Art is the freedom of the individual, the freedom of expression. It is not just a subject to learn but one that you can practice with your eyes, your hands and your whole personality. A language which helps to build a balanced personality and a wider understanding of life.


At Mountrath Community School our Art Department offers an environment and working ethos where students will be able to:

  • Develop their creativity and imagination through visual, tactile and sensory experiences.
  • Develop practical, technical and critical skills and use visual and tactile language to communicate ideas, sentiments and meanings.
  • Learn to make value judgements and aesthetic and practical decisions and become actively involved in shaping environments.
  • Explore ideas and meanings in the work of artists, craftspeople and designers and learn about the diverse roles and functions of art, craft and design in the contemporary world and across different times and cultures.

Our students will work in a caring, stimulating environment where individual needs of students are addressed and where students will develop confidence in their work and to add to their stimulating working areas.

Picture3 Our Visual Art department here at Mountrath Community School fully covers the Art curriculum at both Junior Cycle and Senior Cycle.

Junior Cycle Art - Art, Craft and Design

Through ART our students develop a sense of personal identity and self-esteem through practical achievements in the expressive, communicate and functional modes of art, craft and design. They develop an understanding of art, craft and design in a variety of contexts - historical, cultural, economic, social and personal. Our students develop artistic and aesthetic sensibilities and we encourage in our students the key skills of critical appraisal, appreciation and evaluation.


Examples of Junior Cert. Project Work

We value in our students the qualities of imagination, creativity and originality.

Senior Cycle

The course covers all of the above and also promotes the students interest in the history of art and design and to foster a love for it. The study of art history compliments and extends our students understanding and knowledge of the practical work being undertaken.

The course also tries to expose students to a variety of materials in an attempt to express themselves in a creative way and to provide a balance of making art and appreciating art.

Leaving Certificate Art, Craft, Design Syllabus

Students who choose Art and Design for the Leaving Certificate will spend five periods a week studying the course. Four of these are practical lessons. These consist of Life drawing, Still Life and Imaginative Composition. Materials explored include mixed media, paint, oil and chalk pastel, pencil, and inks. The students will also explore Craftwork. Techniques covered under this term include Lino-Printing, Calligraphy, Puppetry, Embroidery, Ceramics, Batik and Graphic Design. Students also have the option to study Design.

In fifth year the students will develop and expand the skills they have learned at Junior Certificate. The emphasis this year is on the development of their own unique style, their preferred medium and ways of working. They then continue their preparation for the Leaving Certificate and may consider the possibility of Art as future career.

Practical Course work

  • Imaginative Composition or Still Life (100 marks)


Imaginative Composition


Design or Craft (100 marks)



Example of new work book format for leaving certificate

  • Life-Drawing: pose 1 – 15 minutes; pose 2 - 30 minutes (50 marks)

Students will spend two periods a week studying The Appreciation and History of Art. This subject is taught in a social, historical and cultural context.

The Appreciation and History of Art exam component accounts for 38% (150 marks) of the final mark in the Leaving Certificate. The exam is a two and half hour exam and consists of three questions, one from each of the following sections. This written exam is held in June. The main areas covered are:

    • Appreciation of Art and Design -Topics explored include film appreciation, visits to local and national exhibitions, product design interior design, architecture and local heritage.
    • Irish Art - This involves a study of Irish art from Newgrange to the present day. Topics covered include architecture, painting, sculpture and crafts.
    • European Art -This is a study of European art from medieval times to the 20th century. Topics covered include architecture, painting, sculpture and crafts


    These are some useful sites, whether you want to find a picture, learn about an artist or find out how to use acrylics, you'll find a site here that will help you do it!!

    Smart History (Art History Timeline)
    • Art Project by Google
    • Art Resource
    • Deviant Art
    • Empty Easel
    • History of Irish Art
    • Learn Calligraphy at Bill's Space
    • Source (Photography Magazine)
    • Tate Kids
    • Tate Collectives
    • Khan Academy
    Art Galleries
    • Hugh Lane Dublin
    • Irish Museum of Modern Art
    • National Museum of Ireland
    • National Portrait Gallery
    • Douglas Hyde Gallery
    • Tate Modern
    • Saatchi Gallery
    • Van Gogh Museum
    • Guggenheim
    Art Colleges
    • Cork Institute of Technology
    • Limerick School of Art and Design
    • Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
    • NCAD
    • I.T Sligo
    • University of Ulster