Quick Links

Quick Links

Orchard School Bristol

Art, Digital & Technology (ADT)

As a Faculty, ADT (Art, Digital, Technology) is committed to helping our students understand the world around them and express themselves artistically as individuals. Our broad and varied curriculum endeavours to teach them the skills needed to enter the creative industries. The layout of our curriculum builds each lesson, each term, each year on problem-solving and creativity, developing true academic integrity, concentration and resilience. The aim is that the skills developed can be applied to a wide range of other aspects of art and design and that these may be taken up in higher education for practical degree courses such as Architecture, Engineering, Graphic Design, Film and the Arts, Product Design, Fashion and Textiles. Whilst developing these skills we ensure that the breadth of areas explored and the array of experiences our students are exposed to is as broad and exciting as possible, focused on offering our students a glimpse into aspects of life beyond their existing familiarity. 

Curriculum Features 

Art - We encourage a process of experimentation with ideas and materials through varied and exciting projects which give all students the opportunity to experience Art in a meaningful way, with opportunity for individual interpretation and direction. Students learn sensitivity and control using tools and materials, how to refine and develop from initial ideas, to plan their time and resources and to assess and understand the visual impact of their work. At GCSE, students explore techniques and key skills in further depth, developing and improving their own abilities and understanding whilst having the opportunity to apply these skills within personal projects, delving into experimentation and refinement of their choices to create truly individual pieces. 

We teach AQA Art and Design GCSE, which allows students to investigate and explore a range of media and materials whilst developing their own creative ideas and artistic style. Students develop drawing and painting skills and explore new ways of creating art and sculpture whilst looking at the history of art and design through a wide range of designers, painters and craftspeople. 

Art and Design - Journey on a Page

Year 7

Year 8 Year 9

Project 1- Formal elements: 

  • Line, tone, shape & form, colour, pattern, texture, 
  • Final piece through investigating Sonia Delauney 


Project 2- Deep Inside: 

  • Observational drawing, mark making, artist research, watercolour and pen, media experimentation, textiles, mono-print, cells 


Project 3- What I see… 

  • Observational drawing, artist research, idea planning, mood board, idea development, media experimentation 

Project 1- Who, what….why? 

  • Timeline, 20th Century styles workshops, Art History 
  • Final piece combining elements of drawing and painting studied, portrait work


Project 2- The New Way: 

  • Printing- mono print, screen print, lino print, stencils 
  • Modern Art styles 


Project 3- Architectural Thinking: 

  • Observational drawing, artist research, perspective drawing, idea planning, mood-board, idea development, media experiment, low relief, 3D sculptures 

Mixing the Modern 

  • 20th century artists themes- 9-week project exploring the work and techniques of modern artists David Hockney, JR
  • Developing the key skills of gridding up, using oil pastel, watercolour, collage, mono printing to prepare for GCSE expectations of a “personal journey” 
Year 10 Year 11

Workshops projects 

  • Composition and layout, use of measuring up techniques 
  • Use of different size shapes 
  • Shade and tone with pencil, charcoal, rubber, pen 
  • Construction, ellipses, and basic perspective  
  • Blending of acrylics and colour mixing 
  • Shade and tone with pencil crayons over watercolour wash 
  • Printmaking 


Light & Dark Project/ Still Life Project 

  • Research and planning, analysis and application 
  • Photograph shoot 
  • Observational drawing 
  • Technique development through artist investigation 
  • Monotone work/ Colour work 
  • Range of outcomes 

AQA GCSE Art & Design Graphic Communication   

  • Continue to develop chosen project from year 10 for further investigation, development, and refinement 
  • ESA introduced in January. 10-hour exam in April
  • Complete and improve on coursework in final half term 


Orchard students learn to:

Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.

Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.

Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.

Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.

Education and Employability
The career fields in the Arts is boundless, from Art Therapist to Costume Designer, Art Gallery Curator to Art Historian alongside any other industry which needs an open mind, creativeness and attention to detail.
Enrichment Opportunities

Trips to galleries will allow our students to join the millions before them to be inspired and awed in works of national importance, seen alongside cutting edge and political modern pieces. We will look close to home and internationally for a truly wide range of experiences.


Design Technology (DT) - through Key Stage 3 students understand the design process from identifying the gap, exploring and creating solutions, to evaluating and critiquing their outcomes. Hands on experience with a wide variety of materials helps them to understand the properties and uses so they can make informed decisions.

Digital Media and IT - Our KS3 curriculum includes content relating to e-safety, Microsoft Office, Web Design & HTML, Photoshop and basic programming. 

In Key Stage 4 Graphic Design and Engineering we help students take a professional style brief and conduct in-depth research and exploration to find viable solutions. For GCSE we teach the AQA Graphics course through a digital format. This involves developing knowledge and skills in a broad range of communication graphics including interactive design (web, app and game), advertising and branding. We have invested in high quality laptops and have recently redesigned our curriculum so that students leave Orchard with the skills which would enable them to enter the digital sector pathway in the future.


Product Design and Engineering - Journey on a Page

Year 7

Year 8 Year 9

3D Dinosaur:

  • Exploring basic tools, wood as a material, slot and cut techniques 

Wooden Racing Cars:

  • Building in more complex woodworking skills and advanced tool use 

Flower/Leaf Press:

  • Environmental exploration, hardware 

Coat Hook:

  • Looking at physical restrictions of materials, choosing appropriate materials and answering problems


  • Introduction to Engineering as a subject and basic properties 

Manipulating Metals:

  • Making Engineered Products using Hand and Machine Tools. Metal work, properties, tools, health & safety and finishing techniques 

Survival Tools:

  • Making Engineered Products Using the Pillar Drill and Lathe. Advanced tool work and appropriate uses and restrictions, health & safety 

Cardboard Constructions: 

  • Short project exploring design, construction, materials and restrictions of chair design. 


  • Using furniture designers to inspire and challenge understanding of different concepts.  


  • Using technical drawing to create an isometric drawing of chair designs. 


  • Understanding structures and materials, which are then measured, constructed to create 3d models.
Year 10 Year 11

1A: Sectors & Applications:  

  • Engineering Sectors, Products, Organisations 

Engineering Design Application:  

  • Design Process & Drawing Techniques, Selection & Development, CAD Modelling  

2A: Materials & Processes: 

  • Materials, Components and Processes

2B: Product Disassembly & Report:  

  • Product disassembly. Analysis of grading criteria and layout for report. Reverse engineered design specification 

2C: Make an Engineered Product:

  • Marking out, accuracy, Centre punching & hammering/forming. Use of Pillar/Bench Drill and machine vice, diverse types of files, Use of the hacksaw. Finishing metals 

Engineering Exam (Externally Assessed)


Orchard students learn to:

Work safely and effectively

Use the design processes and review their learning

Use a wide range of tools, materials, and processes 

To independently choose the correct materials, tools, and processes

To grow as creative confident, designers and makers

To work independently as a part of a team 

Learn about new and emerging technologies

To be environmentally responsible designers

Enrichment Opportunities

We run trips to contemporary and historical venues both in Bristol and further afield, looking at the history and development of our subjects juxtaposed to the newest technologies out there. Our enrichments cover building and construction, sustainability, design theories and more. 

Education and Employability
Product design is a field that brings together art, business, and engineering, developing new concepts, mixing aesthetic tastes, functionality, and financial considerations in a way that few careers will. Engineering supports a skill set that could be invaluable in many different job markets, all over the world. 

Digital Media and IT - Journey on a Page

Year 7

Year 8

ICT & Graphic Design

  • Restaurant Project- Using Microsoft office to plan and market a fictional restaurant. Developing strong skills in Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint until fully competent and second nature. (ICT) 
  • Tech for… Project- Exploring how technology is used in a range of different industries and how it is developing these to support sustainability (ICT/Industry) 
  • Mythical Zoo project- creating a range of merchandise and branding for a mythical zoo. Developing understanding of working to a brief and design elements such as colour, typography, themes, and visual communication (Graphics)

ICT & Graphic Design

  • Time capsule Project- exploring technology as it is now and creating a digital time capsule using Microsoft office advance skills to drill down into key pieces of technology. Looking at what next in technology (ICT/ Industry) 
  • Cyberbullying awareness and Digital Citizens - exploring safety on the web and at home, how to tackle bullying online as a school and community (ICT/ Industry) 
  • Cinema Project- creating and analysis of digital products, merchandising, advertising, design theory and product design based across a cinema and film launch. (Graphics) 
  • Photography Project- editing and photography skills to begin understanding of digital manipulation, composition, and key photography skills. This supports their digital learning within year 9 as part of the ADT rotation  
Year 10 Year 11

AQA GCSE Art & Design Graphic Communication

  • Skills workshops- exploring the basics of design, theory, and Graphic communication. Learning how to analyse professional products and modify and refine own ideas accordingly.  
  • Brief 1- Dark and Light- analysing and exploring professional graphic outcomes and following a brief to create their own version. Developing skills in photography, illustration, Adobe/Photoshop/Illustrator and becoming more creative. 
  • Brief 2- Rebranding festivals- applying theoretical design concepts and a range of digital skills to the rebrand and design of large-scale music festivals. Creating full scale outcomes.

AQA GCSE Art & Design Graphic Communication

  • Brief 3- Self Identity - Student led project developing and exploring technical digital skills to a brief of their own design. 
  • ESA - introduced in January. 10-hour exam in April.  


Complete and improve on coursework in final half term 


Orchard students learn to:
  • AO1: Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.  
  • AO2: Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting, and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques, and processes.
  • AO3: Record ideas, observations, and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.
  • AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realise intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language
Enrichment Opportunities

We explore creative side of the industry through trips to Harry Potter Studios, local and national industry leaders which explore the breadth of digital careers and inspire our students to be limitless in their aspirations.

Education and Employability
The digital sector is the fastest growing in the world, from game design, programming, websites, and 3D Computer aided design students could go anywhere in the world with infinitely transferable skills. Strong ICT skills will help them seamlessly fit into any professional environment and life in general. 


Food and Catering - Developing an appreciation of food and an understanding of how it can impact our lives, is vital for the physical and mental health of children and young people.  Our curriculum empowers students with the skills needed to cook delicious, nutritious food and the knowledge of ingredients to help adapt recipes to suit their own tastes and needs.  It also provides opportunities to discuss and explore cultural and historical influences in our daily diets and the choices we make as consumers.  In Key Stage 4 we introduce the concept of food as a business and what it means to work in 'Hospitality and Catering', meeting the needs of customers.  We teach students about job roles, menu planning and a whole raft of topics to help gain an advantage in the industry, whilst further developing cooking skills and confidence to make high level dishes. 

Food and Catering - Journey on a Page

Year 7

Year 8 Year 9

Introduction to Food and Cookery 

Keeping everyone safe:

  • Understanding how to reduce the risk of food poisoning by using the 4 C’s.  

Nutrition for health: 

  • Exploring the relationship between food and health, understanding the sources and functions of the main nutrients and being able to compare diets. 

Why choose to cook?:

  • Debating and discussing the reasons people may choose to cook from scratch or use convenience food products. 

Sensory systems: 

  • Understanding the properties of food products and how taste, texture, smell, and appearance work together in foods. 

Dishes Cooked: 

Fruit salad, loaded flatbreads, pasta salad, tomato soup, fruity muffins, crumble


Why eat this?:

  • Using sensory words to learn description and analytical skills  

Sustainability in practise: 

  • Food miles, seasonal produce, modern alternatives

Nutrition for success: 

  • Special diets, functions of ingredients, alternatives. 

Dishes cooked – Bread base, Pizza, Shortcrust pastry, Chocolate tart, Swiss Roll, Risotto, Chicken Fajita.

Introduction to the Catering Industry 

Is the customer always right?: 

  • Debating the expectations of customers in different types of catering businesses and exploring this relates to the way the business is run. 

Where will you eat?: 

  • Exploring the differences between fast food, street food, fine dining, and coffee shops.  Developing knowledge on how they operate including health and safety, menu planning and using technology. 

Indian Influences:

  • The principles of Indian food it’s history in the UK. 

Plant based diets:

  • Examining the reasons for choosing plant diets and the environmental and ethical issues around the meat industry. 

Commodity groups: 

  • Understanding the groups of ingredients and what to look for when buying them, how to cook them. 

Dishes Cooked – Quesadillas, dhal, samosas, tandoori chicken, chicken burgers, brownies, lemon drizzle cake, pastry tart. 

Year 10 Year 11

The hospitality and catering environment: 

  • Understanding the context of the industry, the success factors and the job roles and attributes required by workers and the differences between residential and non-residential businesses. Learning about the types of food service and how it affects the business and the customers. 

The operation of catering businesses: 

  • Front of house and back of house design and layout, use of technology and workflow.  


  • Understanding the environmental impact of the food industry and exploring how businesses can use the 3 Rs to reduce their carbon footprint. 

Dishes Cooked:

  • Tacos, Thai curry, gnocchi, tiramisu, carbonara, key lime pie, haloumi salad, panna cotta, steak and red wine sauce, profiteroles.

Unit 2 - NEA – Controlled Assessment Task


  • Student led project in menu planning and delivering high skilled dishes to meet a brief. 


  • Exam preparation – revision and past papers to prepare for Unit 1. 


Orchard students learn to:

Use a range of equipment and utensils to prepare and cook meals and snacks. Use a wide variety of commodity group ingredients. Become confident in the kitchen.

Enrichment Opportunities

Exploring South West production sites such as Yeo Valley introduce the concept of successful yet regional suppliers, and of business models which work for every team member and break away from soulless mass production. Food and design technology explore Wapping Wharf combining the structures and logistics with the innovative food and style of business. We run enrichments focused on the pure joy of cookery and regularly introduce new and active food businesses that we find in the real world around us. 

Education and Employability
The hospitality industry holds a fantastic and vast array of career options, with it’s constantly changing and adapting you will never be bored. The industry stretches the world over and offers opportunities far and wide to explore, travel, discover and create.

Staff Profiles

  • Ms Su Dean-Ostell, BA (Hons), PGCE - Head of Faculty

I graduated from the University of Sunderland with a degree in Art and Design. I went on to undertake my PGCE in Art and Design at the University of the West of England in 2014. I am an experienced theatre designer, lighting designer, graphic designer, lecturer in technical theatre and mountain climber. I am a member of the Chartered College of Teaching.

  • Ms Kirsty Pettett, BA (Hons), PGCE - Second in ADT

After obtaining a first class honours degree in Textiles/Surface Design, I went onto work with a communications team as an interior designer. Alongside this, I worked for a Council Community Art project working with children, this enabled me to  combine both of my passions for Art and Design and working with children. I trained to teach at Bath Spa University. I am a member of the Chartered College of Teaching.

  • Miss Carly Bryan, BA (Hons), PGCE

I have a degree in Fine Art and a PGCE in education.  I am a teacher of Art, Design and Philosophy. I have also been a pastoral leader for twelve years now.  As a fine artist I particularly like to explore working with a range of media, such as clay, watercolours, photography and pastels.   I am also passionate about delivering current affairs and significant topics through Philosophy for Children. 

  • Mr Mark Commane, BEd (Hons)

My background is in art, design, and engineering. After a period of working, I returned to education to complete a Bachelor of Education honours degree in Bristol. I have taught A' Level Design and most of the related GCSE courses over the years. With a family background in engineering, I enjoy teaching both practical and theory skills to the students of Orchard.

  • Mrs Lesley Evans, BA (Hons), MA, PGCE, NPQH

I graduated from Humberside Polytechnic with a degree in Fine Art and trained to be a teacher at De Montfort University in Leicester. I completed a Master's degree in educational research at the University of York.  I am passionate about growing knowledge and understanding of the histories of food and how skilful cooking with creativity and science help us make the world a better place!  I am a member of the Chartered College of Teaching and have achieved the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers.

  • Ms Shut Howell,  BA (Hons), PGATC

I graduated from the University of Sunderland with a degree in Fine Art.  My 2nd year was completed at Murray State University in Kentucky, USA.  I went on to complete a PGCE in Art and Design at the University of Wales, Cardiff.  My passion in art is for landscape painting and drawing using pen and ink.  I am also a moderator for GCSE Art and Design.

  • Mr Nick Kimber, BA (Hons), PGCE

I have been a keen home cook for over 20 years and have 10 years’ experience working in the catering industry.  I have a joint honours degree from UWE in Business and Education Studies and a PGCE in Design Technology.  I became a food teacher because an appreciation of food, cookery and flavour makes life better!

  • Mr Jack Staynings, BSc (Hons), PGCE

I graduated from the University of Worcester with a degree in Physical Education & Sport Studies. I continued at the same institute to complete a PGCE with IT as a second subject. I am a member of the Chartered College of Teaching. I have always had a keen interest in technology-enhanced learning, which has recently led to an opportunity to be TiLA Trust Leader in Digital Learning. I lead the delivery of the Duke of Edinburgh Award at Orchard.