A member of
Insignis Academy Trust

Insignis Academy Trust currently consists of Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School and Princes Risborough School, however, its purpose is to work with other schools to create a significant enhancement to the education of students in and around Aylesbury.

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Princes Risborough School

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Head of Department - Mr M Carberry


Department Overview

The Department has high expectations of all its students and encourages a "can do" attitude towards their work. Quote from last year’s moderator:

“The centre must be congratulated on the students producing personal work not a ‘home style’ with some outstanding final pieces.” And “Work demonstrating creativity and originality”.


Curriculum Overview


Year 7 are on a carousel, dividing the year into 3 sections of roughly 13 weeks for each group of 2 lessons a week, then they move to do Music or Drama until the end of the year.

Year 8 have 1 lesson a week. Art is a popular choice and, uniquely, pupils can elect here to take Art as a GCSE subject, thus doing the GCSE course for 3 years instead of the normal 2.

In year 7 and 8 we deliver a range of projects aimed to help all abilities explore different basic skills. Students will complete a series of themed practical projects over the course of the 2 years with various outcomes. The department has also worked with a number of outside agencies over the years: Currently The Peace Poster Competition for year 8 is very popular. Students also exhibit in the Town library, where members of the public regularly comment on the high standard of the work.



The GCSE course has two parts; the coursework produced over three years, and the Externally Set Assignment performed at the end of the three years.

The coursework portfolio, takes the form of sketchbooks and finished pieces of work, which are mainly produced in school and supported by substantial homework. The coursework is arranged into themes and projects undertaken across the final two years. Each project is a response to a specific theme, but as students grow in confidence they have the opportunity to develop projects based on their own interests and strengths.

The main focus throughout the course is drawing from observation which usually leads to a variety of developments in two and three dimensional work accompanied by references to artists, art movements and cultures. Students are given the opportunity to attend two art trips, one in Year 9/10/11 and the second in Year 11.  In the past students have visited Paris (with the French Department), and the main London galleries e.g. Tate Britain, Tate Modern, The Victoria and Albert Museum and The Royal Academy.  Students are also encouraged to visit local galleries as part of their homework. 

Homework is regularly set, and students are expected to spend approximately 2 – 3 hours per week.  Additional support is also offered in the form of after school art clubs and artist workshops, both of which help develop artistic ability.  Students in Year 9 are introduced to presentation and content skills, and a strong emphasis is placed on traditional drawing and painting skills which equips students for the more demanding theme based projects in Years 10 and 11.

The Externally Set Assignment takes place during the Spring Term in Year 11.  After a preparatory time of approximately 12 weeks students take a 10 hour exam in which a finished piece of work, either 2D or 3D, is produced. The exam is a response to an externally set theme and is marked internally, together with the coursework.  Work is then moderated by an examiner from Edexcel.  Students’ overall work is displayed in an end of course show, which parents, friends and other visitors attend.



A Level Art students have 4 lessons a week.

In year 12 and 13 individual creative thinking is encouraged in students, using their own techniques to discover their potential, aiming to set them up for the future.

There are also opportunities for students to go to Paris to visit European Galleries. Year 12 AS and year 13 A2 students exhibit their work within school in an annual exhibition and in 2017 at The Queens Park Centre.

Our ethos is reflected in the work produced and exam results achieved, where in 2016 we got 96% A* - C, as well as in the number of students going on to study at leading Art schools: Saint Martin’s College, De Montfort, Camberwell, Bucks, London school of fashion and Arts University Bournemouth. 


Student Work

Beginning and/or End

26th  June – 17th July 2017

This exhibition is a selection of work produced by students from Princes Risborough School, studying GCSE Art this year.  It is either the beginning or the end of their interest in making art, but the journey that they undertook for the last 2 years has been an eventful one and one which they will not forget in a hurry.

Talent, motivation and a lot of hard work has gone into making Art that matters to them and hopefully to you.

Enjoy what you see!



 Art In The Park Exhibition

This year's Art in the Park entries are now in display in Wades Park, Stratton Road.

They will of course let us know this year's winner once it's been judged but it won't be officially announced until Festival day which is Saturday 8th July.




Year 11's Sarah White

    Year 11's Nuwama Rai

Year 10's Bethan McDerment 

Learning Resources


The following websites may be of use:

Key Stage 3:

Key Stage 4/Key Stage 5: