Art & Design

Subject Team

Mrs McCarthy (Head of Department)
Mrs McVeigh
Mrs Strain


All Year 8, 9 and 10 students study an hour of Art per week. Student are prepared for lessons by bringing an art pack with workbook, paints, brush and pencils.

There are three major projects covered each year:

  • A 2D activity, (painting, mixed media, ICT, graphic design etc.)
  • A 3D activity, (ceramics, papier mache, cardboard construction etc.) and
  • An additional activity, (such as textiles, batik, printmaking or embroidery).


Examination Board: CCEA – A GCSE Art & Design Student Guide can be gained by following the link below.

Why study Art and Design?
The study of GCSE Art and Design creates a pathway to a future career in a creative or cultural field. It builds on the knowledge and skills developed at Key Stage 3 and prepares students for further study in Art and Design. You will have opportunities to develop your creative, intellectual and artistic abilities. You will also have stimulating and challenging opportunities to develop personal knowledge, understanding and skills through investigating, realising, experimenting and problem solving, which will contribute to your employability.

What skills will I learn?
Through studying this course, students will:
• Develop knowledge, understanding and awareness of the purpose of art, craft and design in a variety of contexts through their own work and the research of others’ work;
• Have opportunities to actively engage in the creative process of art, craft and design developing their creative, imaginative and intuitive capabilities, critical and reflective thinking skills and technical skills;
• Be encouraged to work independently and with a broad range of media to experiment, take risks and refine ideas and outcomes.

What can I do with a qualification in Art and Design?
The creative and cultural industries are fast growing areas of the economy and are key to economic success. Northern Ireland has established a reputation in these industries. The study of GCSE Art and Design nurtures a range of qualities which are highly sought after by employers. These include creativity, problem solving, resourcefulness, resilience, imagination, empathy and innovation.

Higher order thinking skills such as researching, analysing and reflecting are embedded throughout this qualification. Possible careers include advertising, architecture, art curation, craft, jewellery, fashion design, car design, film, costume design, special effects, make-up, photography, graphic design, set design, furniture design, interior design, animation, software design, toys and game design.

A wide range of STEM careers such as engineering now also require creative, artistic and design skills. It has now been acknowledged that innovation, creativity and ingenuity are essential skills that are needed to complement STEM programmes. As a result the “A” for Art has turned STEM to STEAM. STEAM programs add art to the STEM curriculum by drawing on design principles and encouraging creative solutions.

‘STEM is based on skills generally using the left half of the brain and thus is logic driven. Much research and data shows that activities like Arts, which uses the right side of the brain supports and fosters creativity, which is essential to innovation. Clearly the combination of superior STEM education combined with Arts education (STEAM) should provide us with the education system that offers us the best chance for regaining the innovation leadership essential to the new economy.’
Harvey P. White

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A Level

At St. Patrick’s Academy we follow the CCEA GCE specification for Art & Design. It is a challenging and exciting course which is a natural progression from GCSE, building on the students’ strengths and experiences gained at Key Stage 4.  The course is broken down into two components and completed over a two year period.

GCE Art & Design has a 4 Unit Assessment Structure.

2 Units are completed in Year 13 – AS level

  • AS 1: Coursework Portfolio
  • AS 2: Externally Set Assignment

And 2 Units are completed in Year 14 – A2 level

  • A2 1: Personal Investigation
  • A2 2: Externally Set Assignment

Subject News/Events


  • Two students had their work selected for 2013’s True Colours’ Exhibition which showcases the best examples of candidates’ work.
  • 9 students achieved full marks in their GCSE Art & Design
  • 2 students achieved full marks in their A2 Art & Design
  • 1 student achieved full marks in their A Level GCE Art & Design (this student obtained full marks at AS and A2- this same student also achieved full marks at GCSE)


  • Maire Kane Yr14 has been selected as court artist to represent the school in the Mock Trial Competition
  • 3 students won prizes in the Texaco children’s art competition and have their work currently displayed in the Ulster Museum.
    – Maire Kane 14E
    – Aaron Monaghan 10B
    – Ellen Cassidy, past pupil who is now studying Architecture in Queen’s University Belfast.


Maire Kane, 14E, alongisde her work displayed in the Ulster Museum.

Educational Visits/Trips


  • Turner Prize Peace III visit to The Old Barracks Derry for Yr14- joint trip with The Royal School
  • In January 2013 the year 13 art group visited Seacourt Printing company in Bangor for an Intaglio printing workshop.
  • 30 Year 10 students attended a Creative Choices workshop featuring future art & design career options at the Belfast Metropolitan.


  • In November and December 2014 both year 13 and 14 revisted Seacourt Printing company for the Intaglio printing workshop followed by a trip to the Ulster museum to view the Royal Ulster Academy of arts and Texaco Children’s art exhibitions.
  • IMG_0932IMG_0933

    Year 14 students in action at the Seacourt Printing Company’s Intaglio printing workshop.

  • Annual trip to the Ulster Museum for a workshop and to view exhibitions.
  • Year 11, 12, 13 & 14 attend the annual CCEA True Colours Exhibition were exemplary students’ work from the previous exam year is placed on display.



  • Hosted our 3rd Joint Young artists exhibition with Royal School Dungannon and invited professional artist Diane McCormick to officially open the exhibition in the Linen Green in December 2013
  • Strengthened our links with the Metropolitan College, Belfast -30 Year10 students attended the Creative Choices workshop held at the college on 8th November 2013
  • Presentation by Mark Reihill (Graphic Illustrator) to all Year 10, 13 and 14 Art students
  • Local ceramic artist, Lynda B delivered a porcelain workshop in school to all Year 11 Art students


  • Hosted our 1st exhibition in the Ranfurly Centre with Royal School Dungannon in September 2014
  • Past pupil Stephen Hughes who studied A level art in 1999 with Mrs McVeigh went on to study Architecture at Queens University Belfast and now runs his own very successful company. He specialises in creating 3D digital models from architectural plans, and recently appeared on an episode of Grand Designs. On Wednesday 16th October 2014 he made a visit to the school and gave an inspirational presentaton to year 12 and 14 art students.

IMG_0384photo 2 (2)

Stephen Hughes presenting some of his work to the year 12 and 14 students in the art room.