Belvedere College SJ


“Art is the Queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world” – Leonardo Da Vinci


The mission of the Art Department is the practice and teaching of Art, Craft and Design in a positive proactive learning environment. Students are encouraged and challenged to realise their full potential in many aspects of the Visual Arts. It aims to develop in the student a practical and theoretical understanding of and competence in the principles and skills of each discipline. It aims to nurture the creative spirit of each individual, to encourage the student to investigate, question, document and interpret the world around them in visual, spatial and tactile terms


Art Department



Junior Cycle


Visual Art is a subject that promotes teaching and learning through art, craft and design. For adolescents and young adults, this involves becoming familiar with and applying the elements of art and principles of design, and the knowledge and skills associated with these processes, their histories and their contemporary practices. Visual Art also recognises and rewards a number of different forms of intelligence, including emotional intelligence; it develops personal qualities of expression and empathy.

Visual Art encompasses art, craft and design and involves practical work in a wide range of media leading to a specific outcome, e.g. an artwork, a design, architectural study, an installation or an event. Making art develops the learner’s imagination through developing an idea or concept and allows them to exercise personal responsibility for specific tasks.
The qualities that Visual Art develops are crucial components of the rounded general education that all young people should experience. These personal characteristics and attributes include creativity, critical judgement, working with others or working individually, providing and receiving constructive criticism, and respecting differences.
Visual Art provides the learner with a space within which it is safe to experiment, to fail and to learn. It allows learners to collaborate on ideas and work. It facilitates and encourages the questions a learner may raise in travelling a path that may not lead to an anticipated outcome or that may produce a different outcome to what was planned. It gives them the capacity to understand and to express ideas, feelings and opinions: both their own and those of others.

Assessment in Visual Art

  • Classroom based assessment 1 (Jan-May, 2nd year) – common level
  • Classroom based assessment 2 (September- December, 3rd year) – common level
  • Final SEC Assessment (December – May, 3rd year)

In January of 2nd year, students will be starting CBA 1 ‘From Process to Realisation’ and this will run over a 6-8 week period.
In September of 3rd year, students will be starting CBA 2 ‘Communicate and Reflect’ and this will run to December when students will be starting the Final SEC Assessment brief.
CBA ‘s are assessed by the students’ teachers and reported on to students, parents/guardians.


The students’ work presented at the end of the CBA will be awarded a descriptor by the Art teacher. This will appear on each students “Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement”, issued by the State Examinations Commission. Work will be assessed against a list of “Features of Quality” and the work will be graded as follows:
ϖ Exceptional
ϖ Above expectations
ϖ In line with expectations
ϖ Yet to meet expectations
What will students be doing in the two Classroom Based Assessments?

The work for CBA 1 should be realised through one of the three Visual Art strands i.e. Art, Craft or Design.
The work for CBA 2 should be realised through the two remaining strands and one must be 3-dimensional.

What will students be doing in the Final Assessment in 3rd year?

Transition Year

In Transition Year students will further develop and continue their studies in Art on a weekly basis. The aim is to enable every student to appreciate Art by providing relevant opportunities for creativity and innovation. It aims to reinforce and further develop the knowledge, skills and competencies acquired at Junior Certificate level.
It aims to enhance students’ ability to make informed judgements about the made environment, to develop practical problem-solving skills through the manipulation of materials, to enhance creativity through developing lateral thinking skills and to promote inventiveness and risk-taking.

The course aspires to extend the range and quality of students’ artistic and educational experiences and to prepare them for the requirements of further study should they opt for art at Senior cycle. Students are provided with a space to learn, mature and develop in the absence of examination pressure. For those who opt to continue with art in the senior cycle, it is an opportunity to take initiative in their learning. Students will be able to see the value and recognise the relevance of art in their lives.

The course offers students of Belvedere College a wide range of artistic disciplines for example; drawing, painting, graphic design, printmaking, sculpture, modelling, construction, pottery, ceramics, silver jewellery, lutherie, animation, photography, computer graphics, art appreciation, gallery visits.

Leaving Certificate Art

The Art Student

The Art student must be creative, self-motivated, hardworking and have a love of the subject. It is not essential to have studied Art at Junior Cycle. Art can reach across all learning styles and intelligences; visual learners, tactile learners, auditory learners. Art is important for students who are considering a career in the creative industries: Art, Architecture, Design, Animation or Film.

Art gives students the opportunity to develop investigative, analytical, experimental learning behaviours, technical and expressive skills, aesthetic awareness and critical judgement through participating creatively in a range of Art, Craft and Design activities and the History and Appreciation of Art.

Leaving Certificate Syllabus
The syllabus is divided into four components. The newly revised assessment arrangements for two of those components gives students an opportunity to complete 50% of the Art exam as coursework. These two components (Craft and Still Life / Imaginative Composition) are assessed as coursework, which will be carried out in class time over a 12-week period starting in January of Leaving Certificate year. This is worth 50% of the total exam and can alleviate the pressure of exams in June.The four components are as follows:

Leaving Certificate Exam Marks %
Imaginative Composition or Still Life – Coursework 100 25
Five Six Four
Craftwork – Coursework 100 25
Life Sketching 50 12.5
History and Appreciation of Art 150 37.5
Total 400 100

The Art Coursework for Leaving Certificate starts in January of 6th year. Students must submit the following coursework for examination:
1. A completed Coursework Workbook.
2. A realised work for Section A (Imaginative Composition or Still life).
3. A realised work for Section B (Craftwork).
4. A statement of Rationale for each section.

Imaginative Composition or Still Life: 100 marks – 25% of total marks
Students can chose either still life or imaginative compostion. The completed coursework is submitted for assessment and must consist of one realised work and a record of their development in the Coursework Workbook. The process of research, investigation and development is essential in order for a student to be able to create their best possible artwork.
* Still Life: Drawing, painting or mixed media study of a group of objects.
* Imaginative Composition: A pictorial piece, painting, collage or mixed media composition.

Craftwork: 100 marks – 50% of total mark – carried out in class over 10 week period in 6th year.
The completed coursework is submitted for assessment and must consist of one realised work and a record of their development in the Coursework Workbook. The process of research, investigation and development is essential in order for a student to be able to create their best possible artwork.
Students are required to design and make an item of craftwork based on their chosen theme. They can choose from the following crafts: Blockprinting (linoblock or drypoint etching), Poster Design, Pottery and Clay

Modelling (including glazing)
Life Drawing: 50 marks – 12.5% of total mark – 1 hour exam in May
Two sketches of the model are required.

  • One quick sketch of the full figure standing
  • One more detailed study of the figure seated
  • The paper is given to students two weeks before the examination day

History & Appreciation of Art: 150 marks – 37.5% of total mark – 2 ½ hour exam in June
This is a written paper and the candidate must answer one question from each section.

  • Irish Art: Art in Ireland from 2000 BC – 20th Century
  • European Art: 11th – 20th century European Art
  • General Appreciation: Covers Architecture, Design, Environmental design and Film.

Portfolio Preparation

Portfolio preparation is not part of the Leaving Certificate syllabus, but teachers will advise and assist if a student is willing to work. Portfolio preparation workshops take place every morning from 7:45am-8:40am in the College.
Career Options

The role the arts play in developing a flexible, creative and innovative workforce is well documented and acknowledged. The visual arts provide opportunities for all students to build 21st century skills specifically Creativity and Innovation; Critical Thinking and Problem Solving; Communication and Collaboration. We are currently witnessing the arts becoming core to our education system in a new platform known as STEAM. This is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.

Career opportunities include:

  • Animation
  • Special Effects
  • Gaming design
  • Graphic Design
  • Web and App design
  • Film Art Director
  • Camera Operator
  • Cinematographer
  • Cartographer
  • Television/ Film producer
  • Advertising
  • Architecture
  • Movie set/ costume design
  • Model Making
  • Industrial Design
  • Illustrator
  • Fashion/Jewellery Design
  • Photographer/Photo Journalist
  • Teacher / University lecturer
  • Archaeologist
  • Fashion Designer
  • Product Designer
  • Ceramicist
  • Set design/theatre studies
  • Software engineer
  • Structural / civil engineer
  • Art historian/critic

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