Course Outline


Pupils are introduced to painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, and photography, partly through a focus on the work of relevant artists and designers. Extra-curricular activities are also offered in film, photography and ceramics. The Shell curriculum fundamentally consists of the study of artists and movements throughout history.

Focus is also placed on the contemporary artists exhibiting in the Mount House Gallery. Pupils assimilate a greater understanding of artistic language through practical studio work and written responses. They are also encouraged to discuss art in class, which develops a more mature insight and greater artistic awareness. Specific course content is formulated by individual teachers, with prep being set fortnightly.


Pupils follow the AQA fine Art GCSE course. Coursework (60% of the final mark) consists of more than one unit, exploring different ideas, various media and the work of relevant artists. Their portfolio must encompass at least two artistic disciplines, from a selection which includes drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, animation, installation, mixed media, photography and film. The Controlled Test (40% of the final mark) comprises of a short project, culminating in a ten hour final resolution.

Sixth Form

AS and A2

Up to fifty pupils each year take the 'AS' and 'A2' Level courses (OCR Fine Art and OCR Photography). Our Upper 6th students achieve excellent results at A Level, with many candidates regularly gaining entry to leading Colleges of Art and Design for Foundation Courses, and direct entry to art based degree courses.

Pupils are required to work from direct observation of primary sources, explore the work of relevant artists and to further refine media handling skills gained at GCSE level. Employing numerous choices of media, processes and techniques, they must develop preparatory work into a portfolio of resolved pieces. The Controlled Assignment is a short project with a 5 hour examination.

At A2 Level, pupils should be experienced enough to undertake independent, creative work, specialising in an area of study which includes painting, printmaking, sculpture or lens based media. Students are also expected to complete a 1-3,000 word related study. The Controlled Test is a short project with a final 15 hour piece.