Art & Design

Fine Art and Textiles are extremely popular option choices at Weatherhead. Students, who study creative subjects with us, thoroughly enjoy their lessons and want to come in free time to study further. The commitment of staff and students alike is what makes this department such a success.

Mrs Freckleton

Head of Art and Design

Intent, Implementation and Impact


At Weatherhead we believe that all students, regardless of ability, have the right to access a high-quality Art and Design curriculum – a curriculum that is both enjoyable and challenging. Through the study of the main artistic elements (line, shape, space, value, form, texture and colour) our curriculum is designed to create opportunities which allow students to make connections within the discipline, making informed choices appropriate to their skill set.

The purpose of our curriculum is to empower students to develop their own creativity using prior learning to inform individuality. We equip our students with the practical skills and research tools to make choices informed by a range of cultures and practitioners.

We aim to refine core skills as students progress throughout the key stages; ensuring a confidence and individual approach is achieved using a range of materials and techniques.

We aim to develop students’ Cultural Capital by offering a wide range of extra curricular clubs and activities as well as trips and experiences. Through our curriculums students will gain the necessary skills to access University level study as well as other further education courses and employment.


Our schemes of work build upon the skills and knowledge acquired during KS2. As these skills vary, we take time to ensure that a wide range of essential skills are taught throughout KS3. A variety of contextual sources and themes are used to give a broad understanding of creative references. Topics cover a range of creative disciplines to give an in-depth experience of the subjects. Experimentation and mastery using mixed media allows students to make informed choices when developing individual projects.

We have a range of subject specialists who share their expertise by developing inspirational schemes of work and creative environments for students to work in.

Support sessions and targeted clubs take place to improve student attainment and engagement across all key stages. Extra challenge is given to achieve the very top grades and support sessions are offered to those students who require more focussed help. We operate an open door policy for KS4 and 5 students to use the facilities and encourage interactions between students to motivate and inspire.

Assessment is completed regularly to ensure students have the opportunity to improve and develop their work further. We have high expectations and aim to challenge out students; exemplary displays, high quality visual aides and teacher demonstrations create an ethos of success within the department. Artist workshops and cultural visits support learning. Examples include;

  • Annual visit to Clothes Show Live – Birmingham – Year 11 and 12 – now in Liverpool.
  • London Galleries – trips for KS4 and 5.
  • Williamson Art Gallery – Year 10 Textiles.
  • Manchester Whitworth Gallery (wallpaper exhibition “The Walls are Talking”), Chinatown and Chinese meal – Year 10 Textiles.
  • Visits to Liverpool World Museum, The Walker Art Gallery and Tate Liverpool to inform and inspire students.
  • Year 10 trip to Liverpool Community College Fashion Show – project set before visit and students take part in a schools competition.
  • Workshops attended for Liverpool universities.
  • Annual Foreign Trip – KS5 Art, Photography and Textiles – Paris, Barcelona, Venice to date – takes place prior to exams and used as inspiration.
  • London Galleries – trips for Year 12 and 13 students to inspire and inform studies.
  • Competitions – Dover Federation for the Arts National Student Showcase and involvement with the Saatchi Gallery. Students are encouraged to participate wherever possible.
  • Students have been selected by the Royal Society of British Artists (5 years) – to exhibit their work in the National student exhibition, a competition at the prestigious Mall Gallery London. 
  • Working with primary schools- 6th formers visited local primary schools to showcase their work and talk to students about Art and Textiles.
  • Life drawing classes – 6th form students completed a 6 week course, after school. 
  • Visiting artists provide workshops – Ian Fenelly, Caroline Gregson and Ian Murphy.
  • Annual Private View- Students help to arrange the exhibition and private view for parents, staff and governors. This year a virtual exhibition was created and shared.
  • Visiting lecturers from Wolverhampton, Manchester Uni. Leeds and Wirral Met to discuss courses and answer questions.
  • GRO/SS developed a department blog – this is an exciting opportunity to showcase artists and designers work as well as forging university links with past students. 
  • A series of Art assemblies have been delivered to all years in school. This gave DF the opportunity to show a diverse range of artists/designers as well as discussing local galleries/museums and current exhibitions. This is something to develop further as it gets a message to ALL students.

We offer remote education for all students in order to access lessons. Remote resources are provided for each project to allow students to access the classroom content. Where appropriate, students are able to attend lessons remotely and we use online platforms to enhance content.


The study of Art & Design at Weatherhead provides students with a range of skills needed to advance onto further education or employment. The transition from KS3 study through to GCSE classes is excellent with large numbers opting for Fine art and Textiles (3 large groups in both). Our curriculum is successful in all areas; Fine Art, Textiles and Photography with consistently high results at both GCSE and A level. At GCSE level we see improved percentages each year in top grades 7-9 with all students achieving above level 4. The number of students opting to take A level Art (Fine Art, Photography & Textiles) is consistently high with a significant increase this year (2 large classes in each area). ALPS scores at A level have been above national averages and in the top 25% for several years in Fine Art and Textiles. Photography has become popular over the last 3 years and is now achieving comparable results.

Many students have continued their creative studies at A level and joined many prestigious universities. Degree courses include Fine Art, Textiles, Photography, Illustration, Fashion marketing, Interior design and Graphic design.

Students are challenged and most importantly enjoy their experience in the Art department. They know how to improve and are supported by our skilled staff. A range of clubs provide students with many opportunities to extend and develop their skills. Subjects in the department are popular and students are motivated, working outside of lesson times at all Key stages.

The department runs inspirational trips to inspire students; local galleries, fashion shows, museums and exhibitions as well as European trips to Venice, Paris and Barcelona for our A level students.

Our virtual artist of the month was a huge success during the pandemic and has carried on afterwards. Students’ achievements are celebrated with a yearly exhibition as well as a virtual gallery to recognise their hard work. Our art studios celebrate achievements in our specialist areas and create an inspiring environment to work in. We run competitions throughout the year and have exhibited at the Mall Gallery in London by entering their National Students competition. We have been successful on several occasions and had students work exhibited in this acclaimed gallery.

Staff at Weatherhead

In the Art department we are fortunate to have experienced staff with a wide range of design backgrounds. Their diverse skills enrich teaching styles as well as inspiring our students.

Head of department Mrs Freckleton comes from an industry background, working as a Textile Designer in London for several years before leading a design studio in New York for 6 years. She is able to use this experience to inform her teaching style in a very practical way for her students.

Miss Stewart designed and manufactured bridalwear before entering the teaching profession and specialising in textiles.

Mrs Taylor specialises in painting and mixed-media. Has previously spent time freelancing as a practicing artist delivering workshops to both primary and secondary school pupils and has exhibited in a variety of galleries and exhibitions.

Mrs Evans specialises in ceramics and photography and has exhibited her work in a variety of galleries and exhibitions.

Miss Richardson specialises in painting and collage in collaboration with Paper Gallery and has exhibited work in various countries around the world.

Mrs French specialises in Design Technology Resistant Materials. Previous winner of the Young Engineer design prize.


Our Art rooms provide a creative workspace for students to experiment and explore practically, using a wide range of materials and media. Specialist equipment includes ceramic facilities, printing equipment and a heat presses. All classrooms are equipped with interactive white boards and overhead projectors that are used to visually support lessons and combine modern technology with traditional techniques.

Each room creatively displays a wide range of high quality students’ work ranging from KS3 to A level. This provides a personal, interesting and inspirational working environment for our students. High quality visual aides are used to inform and inspire creativity.


Classrooms are available within the department at lunchtime and after school to enable students to use practical equipment and complete work. Teachers are available to offer additional support and guidance during a range of organised support sessions. We encourage students to take ownership of their learning and strongly promote independence. As a result rooms are available at all times throughout the day and after school for A level students to continue their study outside of timetabled lessons.


We offer a range of practical based clubs to provide the opportunity for students to learn additional skills outside of lessons. Practicing artists and designers also run workshops for students at GCSE and A level, which give practical experience and an insight into the creative industry. Throughout the year a range of inspirational trips are arranged, including a European residential for A level students. There is also the opportunity for select students to be involved in a range of Art and Textiles based competitions and have their work exhibited in school, local galleries and nationally.

Visit for our current programme of extra-curricular activities.