Manchester Gallery Visit: Art, Photography and everything in-between…

Year 11, 12 and 13 Art and Photography students experienced North West’s renowned Manchester and Whitworth galleries. The visit formed an essential part of the Art and Photography curriculum learning experience. Students were exposed to art and photographic works of historical significance, educating students as to the culture, trends and society in both historical and contemporary society. Upon return to college, students will produce a visual and written response to their most inspiring works.

The  Manchester gallery boasted works by The Dutch Masters, L. S Lowry and Adolphe Valette whilst the Whitworth  gallery exhibited extensive  works by  artists such as William Blake, J.M.W Turner, Rossetti, William Morris and more recent works by Cornelia Parker, Michael Craig Martin, and print artist Barbara Brown to name a few.

For many, it was their first visit to an art gallery, it has opened the eyes and minds of our budding art and photography students as to future creative possibilities; watch this space! 

Students engaged in a full day of observation, taking notes as well as creating photo shoots and drawings within the galleries themselves; forming a critical part of their portfolio work.

We are impressed with all of our students who arrived ready for learning, were hardworking and respectful within the gallery throughout the day, truly and creatively demonstrating the St Mary’s way!

A very special thank you to Mr Hardy for organising a fantastic trip!


  • Key Stage 4 Information



    Exam Board



    Component 1 PFO: Portfolio of work
    60% Coursework
    Component 2 ESA: Externally Set Assignment; 10 hour exam
    40% Examination
    Final exhibition of portfolio of work

    Head of Subject

    Miss C. Johnson

    Course Description

    This course provides students with a wide range of creative, exciting and stimulating opportunities to explore their interests in ways that are developmental in nature. Art improves your thinking, communication, interpersonal, practical, creative and ICT skills. GCSE provides progression from Key Stage 3 raising awareness of how art is used within our everyday lives to advertise, improve the environment and communicate to an audience. Fine Art explores practical and critical contextual work through a wide range of processes, different media. Candidates work in some of the following areas including drawing, painting, mixed media, printmaking digital photographic techniques& sculpture.
    Consistent 100% Pass Rate

    Future Opportunities

    Following a GCSE in art leads to AS and A level Art exams in our Sixth Form which then allows entrance to University degree courses. We have close links with Blackpool and Fylde College who take A level students on to their Foundation Course before going on to specialise at University in careers such as: Architecture, Advertising, Animation, Computer Aided Design, Graphic design, Interior design, Illustration, Fashion Design, Film, Media Studies, Museum Curator, Textile Design, Art Therapy work, Photographer, Product Designer, Landscape Architect, Web Design, Teaching and many other options.
  • Key Stage 5 Information Click here to view the PDF version


    A Level

    Exam Board

    Head of Subject

    Miss C. Johnson

    Is this course for me?

    Fine Art is the making and study of visual art such as painting, printmaking and sculpture. The course covers a variety of processes and skills, which can be developed on a specialist art and design degree course. Analytical and observational skills can be utilised in a wide range of creative environments.

    Areas of Study

    Portfolio 60%, Exam assignment 40%.

    The First Year
    Component 1: Portfolio

    The project covers the formal elements, gathering research, observational drawing and looking at the work of others.
    Component 2: Externally Set Assignment
    You will select a theme set by the exam board to develop. Following a preparatory period, students will undertake 10 hours of supervised time to conclude the assignment.

    The Second Year
    Component 1:Personal Investigation

    An opportunity to develop your own emerging art practice in a more personal way. This component is supplemented by gallery visits and personal response to work of Artists, Photographers and Craftspeople.
    Component 2: Externally Set Assignment
    The exam board will set a range of starting points and you will choose one of the themes to develop. You will spend time researching your chosen theme through a series of observational drawing, photographs, visiting art galleries/exhibitions etc.
    You are given 15 hours in total to complete a final outcome.

    Future Opportunities

    University art-related degree courses, or a pre-degree Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. Art can lead to a career in teaching, fashion, gallery/museum management, architecture, interior design, graphics, film and television production, jewellery design, theatre and set design and production, TV and film, art directing or as an artist or art technician, advertising, photographic journalist, illustrator, costume designer, fine artist, graphic designer, furniture maker and restorer, interior designer, fashion stylist, make up artist, medical illustrator, photographer, screen printer, sign maker, textile designer - the possibilities are wide ranging!