Art & Design



Curriculum and Staffing

WAD logo


Waingels believes that an Art and Design curriculum is essential to the cultural well-being of our students. Through the observation and exploration of the visual, they can gain a greater understanding of the world that they live in. Students are enabled to become independent learners through an engaging and challenging curriculum which aims to equip students with the knowledge to develop their creative ability. The chance for children to express themselves creatively is highly valued and encourages our students to become resourceful, innovative and creative adults.


Years 7, 8 and 9
Students are able to engage with a number of Art and Design techniques throughout Year 7 & 8. Textiles, ceramics, graphics, painting, photography, drawing, printmaking and woodwork are all offered as individual projects. Students’ enjoyment of these specialisms is reflected in the popularity of our extra curricular activities and numbers of students choosing to study Art and Design beyond Year 9. At the end of Year 8, students have a choice of creative subjects to study. Within the Art and Design curriculum subjects on offer are Textiles, Graphics, 3D Design and Fine Art. Giving the students the opportunity to study a choice of these subjects in a more focused way leads to faster progress, and an excellent foundation if students chose to continue the subject into GCSE. 


Years 10 & 11

At GCSE students can chose to study Photography, Fine Art, Graphics, Textiles and 3D Design. The courses are scaffolded in such a way to provide a secure knowledge of basic processes and techniques (for example Photoshop and Screen Printing in Graphics). Ideas are generated from looking at, and being inspired by the work of Artists and Makers. We encourage students to pursue highly personalised themes in their coursework to allow them to engage fully in their creative endeavours.

The department is well resourced, with interactive Smart Boards, two dedicated computer suites, printing press, dark room, kiln, screen-printing facilities, laser cutter, 3D printer, two fully equipped workshops, Art and Design library and specialist Graphics and Textiles studios. We also have a rolling exhibition space in the Community zone, which is curated by our Art & Design Technician.

We follow the OCR Art and Design specification which can be found here. Students are supported through invited intervention sessions and we keep the studios open as much as possible for students to be able to work in and access resources after school.


Careers & Future Study

The creative industries are some of the UK’s most successful, varied and fastest growing sectors. They provide millions of fulfilling job opportunities, some of which will be explored within the curriculum. Please see our new Art and Design Alumni Page and the following excellent websites featuring careers in the Arts:


Sixth Form

A progression from GCSE the A Level Photography and Art, Craft and Design courses taught at Waingels meet the interests of internal and external candidates a like. With our excellent facilities and track record of success you can be confident that taking an Art A level at Waingels will provide you with an in-depth, enjoyably and challenging study of a creative area of your choice. Students on our courses have full access to all the studios and equipment available within the department, providing them with skills and knowledge to prosper. To ensure highly personalised projects that lead to exciting and authentic outcomes, students are also supported by a specialist lead personal tutor. Tutors actively encourage students to explore the world around them, a behind the scenes tour of Reading Football club led to a dynamic design for six posters celebrating the clubs history. And a trip to the Vision exhibition at the Science museum resulted in an A*Textiles project looking at the eye and mark making. An exquisite sketchbook was produced alongside the project with annotation in braille so that visually impaired audiences could access it.

Those who have taken the subjects have gone on to university and careers within fashion, set design, graphic design, architecture and teaching to name a few. Our Waingels community continues to grow with many students coming back to deliver talks and workshops themed around their experiences and career progressions within Art & Design.  

Both courses are delivered through OCR and have a 3000 word Related Study that runs alongside the course.


Art, Craft and Design

Our Art, Craft and Design course aims to support all creative learners in their chosen area of study. Painting, printmaking, drawing, textiles, graphics and 3D disciplines such as architecture, wood work and sculpture are all available to our students to pursue, with many opting for more mixed media approached to their work. A designated sixth form studio is available for students to work in during their independent study time.



Researching the work of other photographers, past and present, and finding your own voice are some of our broad aims for the Photography A Level. The course allows students to explore a wide range of photographic skills including non-lens based media and techniques, developing and printing black and white (B&W) film as well as studio techniques and location photography. Students will learn the importance of formal elements of design in composition, and the role of photography in visual communication in historical and contemporary contexts.


Extra Curricular Opportunities

We are very proud of the range of creative activities that students can take part in at Waingels. We have a very popular Art Club that runs all year. With the aim of support students to express their own ideas and opinions as well as developing confidence with observation skills and imagination. where students have made paper mâché portraits, stained glass frames and created collaborative art works for school display. Alongside that we run a range of one off activities that students at various years can get involved with. For example, helping create the school play set or designing large-scale work to be included in the annual Arts activity day.

A range of creative competitions are held every year. Photography competitions and a 3D competition proved very popular with parents, staff and students getting involved. Outcomes are often displayed on the TV screens around the school and in our dedicated Art gallery exhibition space. We are also looking to expand on our Art Ambassador scheme this year, to recruit more students in helping us spread the word about how fantastic Art subjects are and to help with exhibitions and other events we run.



Please have a look at vast array of creative work we get up to in the Art and Design department @waingelsartdesign



Subject Leader: Mrs L McNeill and Miss J Campbell (Maternity Leave)

Mr L Cross

Ms A Gahir

Mrs L McGann

Ms L U'ren

Mrs L Wendt

Mrs C Wood

Knowledge Organisers