbook or the equivalent A2 sheets. Class work should be supported by work prepared at home on a weekly basis.

Pupils will be encouraged to work to their strengths & interests as they progress through the GCSE theme, e.g 2D or 3D work / ICT work / drawing & painting. They will follow an "Action Plan" to help them structure the work they do for the CCEA Art & Design Examination.

  • CCEA GCSE Art & Design

Part 1 Coursework portfolio & Part 2 Externally Set Exam

The GCSE coursework portfolio takes two years to complete and at the end of that time each student has to:

  • Display approx 14 A2 size sheets in an exhibition of their coursework portfolio + a CCEA GCSE practical examination unit.
  • Submit their Coursework Final Portfolio Outcome e.g sculpture / painting / clay construction, and their two years of investigation work. * Pupils must include a design element and also use a wide range of media in their coursework.
  • Annotate their investigation sheets using ICT. Literacy skills will be assessed as part of the GCSE Art & Design examination.
  • Sit a planned 10 hour CCEA GCSE practical ESA examination (usually in March of Year 12). This work will include a final outcome piece and its planning (approx 8 A2 sheets) presented as a pupil exhibition for marking/moderation in Mid-May by CCEA.

Marking Criteria

The coursework component accounts for 60% and the examination accounts for the other 40% of the marks – based on the 4 Assessment Objectives.

A Level

*A student wishing to study CCEA Art & Design at AS/A2 Level needs to have a minimum of a Grade B in the subject at GCSE level plus a genuine interest and capability in this creative subject. Further details about the courses mentioned can be obtained from the CCEA website: www.ccea.org.uk

All students at examination level are guided carefully and supported on an individual basis through coursework and exam assignments in order to produce high standard outcomes. Each year our exam art classes are taken to the CCEA True Colours Exhibition at the Ulster Museum, Belfast to help set targets and plan class project work.

Students at this level are entered for the following Public examinations;

  • CCEA AS Art & Design

AS.1 Coursework Portfolio & AS.2 Externally Set Exam

  • CCEA A2 Art & Design

A2.1 Personal Investigation (coursework & A2.2 Externally Set Exam)

External Art & Design Achievements

  • CCEA True Colours Annual Art & Design showcase exhibition. Each year a number of our high achieving students have their work selected by CCEA for inclusion in their exhibition in the Ulster Museum.

  • A selection of our best student AS/A2 artwork from the most recent public examinations is also shown each year in the Down Arts Centre as part of the Local Schools Annual Art Exhibition during the summer holidays.

Recent high achieving A Level Art & Design students in St Patrick's G S:

 2008  Cormac Carville
 2009  Stephen Boyd
 2010  Shane Walsh
 2011  Matthew Murnin
 2012  Lee Kennedy
 2013  Taylor Kirk
 2014  Eve Kelly
 2015  Macauley King



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