The Royal Belfast Academical Institution




Members of Dept:

Mrs K Carter

Mr P Sheppard

Miss A Bowden (Technician)


The Art & Design Department at RBAI aims to provide an effective learning environment that is both welcoming and stimulating and that offers a wide range of activities and experiences. It strives to contribute to the cultural, creative, moral, social, intellectual and individual development of its pupils and celebrates success as well as personal achievement. Pupils are valued as individuals and are encouraged to achieve their best, whatever their ability.

Pupil work is on display within the department and the wider school community, for example in communal areas such as Christchurch, the Dining Hall and the Common Hall. This work encompasses a range of age groups, abilities, processes / materials and is, where appropriate, referred to as exemplar material.

The department works primarily on strong teamwork. Emphasis is placed on the positive and the department encourages an atmosphere of openness and fairness. Partnership is very much encouraged with both parents and pupils and good lines of communication exist between home and school through a variety of channels.


  • To develop each pupil to his maximum artistic potential and to stimulate him to enjoy the attainment of artistic knowledge, understanding and skill;
  • To provide each pupil with the requisite knowledge and skills to enjoy examination success in Art and Design and for everyday life;
  • To provide and promote the conditions in which every pupil can develop as an individual;
  • To prepare pupils to become responsible and active members of society with an understanding of the relevance of Art and Design in today’s world and in a wider historical context;
  • To develop a close and mutually supportive relationship between home and school.

Teaching & Learning:


Teaching is thematic each term across every year group. A range of skills are taught enabling teaching and learning in each year to act as a progressive foundation across junior school for entry into GCSE.

Teaching focuses on 2D and 3D, fine art and design and incorporates contextual and historical references as well as opportunities for primary research and connections with the world of work.

Schemes of work are in line with the NI Curriculum.


Candidates begin by working on PART A: EXPLORATORY PORTFOLIO which consolidates and develops skills from KS3.

Work in the exploratory portfolio is thematic, for example; Still Life, or Me, Myself & I.

A set programme covers all aspects of the key requirements of the specification, allowing for independent pupil development in at least 2 disciplines between Sept – February half term of Year 11.

PART B: INVESTIGATING THE CREATIVE & CULTURAL INDUSTRIES / CORE SKILLS is completed in class, begining post February Half term in Yr 11 and ending in January of Year 12. From January of Year 12 pupils focus all class and home time on the Externally Set Assignment or ESA.


Teaching at this level is similar to that at GCSE but candidates are required to engage in significant independent study, both at home and in school. Greater responsibility for the direction and development of the outcome is placed on the candidate with staff discussing and directing using a weekly tutorial format.

Examination Results:

Candidates annually score in excess of NI and UK averages with numerous scoring full marks in any given year.

Clubs & Societies:

The Art Club, taken by Mrs Carter, meets weekly, engaging in group projects to enhance the aesthetic environment of the school.

Trips & Tours:

Lower & Upper 6th go on an annual trip to London with the Media Studies Department, embracing many cultural and artistic aspects of the city over two days, including a graffiti workshop and tour of the East End, theatre trips and museum visits.

Pupils at KS4 & 5 make regular visits to the Ulster Museum and other galleries in the city to support research and extend learning.

22 2024
GCSE Results Day
27 2024
Scouts International Jamboree - Summer Camp
14 2024
AS/A2 Results Day
College Square East, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT1 6DL
Tel: 028 90 240461
© 2024 The Royal Belfast Academical Institution