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Welcome to the

Art & Design Department


Guided by the National Curriculum for Art & Design, Key stage 3 pupils follow a varied and progressive skilled based programme, which encompasses both 2D & 3D materials & techniques within the principles of Fine Art, Design, Textiles, Ceramics & ICT. Confidence, creativity and Independence are nurtured by way of an enriched programme that offers wide ranging practical experiences, collaborative learning, contextual visits and career focused projects.


At the end of this key stage, pupils have developed the skillset and capabilities required to progress into GCSE & later, A’ level Art & Design or to take with them a lifelong enjoyment and knowledge of the Visual Arts, Design and Aesthetics.



The CCEA practical exam courses delivered in Mount Lourdes are complemented by a proactive involvement with contextual studies, giving our pupils the opportunity to experience Art & Design through museum and gallery visits, talks & lectures, work experience placements and hands on, in-house Artist & Designer workshops.



The new CCEA GCSE in Art & Design offers pupils the opportunity to further their individual creative development and builds upon their artistic and problem-solving skills developed at KS3.

It places a renewed emphasis on drawing in all its forms and on the understanding and application of the design process.

It also encourages students to engage with the creative and cultural industries and offers opportunities to work alongside visiting artists, and to be freely expressive and experimental in a wide range of media and disciplines.



 The GCSE Art & Design course at Mount Lourdes

  • Adheres to the GCSE specification and assessment as laid down by CCEA

  • Offers the opportunity to study Art & Design in a broad, balanced, and challenging way and in so doing makes relevant connections to the creative and cultural industries.



 This linear course is divided into 2 main Components -

Component 1 - divided into parts A & B: = 60%

Part A Exploratory Portfolio (25%)

Part B Investigating the Creative & Cultural Industries (35%)

The focus of Part A is to encourage students to develop their ability to experiment with a wide range of media in at least two Art & Design disciplines. They do this by developing their ideas, through investigating artists and designers, and by exploring the characteristics, properties and effects of different media, materials, techniques, processes and technologies. Pupil’s experiment with and refine their ideas as their work progresses and are encouraged to be innovative, creative and reflective in their work.

The focus of Part B is to build on the knowledge and skills gained in Component 1 Part A. Pupils engage with and demonstrate understanding of different roles and opportunities in the creative and cultural industries in order to produce a Final Outcome.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment = 40%

Students independently investigate the work of artists, craft practitioners and designers to inspire and inform their creative process.  They develop these ideas in response to a stimulus


Pupils with a GCSE in Art & Design can continue to further their studies in A’ Level Art & Design and Moving Image.


A Level




The Art & Design AS & A2 level builds upon the experience and skills gained by candidates who have been awarded a GCSE in Art and Design.

Complemented by Contextual studies, it promotes a broad investigative Art and Design experience at AS and a more independently focused, personal response at A2. The course is a solid foundation for study at a higher level, in a range of creative areas of practice.  

Each unit within AS and A2 demands a high level of commitment and involvement and students are encouraged to evolve and develop their work, constantly engaging in the creative process. 

Art & Design at advanced level is a very rewarding and fulfilling pathway for students who are both creative thinkers and are practically intuitive.



AS 1    Experimental Portfolio    50% of AS                  20% of overall award


AS 2     Personal Response        50% of AS                  20% of overall award



A2 1   Personal & Critical Investigation   60% of A2 36% of overall award

           & Written Investigation:                 20% of A2   12% of overall award

A2 2    Thematic Outcome                      40% of A2   24% of overall award


Pupils who study the CCEA specification at MLE will take a Combined Studies approach in Art & Design at AS level with opportunities to specialise within this, Textiles or Three Dimensional Design at A2.

The Experimental Portfolio (AS1) is a presentation of work developed from the student’s broad and progressive engagement with a range of Art & Design disciplines and media under a CCEA set theme. Consequently, students use their strengths and personal interests to create a Personal Response of their choice (AS2).


At A2, pupils will be given a new CCEA theme to explore and are expected, as a response, to produce a 1000-2000 word Written Investigation alongside their practical and experimental work.


All practical units are teacher assessed with external CCEA moderation. The written element at A2 is externally assessed.

Pupils take part in an annual Gallery tour of Dublin in both AS & A2


Art & Design at A Level meets the needs of the following students: -


  • Those who wish to progress their studies further having completed a course in GCSE Art & Design.

  • Those who plan to study the subject at third level or take up a career in which Art and Design education is required.

  • Those who are not intending to study the subject further but will benefit from the course as they have an interest and an aptitude in the subject.



The creative industries are developing rapidly and offer a host of exciting and innovative employment opportunities. Creative, problem-solving individuals are highly valuable in the world of work, finding employment in, amongst others, in Architecture, Advertising and Illustration, Animation and Game Design, Interior Design, Fashion & Textile Design, Theatre and Set Design, Conservation, Art Therapy, Education, Auctioneering.

It is also possible to transfer Art & Design related experiences and skills in pursuing careers within the Creative Technologies, Media, Visual Merchandising, Film and Theatre studies, Retail Management, Beauty and those that require creative thinking, aesthetics, dexterity, independence and research led activities.

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