Art and Photography

Art and Photography embodies creativity and imagination and enables the student to express their vision and bear fruit to their ideas. In Art, students can work in both 2D and 3D. They will expand their skills, explore into different media and be exposed to modern and historic art through our trips to galleries and museums.

Photography is one of the most popular subjects in Ark Acton and has consistently produced excellent GCSE and A Level results. Students are encouraged to take a multitude of photographs, both independently and at school where they are also taken on numerous trips. The students are also taught to manipulate their images through digital technology.

Core Purpose

Have you ever considered a future in fashion, a gallery or museum, web design, advertising, architecture, graphic design, game design, marketing, interior design, photography, film, set design, tattoo artistry, animation, book illustration or to be a make-up artist, window dresser, painter or ceramist?

To progress within a creative career, students need to obtain a GCSE in an Art and Design subject or in a *DT subject. In Art & Design at Ark Acton Academy, we offer two pathways to set our students on course to a creative future.

Fine Art

  • 2D Visual Arts – drawing, painting, collage, print and photography.
  • 3D Visual language – modelling using mixed media and/or clay.
  • Critical and contextual studies - relating to the work of artists, designers and craft people from a range of times and cultures.


  • Critical and theoretical studies- Digital photography, lighting, composition, Digital image editing, Photomontage.
  • Critical and contextual studies - relating to the work of artists, designers and craft people from a range of times and cultures.
  • Photography is introduced to the Art Curriculum in Year 9.


In Year 7 all students are introduced to the formal elements of line, shape and colour. They look at a range of artists, including the work of Kandinsky, Picasso and Turner and those within the context of art movements, such as Cubism.

In Year 8 we explore landscapes in art using a range of media, including collage and clay. Students will be developing their techniques in perspective and creating depth of space, looking at artists like Arthur Boyd, David Hockney and Henri Rousseau.

In Year 9 students have the opportunity to build on their drawing skills, and explore and experiment with visual communication in the context of a GCSE framework. Students will be looking at the work of artists, including that of Michael Craig-Martin and Georgio Morandi.


In both Fine Art and Photography, students are guided through a two year GCSE study to the point where they can work independently and build on both their analytical skills and understanding in developing a project to a final outcome, to meet the criteria of the four Assessment objectives. Gallery Trips, walks, visits and photoshoots form part of the KS4 experience.


There has been a consistently high success story in A Level Photography. Both in this subject and in Fine Art, students are encouraged to develop their skills and explore their medium in their personal creative journey