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Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School     
Merthyr Dyfan Road
CF62 9YQ
Vale of Glamorgan

Telephone: 01446 403500

Fax: 01446 403501

Email: brynhafrencs.bhcs@valelearning.com


All students are taught Art and Design at Key Stage 3. At Key Stage 4 pupils can choose to study Art and Design, Ceramics, Photography and/or Textiles at GCSE level. At Key Stage 5 pupils can choose to study Art and Design, Photography and/or Textiles/Fashion at A Level.

Staff List

Miss K. Hougham

Mrs S. Paulakis

Miss N. Tucker


Pupils are taught in their form classes at Key Stage 3. They currently receive two Art lessons per fortnight. Year 7 pupils study Aborignal Culture allowing them to explore a variety of materials for drawing and painting such as charcoal, oil pastels and paint. They develop their knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal culture and the paintings produced by the artists. Pupils will learn how to illustrate a story and will create a painting based on a story which they have written. Year 8 pupils explore the theme of Creatures in the Environment looking at artists such as Lucy Arnold, Ruth Daniels and Angie Lewin. Pupils learn composition of paintings, 1st and 2nd hand observation drawings from natural objects and insets to develop their drawing skills. Pupils use a variety of materials including charcoal, watercolours and ink.

In preparation for GCSE pupils look at Portraiture in year 9. Artists studied include Lucien Freud, Egon Schieler, and Pablo Picasso. They will have the freedom to explore a wide variety of media, from clay to ink and acrylic paint. Pupils will be inspired by their artist research to produce personal responses of their own portrait.


At Key Stage 4 pupils have the opportunity to study Art and Design, Ceramics, Photography and Textiles at GCSE. All courses are 60% coursework and 40% practical exam which is taken in the Spring term or Year 11.

Art and Design: The course will begin by taking pupils through a series of workshop style activities explaining a wide range of drawing, painting and printmaking processes. This will enable them to feel confident and competent in making their practical outcomes. By year 11 pupils will work more independently exploring individual themes to develop their Personal Portfolio.

Textiles: Pupils will experiment with a range of decorative techniques such as transfer paints using the heat press, Batik, silk painting and printing as well as learning how to use the sewing machine confidently to make projects such as cushions, wall hangings and clothes. There are a variety of topics explored to inspire their designing including Tribal Fusion, Natural Forms and Fabrics, Fruits and Flowers. Pupils are inspired by artists as well as designers including Angie Lewin, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood.

Ceramics: Pupils will be developing a range of artistic skills while studying ceramics. Pupils will be transforming 2D ideas into 3D pieces of artwork based on the theme of Natural Forms. They will gain more of an understanding of how to manipulate clay to create artistic pieces. Pupils will learn and develop their skills by creating texture tiles, pinch pots, coil pots and slab pots. Pupils will also learn how to use coloured slips, oxides and glazes. Pupils will gain more of an understanding of the different stages of creating a ceramics piece and how the kiln works. Pupils will be introduced to the work of artists, designers and crafts-people and will collect investigative research which will be presented in their sketchbooks with drawings and designs showing the development of ideas. Artists and designers that will be discussed include Julie Blyfield, Kate Malone, Heather Knight and Lisa Stevens.

Photography: Pupils will be introduced to traditional working practices exploring photograms, printing from negatives, sandwich printing and printing through acetate in the darkroom. Pupils will be guided through a series of digital projects to develop their skills in photography and image editing under themes such as Going for a Walk, Vintage and Macro. Pupils produce a number of creative outcomes both 2D and 3D to support their personal portfolios.


Pupils have the opportunity to study Art and Design, Photography and Textiles/Fashion at A Level. All courses are 60% coursework and 40% practical exam. The exam will be taken in the Spring term of year 13. Year 12 will consist of coursework units only – no exams.

Art and Design: The course begins exploring a chosen theme through a range of media processes and techniques. Pupils will have the freedom to explore their own personal interest in Art and Design allowing for a deeper understanding of materials and practices than at GCSE level. They have the opportunity to develop skills in painting and drawing, print making and digital media.

In year 13 pupils sit a practical exam, the papers will be issued in February which include visual and written starting points for students to select from. There is a period of preparation time which allows pupils to explore their chosen theme resulting in a final piece produced during a 12 hour exam. Pupils will be expected to actively pursue their personal interest in art throughout the course. We will support this by offering opportunities to visit galleries and exhibitions. Recent visits have included Banky’s “Dismaland”, Cardiff Museum, Dilys Jackson , Tate and Tate Modern. If you opt for this subject you will be starting an exciting and stimulating course in a high achieving department with a very supportive team of specialist teachers. A qualification in this course is an excellent foundation for numerous career paths.

Photography: Pupils begin their Personal Portfolio by exploring a photographic theme of their choice. They develop skills in both Film based practices and digital media, using the wet darkroom and computer software to produce exciting and innovative images. Students are encouraged to work with a variety of media such as fabric transfer techniques and 3D construction to further develop their skills. Students have the freedom to explore their own personal interests in Photography allowing for a deeper understanding of the importance of images as a way of personal expression. In Year 13 students continue to develop their Personal Portfolio further concentrating on an area of Photography that interests them such as Portraiture, Landscape, Fashion, Editorial and Experimental Photography.

Textiles/Fashion: This is currently the only Textiles/Fashion A level course offered in the Vale of Glamorgan. Pupils will learn basic pattern cutting skills so that they can cut their own pattern for their designs. They will build on techniques learnt at GCSE such as Batik, silk painting and printing as well as learning new techniques such as Lino printing, screen printing and machine embroidery – free and

computerised. Students explore a variety of different projects including fashion and accessories as well as interior design. An interest in fashion is essential and students are encouraged to keep up with latest designer catwalk collections through online blogs and publications such as Vogue.