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Sir Jonathan North College

Sir Jonathan North College



Students begin their artistic journey at Sir Jonathan North by exploring and developing the skills they will require for all visual work in the future: colour, drawing, painting, and artist research are all studied during Year 7. These are built up over Year 8 to develop a portfolio of essential skills. In Year 9 themes are introduced to allow students to develop more personal, imaginative and creative outcomes. Our experienced and imaginative members of staff will work with the students to produce a wide range of art, in a variety of materials and media, including 2D, 3D and digital work. 

Art is taught in mixed ability tutor groups for the whole of Key Stage 3 for one hour per week.

Throughout Key Stage 3 alongside manual skills, students develop digital awareness and expression using a full suite of professional quality Apple computers.

To further enhance the curriculum, Sir Jonathan North offers a wide range of extra-curricular clubs, visits and workshops. Highlights include the Year 7 Digital Art Club and gallery visits.

Programme of Study

Year 7

  • Introduction to Drawing and Artist research
  • Introduction to Painting and Colour
  • Introduction to Digital Art

Year 8

  • Animation Project using Adobe software
  • Printing Project using surface printing methods
  • Ceramic Project

Year 9

  • Themed Project – Portraits Drawing
  • Painting
  • Digital


The quality of art work produced by students at GCSE is outstanding. Sir Jonathan North is really proud of the work created and therefore uses it to decorate the whole, school with visitors often commenting on its quality.

Students develop this ability by building on the core skills they have developed in Key Stage 3. The projects, based on themes, explore materials and techniques in greater depth constantly encouraging students to work outside their comfort zone in the creation process.

GCSE Art encourages students to be resourceful and independent by keeping their own sketch book. This is developed by examining and investigating art works in the media and at galleries and helps in producing their own unique style.  

Programme of Study

GCSE Art is structured into two parts: Component 1 and Component 2

Component 1, worth 60%, is comprised of course work and is made up of two parts. The first part, entitled The Foundation Project, is split into different uses of materials, allowing students to explore both the materials and theme in depth.  

The second part, entitled Project 2, produces work and develops ideas in response to a set theme. Students are given much more personal choice using their previous experience of materials to select what they want to produce in response to the theme. This project continues to develop their independence and is a culmination of their prior art learning.

Component 2, worth 40%, is the production of work for Project 3, a themed project set by the exam board.  Students have a given length of time to research, develop ideas and experiment with materials to produce a personal piece of work from one of the given starting points.  

Year 10

  • Component 1 Foundation Project – Complete by May
  • Component 1 Project 2 Sustained Project – Start May

Year 11

  • Component 1 Project 2 Sustained Project- Complete by end of Autumn Term. Mock exam piece of work
  • Component 2  Project 3 Externally set project completed by April 

Useful Resources


  • In Year 7 students are expected to buy a hard backed quality spiral bound A3 sketchbook for their Art work.In the first week of Year 7 these are for sale through the Art Team at a cost of £4.50. This will last for Year 7, 8, and 9.
  • Additionally they should bring a pencil and a good quality pencil rubber to art lessons.
  • At home pencil crayons are used for Art homework but are not be required in lessons.


  • At the start of the GCSE course, the Art Team puts together a basic pack of necessary equipment at a cost of approximately £10.
  • A2 folder to enable Art work to be carried
  • A set of drawing pencils
  • A putty rubber for the use of drawing
  • A set of high quality oil pastels
  • One A4 hard backed spiral bound sketchbook
  • Students may wish to purchase A4 sketchbooks separately if or when they use the first one. The Art Team can provide these for approximately £2.50 each.
  • Encourage your daughter to use the materials she has at home to develop her skills. Students do not need to bring this equipment into school.

Top Tips


  • In Years 7, 8 and 9 students are encouraged to ‘have a go’ in Art, to use a variety of materials and to explore and practise with them. At home this positive attitude can be mirrored by encouraging them to experiment with materials and drawing.
  • Students benefit from experiences of Art in any of its forms. Art galleries are a wonderful place to start. The New Walk Museum and Art Gallery is an excellent gallery in Leicester. It has several exhibitions a year and has an extensive collection of paintings.
  • Leicester University has an Arts called the Attenborough Centre which holds regular exhibitions During the year, events also include dance and drama.
  • Television offers different art series each year, often focussing on a particular style or movement. These would be good to watch together and discuss.
  • Alternatively on YouTube there are hundreds of Art tutorials. This can be a good place to observe different materials being demonstrated.


  • At GCSE, students start exploring their own ideas and expressing themselves visually. Students therefore benefit from being exposed to a wide variety of creative events. Film, theatre, dance are all part of this creative and expressive world and it is be good to encourage your daughter to see a wide range.
  • A love of the creative and an inquiring mind will benefit any student at GCSE. In the classroom, students develop these skills and encouraging your daughter to draw, paint, collage, photograph, build and create at home would only impact positively with this.