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Departmental Aims

At Dominican College we wish to engage, inspire and challenge our pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. Pupils will develop their observational skills through drawing and painting. They will develop knowledge and understanding of historical and contemporary artworks. These activities act as a strong foundation for pupils to confidently develop creative skills in the exploration of ideas. Our aim is that pupils become aware of the world around them and the impact of Art and Design in the everyday.


Mrs M Mulligan (HoD)

Mrs K McCann

Mrs C Doherty


Key Stage 3

Pupils are given the opportunity to explore a wide range of artistic materials and techniques. With each project they are introduced to an artist and encouraged to develop their art specific vocabulary. Pupils have 1 lesson per week and homework after each lesson. Year 8 has a strong emphasis on painting. Pupils learn about colour theory and techniques to improve their painting. Pupils’ self-esteem and self-confidence is paramount at this stage as we want them to value their abilities. The skills learnt in Year 8 act as a strong foundation throughout their Art and Design education. In Year 9 pupils will work with lino printing, ceramics and embroidery. In Year 10 pupils will develop observational drawing skills in more depth. They will develop skills pattern extraction leading to development of ideas in design.

Year 8 - Colour theory through artist Hundertwasser

Year 8 - Optical Art precision painting through artist Bridget Riley

Year 9 - Learning about world masks through a range of 2D techniques. Using imagery and own inspiration, pupils will design and paint own A3 mask. Pupils then create and print totem pole design onto paper and fabric. They then embroider onto the fabric print.

Year 9 - Pebble Pot Project - Pupils learn about contemporary ceramic artists and will design and make their own ceramic pebble pot.

Year 10 - Detailed observational drawing of the pupil’s own belongings.

Year 10 - Anti bullying competition within school. Pupils develop presentation and design skills. Work is displayed in school and prizes are rewarded at assembly.

Year 10 - Pupils study and record patterns from traditional and contemporary world cultures. They look at many aspects of culture including food. They design and paint a recipe card that displays their visuals in an illustrative manner.

Key Stage 4

Course Content


Pupils will develop imaginative and intuitive ways of working and will develop knowledge and understanding of media, materials and technologies in historical and contemporary contexts, societies and cultures. This course also enables pupils to develop a repertoire of transferable skills that are beneficial many career areas. These skills include time management, self-motivation, critical awareness, problem solving and decision making.  



UNIT 1: Core Portfolio



Pupils will be given a theme to explore in Drawing, Painting and a variety of graphic colour mediums, Printmaking, Digital Photography and digital manipulation of images.


They will then develop this exploration in a minimum of two of the following Disciplines.

  • Textiles (to include Fashion Design)

  • Ceramics

  • Photography

  • Printmaking

  • Three dimensional materials: Wire, Jewellery, Structures

  • Fine Art painting

The work will include contextual research into Artists and/or Designers of these disciplines.



Working on their interest and best performance pupils will select one of the above disciplines.

They will develop and communicate ideas producing a Final Outcome.

The portfolio must be submitted in January before the External Stimulus exam paper.

UNIT 2:  Working to a Stimulus


An Externally set examination stimulus paper will be issued in January of Year 12.

Preparatory work will be produced based on the stimulus theme in February and March. The content will be directed towards the discipline that the pupil will excel in.

A final outcome will be produced in a supervised period of 10 hours in late March /early April of Year 12.

Career Opportunities


Architecture: Many Universities require a portfolio of evidence of Artistic and Design ability for this course, Other courses e.g. Dentistry require “evidence of manual dexterity” many applicants brought their GCSE/AS/ or A2 portfolio work to interview.  (Many of our past pupils, who followed the path into Architecture, had at least AS Art and Design with A Level Physics and /or Maths).

Advertising, Animation and Moving image, Conservator and Restoration, Visual communication and Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Costume Design, Textile Design, Interior Design, Space Design, Theatre and set Design, Product Design, Ceramics, Book Illustration, Furniture Design, Teaching, Lecturing, Art Direction in Magazines and T.V, Photography, Film making, Sculpture, Fine Art Artist, Museum and Gallery curator.

Key Stage 5

Course Outline





Teacher assessment of

student’s coursework

portfolio, with external


60% of AS

30% of overall award.

Summer only

The work for this unit will take the form of a folder with sketchbook/s. A2 pages and exhibition of work, from a

Wide range of media

It should include an outcome in a medium/combination of media of the student’s choice.  E.g. Textiles, Fashion, Fine Art painting or Sculpture. Ceramics, Jewellery Design, 3D Construction, Printmaking, Batik, Photography, Computer Art.

Approximately 10-14 A2 pages or equivalent.


Externally Set


Teacher assessment of controlled test, with external moderation

40% of AS

20% of overall award

This unit consists of an externally set task requiring preparatory work which is carried out in class work and homework and a final response which will be completed as a controlled test component.




Teacher assessment of student’s work with external moderation

60% of A2

30% of overall award

This unit requires the student to communicate theoretical research and understanding through integrated practical and written forms.

The practical investigation should be between a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 12 A2 pages or the equivalent.  An overall response in a medium of the student’s best competence.

The written element will consist of a minimum of 1,000 and a maximum of 2,000 words.


Externally Set


Teacher assessment of preparatory work and controlled test with external moderation

40% of A2

20% of overall award

This unit will require between 8 to 12 A2 pages or equivalent of preparatory work.

A final response to be completed within a supervised examination period.


Art and Design at Dominican College

The standard of Art and Design at Dominican college is exceptional.

This high quality is evident throughout the school building which is adorned with excellent examples of pupils’ painting, textiles and Ceramics.

What careers are available with Art and Design Qualifications?

There are many professions where qualifications in Art and Design provide a clear benefit to the pupil, for example Photography (artistic, commercial and editorial), Interior design, publishing, make up/costume artist, teaching (nursery through to university level), Film, TV, animation.

Many of our past pupils have gone on to lead very successful careers in the art industry; working in Illustration, Publishing, Creative business, Architecture, Events management, Medicine, Dentistry, Graphic design and Fashion Management.

I enjoy Art and Design but I don’t wish to pursue it as career. What can I benefit with an Art and Design qualification?

Education for Employability - There is a government drive to encourage young people to embark upon STEAM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics), as labour market information has indicated that the local economy needs greater expertise in these fields.

The skills gained and the personal qualities developed through Art and Design are beneficial in many careers:

  1. Strong communication skills – written, visual and verbal.

  2. Self-discipline - ability to set and achieve goals.

  3. Time management – working successfully to a deadline.

  4. Manual dexterity – ability to handle a range of materials, tools and equipment.

  5. Presentation skills – presenting ideas and most importantly solutions to clients.

  6. Problem solving – using innovation to redefine a concept with time and cost constraints.

  7. Teamwork - flexibility and patience.

  8. Interpreting clients’ needs – attention to detail and analytical skills.

  9. Commercial awareness – ability to research current trends to inform own work.


Pupils are encouraged to visit Art galleries and exhibitions. At GCSE, pupils spend a day at the Duncairn Arts centre where they meet contemporary artists and take part in workshops to develop their understanding of the creative industries. At A Level pupils spend the day at the Ulster Museum. They are given a personalised tour of the Royal Ulster Academy (RUA) exhibition and take part in an artist workshop.

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