african tapestry 
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” 
- Scott Adams




  • Mrs. Deirdre Keary ((Head of Art and Design Department))
  • Mr. Tristan Barry (Art & Design & Moving Image Arts Teacher)
  • Mr. Connor Maguire (Art & Design Art Technician)


The Art Department is housed in two large purpose built rooms and includes a linked Apple Mac Suite, a kiln room, a spacious exhibition area and lots of generous store rooms. In addition, we are fortunate to benefit from wonderful views over the Mourne Mountains.

Our Department teachers strive to cultivate the talents of all our pupils. In doing so and in line with our school’s motto, ‘Fully Alive’, we aim to promote visual and cultural awareness and confident creativity in each pupil. We provide opportunities for pupils to experience a wide range of media and processes, including: drawing; painting; sculpture; clay; graphic design; textiles, moving image arts and photography. The Art Department provides pupils with wide ranging opportunities to develop high level practical skills, knowledge and understanding relating to Art and Design and Moving Image Arts. We work to ensure that lessons are engaging and relate to contemporary life and careers, often with an emphasis on new technologies and media. There is also a strong tradition of studying Art History which is integral to the investigating and making processes throughout every Key Stage.

 charlie printDigital Painting

 drypoint etchingDrypoint etching

drypoint etching2

Drypoint etching


Mixed media on paper

Each year GCSE and A Level pupils donate one piece of their art work which we frame and add to our well established gallery of work. These pieces are displayed throughout the school, to be enjoyed by students, staff, parents and visitors. Our staff and pupils often work together in teams to construct, design or devise props, sets, costumes, programmes and posters for school musicals, concerts, carol services and liturgies throughout the school year.

We increase pupils' enthusiasm and learning by arranging extra-curricular activities such as visits to school by artists and designers who lead practical sessions or give talks or demonstrations. We also submit pupils' work for a wide range of competitions in the community and invite school groups from outside to share in art events and sessions too. In addition, we have established a tradition of arranging action-packed Art trips to European cities where pupils can enjoy visits to the finest international galleries and immersion in culture.

All of these approaches, resources and experiences have been designed to create a happy, creative Department which seeks to promote the well-being and aesthetic development of pupils

Anti Bully winners

Pic above: Year 11 students Eimile Egan and Bronagh Roddy who are runners up in the NIABF Anti-Bullying Creative Arts Competition

Key Stage 3


In line with the school’s aim, it is our department’s aim to equip pupils with a range of opportunities to grow creatively and acquire knowledge and skills relevant to their personal development and future careers. We see it as essential therefore that pupils learning is driven by investigating and problem solving activities. Through such a practical approach, they will become aware of how and why things are made and work. In addition to independent learning they will also engage in group projects to promote high skills in teamwork and co-operation.

KS3 projects are developed around four areas:
Observation: developing the artists’ eye.
Skills, techniques and experimentation: developing skills and techniques in art.
Imagination and creativity: fostering & nurturing creativity.
Experience and critical understanding: the knowledge and understanding of art.

The units of work undertaken are designed to reflect and fulfil the Northern Ireland Curriculum at Key Stage 3:
Year 8 students study: Celtic Lettering: Typography: Ceramics and Portraiture.
Year 9 students study: Cubism: Still Life and Greek/Roman 3D Pots.
Year 10 students study: Observational Drawing of Manmade Objects; Abstract Art; Architecture

 happy faces art club

 art student 10  art student 11
art student 13  art student 12

KS4 & Specifications

KS4 & Specifications

The CCEA GCSE Art and Design specification develops students’ understanding of how meanings, ideas and intentions can be communicated through visual and tactile language. Students learn how to use different media and technologies to realise their intentions. They develop their understanding of the creative and cultural industries, and refine their work through experimentation.

This specification places an emphasis on drawing, and on understanding and applying the design process. It encourages students to engage with the creative and cultural industries, and offers a broad and flexible content, allowing students to pursue a range of creative pathways.
Students have the opportunity to develop their critical understanding through a range of investigative, analytical and experimental skills. They then develop and refine their ideas with increasing independence.

This specification is a linear qualification: students take all the assessment at the end of the course.

 flowers drawing  ceramics 2
  This specification is a linear qualification: students take all the assessment at the end of the course.
 shoes  linocut
ceramics Paul heaston

A Level

A Level Specifications

The CCEA GCE Art and Design specification develops in-depth knowledge and understanding of art and design through research and practical activities, intellectual capabilities, and independent approaches to learning.

This specification is available at two levels: AS and A2. Students can take the AS units plus the A2 units for a full GCE A level qualification. They can also choose to take the AS course as a stand-alone qualification.

In the AS units, students develop their creative process in response to a theme. They explore concepts, and develop knowledge, skills and techniques, including drawing. They present a portfolio and resolve their learning into a personal response.
Students who continue to A2 undertake a more focused investigation based on a given theme. This takes the form of both written and practical investigations, which are followed by producing a resolved outcome.

The specification has four units:
Unit AS 1: Experimental Portfolio
Unit AS 2: Personal Response
Unit A2 1: Personal and Critical Investigation
Unit A2 2: Thematic Outcome.

 fashion  fashion 2


Career Opportunities
An A Level in Art and Design provides a solid foundation for further study of art, craft and design at a higher level and for degree courses in other fields. 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, music, animation, performing arts, publishing, software design, toys and games design, TV, radio and video games design. A wide range of STEM careers such as engineering now also require creative, artistic and design skills.