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Head of Department/Faculty

Mr Gary Nash
Head of Graphics


“The art or skill of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines or products”

With a background in Graphic design you could work in areas such as engineering, packaging design, interior design, model making, costume design, 3D art and digital/game design.

“I like Graphics because you can explore art, design and computer work, it’s really mixed. In Graphics you will learn to make a series of cool products that you get to develop and take home, from ear phone wraps to Cinema pop corn cups.”

All students develop their designing and making skills through drawing, modelling, ICT work using the Adobe suite. Students will explore a wide range of designers, materials and process to product mini projects linked to the KS4 exam criteria.

Tops Tips to do well in Graphics

  1. Develop your design skills.

    Make sure to practise outline and drawing, focus on shape and shading to enhance drawings.

  2. Use digital technology.

    Practise taking photographs and looking at tutorials for Photoshop and Illustrator. The more confident you are using the mouse and shortcuts on the keyboard the more professional your products will become.

  3. Annotations and analysis

    In order for you to achieve high levels in Graphic Design you must add detail in your analysis and answers. For example when drawing a logo you need to explain your thinking behind the design, examiners aren’t mind readers!

  4. Annotation and analysis.

    In order for you to achieve a high level in Graphics you must add detail and examples in your answers. For example when drawing a logo you need to explain your thinking behind the design and how it is suitable to meet the requirements of the brief.

  5. Be creative.

    The most successful designers create unique and interesting product in saturated markets. You should use creative skills and explore ideas to enhance your work and develop a range of exciting products.

The Curriculum

In KS3 students develop a range of skills in Graphic Design, ranging from character design to digital illustration and photoshop. In year 7 students have Graphics for 1 hour a fortnight, and year 8 and 9 they and 2 hours a fortnight.

Year 7

The students study a brief from a Fantasy Zoo that specialise in Fantasy and Mythological creatures. The zoo has requested a rebrand where students explore character design, surreal animals through collage, repeat pattern using the software Illustrator and packaging nets. Students end up producing a range of products including: a poster, sweets box, wrapping paper and a keyring.

Year 8

Students study two projects throughout the year, Cinema promotion and pop-up cards. The cinema promotion project explores development in digital skills using the software Illustrator. Students develop ideas from pencil through to a finished product. The pop-up project explores mechanisms in paper design, foiling (a technique of adding foil to a product) and designing for a real company, Hallmarks cards.

Year 9

Students study three projects over the course of the year, Ear phone wraps, Photoshop CD cases and Mini Pop Vinyl characters and packaging. Students develop their digital knowledge on the Adobe suite by exploring Illustrator and Photoshop. Students study product design and packaging by using companies that already exist such as Apple and Pop Vinyl. In their final project students use their interest in music artists to develop photo manipulated cd cases.

Year 10

KS4 produce a portfolio of work over the course of two years, students study digital graphic design through the form of illustration, geometric shapes, photo manipulation and drawing skills. Students in 2018 studied a DVD/Game case design using digital illustration and photoshop, their second project was producing festival merchandise including posters, photography, wrist bands and t-shirt designs.

Entry Option Title Weighting Assessment
Coursework consisting of 2-3 projects

Final Piece


Two projects such as DVD/Game Case and Festival promotion merchandise

60% Sketchbook/portfolio
Exam Exam paper provided by the awarding body.

Students produce a sketchbook of work from a title in the exam paper and produce a final piece in 10 hours.

40% 10 hour exam over 2 days

Sketchbook and final piece.


Independent learning

Students complete regular home works to extend their learning outside of the classroom. Practising shape and developing drawing skills outside of the classroom will help students progress in Graphics. Researching digital design and how packaging works will help students to understand the logistics of branding and digital design.


KS3 – Base line tests.
All students are required to produce an illustration for a novel at the beginning of the year to show what their Target should be for the year. As students have strengths in different areas of design such as drawing, digital work and research students assessment is averaged throughout the year to provide an overview of their skills.

Assessment involves producing coursework in sketchbooks as well as undertaking an examination. There is a single tier of entry.

Curriculum Maps