Curriculum Information



Subject rationale – Why study the subject? What benefits does it bring.

This is a big question, however, one explanation would be to say that art is the way in which we can express our ideas in a creative way: painting, or sculpting or taking a photograph. For example, many great painters will try to get across important ideas in their pictures. The Creative Arts Faculty successfully incorporates Art, Product Design, Textiles and Food. Art and Design is a vibrant, dynamic and flourishing Department. Located at the heart of the school, the department comprises five teaching rooms each resourced with cutting edge facilities to ensure pupils are well equipped to succeed. The emphasis is on supporting and guiding creative work in the visual arts; painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture and mixed media disciplines, incorporating collaborative national study trips as part of students development to Birmingham, Liverpool and London. Students are encouraged to experience all aspects of the arts through artist in residence workshops, exhibition visits, location drawing, community arts projects and annual art exhibitions. (see Design Technology page for Product design, Textiles and Food).

KS3 curriculum overview
Year 7

  • develop mixed media and presentation skills
  • develop skills in mark making
  • develop drawing and observational skills
  • develop skills in working with line in response to the ink drawings of Henry Moore and Photographs of Edward Weston
  • develop research and response skills focusing on artists, Vincent Van Gogh and Michael Craig-Martin
  • learn how to respond creatively to an artists work
  • understand the principles of working in photography and printmaking
  • develop evaluative skills

Year 8

  • continue to develop observational skills drawing from life
  • develop skills in drawing from secondary observation
  • develop knowledge of contemporary and historical artists
  • respond to the work of Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, George Braque and develop contextual knowledge of the Cubist art movement
  • work with form and structure
  • develop compositional and planning skills
  • develop skills in perspective drawing
  • gain knowledge in architectural movements and styles
  • understand how to develop 2D work into a plan for a relief composition
  • develop skills in the application of paint and colour mixing
  • learn the basic principles of colour theory
  • understand different colour treatments and confidently develop key words and language

Year 9

  • understand keywords and basic principles relating to Portraiture and Illustration
  • investigate key art movements in history
  • consider and discuss the concepts of artists from the Renaissance period to the present day
  • interpret artists work and use media and techniques to develop own ideas
  • understand the process of layering to add depth
  • become more competent when working from primary observation
  • gain an understanding of the proportions of the face
  • understand the process of photograph manipulation using Photoshop
  • respond to the collage portraits of Warhol and Art from the Pop Art Movement
  • gain an insight into the work of renowned graphic designers and illustrators
  • understand the process of printing
  • explore a range of possible concepts and techniques
  • critically evaluate the work of others using artistic language

KS4 curriculum overview 

Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Print, Film, Video, Installation, Mixed Media, Textiles and Fashion, Photography

Assessment overview

At GCSE there are two units of work; an internally set coursework unit and an externally set unit that culminates in a ten hour examination. The Internally set unit focuses on two coursework projects; the 'Natural Form' or 'Architecture' project addressed in Year 10 and the 'Figure' project addressed in Year 11. Project work involves:


  • record observations, experiences and ideas
  • analyse and evaluate images and objects
  • develop and explore ideas using diverse media and techniques
  • present a personal response relating to artists concepts
  • work on diverse scales
  • use ICT skills to research, develop design skills or create personal responses​​​

KS5 curriculum overview 


The Year 12 course consists of an initial workshop programme enabling students to develop skills, knowledge and experience of diverse media, techniques and processes before embarking on a personal project. This is delivered alongside a contextual studies scheme focusing on Contemporary Art. Students are encouraged to critically and visually analyse artist concepts. Artists studied include Anselm Kiefer, Jenny Saville, Gerhard Richter, Robert Rauschenberg and Cindy Sherman amongst others


In Year 13, students are encouraged to reflect upon their experiences at AS Level to negotiate their own project. Tutorials provide students with the opportunity to discuss potential concepts and review the strengths and weaknesses of the AS portfolio of work. Exemplar projects include: movement and light, war, text and image, beauty and the female form.


Assessment overview

The AQA Fine Art course is offered at AS and A Level.


At AS there are two units of work; an internally set coursework unit and an externally set unit that includes a five hour development controlled exam.


The structure is repeated at A2. The externally set unit at A2 culminates in a fifteen hour controlled examination, see link:

Career opportunities

There are a wide range of careers available through studying Art.

These include:

  • Fashion Design
  • Interior design
  • Graphic design/Illustrator
  • Architect
  • Teacher or lecturer
  • Gallery or museum curator
  • Photographer
  • Jewellery Designer
  • Artist/Sculptor
  • Craftsperson
  • Animation
  • Games Designer
  • Product Designer
  • Art Therapist


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