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Art & Design

Head of Department: Mr M Yeates

Our department ethos is for the curriculum to provide:

  • Meaningful, creative opportunities that have breadth across a range of visual art processes

  • An understanding and appreciation of visual language that is contextualised by study of art from many cultures and historical periods

Key Stage 3

The KS3 curriculum aims at balance between being a self-contained, logical passage of study that spirals in technical challenge, while also developing pupils’ skills should they opt for Art or Photography at KS4.

We frequently revisit key skills across the years, particularly in drawing, but also in printmaking and sculpture. Wherever we can we have tried to break from the traditions of ‘high art’ that dominate art historical development, and instead to embrace art from diverse cultures rather than just white European men.

From the outset pupils will have opportunity to respond to open briefs and themes to encourage creativity and ideas generation, which is the bedrock of success at GCSE.

The KS3 Art and Design curriculum in a nutshell is detailed below;

Year 7


Activities / projects

Exploring drawing skills and mixed media

Big bugs and observational drawing of objects

Exploring painting and mixed media

Painting waves and water

Exploring printmaking skills

Polyblock reduction pattern design

Exploring colour/collage/composition

Natural forms drawing with scissors developed into collage

Exploring 3D skills

Card and paper mache fish sculptures

Exploring photography

Composition and reflection, editing on Snapseed

Year 8


Activities / projects

Exploring drawing and collage

Self-portraits, pen drawing and collage

Exploring drawing/ideas development

Comic cover design

Exploring 3D/ideas development

Ceramic faces / Modroc figures

Exploring illustration/ideas development

Skull and symbols graphite and chalk illustrations

Exploring sound and movement

Cut paper animation and soundscapes

Year 9


Activities / projects

Exploring drawing/printmaking

Expressionism and lino reduction printmaking

Exploring photography

Surrealist double exposure

Exploring illustration/ideas development

Surrealist inspired mixed media work

Exploring design

Sorts days t-shit design and painting

Homework will be set at least once every 3 weeks. Homework tasks will be based on class topics or a chronological art history study that begins in Year 7 with Ancient Egyptian Art and ends in Year 9 with contemporary art.

Key Stage 4

At KS4, pupils have the chance to study GCSE Art, Craft and Design. We follow the Eduqas specification for Art, Craft and Design GCSE. Within this, there are options to specialise and be entered for 3D or Fine Art. We choose to work with this course specification as it values creative making and encourages pupils to explore ideas, self-direct within themes and personalise their learning journey.

Course: GCSE Art and Design

Exam Board: Eduqas

Course website

Year 10 & 11

The first term of Year 10 is spent gaining skills within three of the course Assessment Objectives:

AO1 Critical understanding; develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.

AO2 Creative making; refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.

AO3 Reflective recording; record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.

Portfolio Unit 1 (coursework) worth 60% of final mark.

Between September and February of Year 10 pupils will work on a ‘foundation’ stage of the course where they become familiar with the assessment objectives and have opportunity to explore contextual studies, themes, ideas generation and many new practical processes, both traditional and digital.

From February of Year 11 through to December of year 11, pupils will then select themes and develop and explore ideas from their themes. With teacher guidance, they will choose directions and processes that interest them and ensure their personal directions provide evidence toward AO1, AO2 and AO3.

The coursework portfolio will culminate in a final outcome that will fulfil the final assessment objective, AO4 – Personal Presentation.

Externally Set Assignment (exam project) worth 40% of final mark.

From January to April pupils will work on their ESA. We will be sent exam booklets by Eduqas. Pupils will first select a theme from the 15 on offer in the booklet. Much like in the Portfolio Unit 1, they will develop and explore ideas, showing evaluative skills and contextual understanding of relevant sources. The ESA will culminate in a 10 hour exam spread across two school days where pupils produce a final outcome.


Homework for GCSE Art will be set every week. Pupils are required to complete 1 hour of homework / independent study. GCSE catch up and homework support will be on offer.


We aim to offer the following trips across the GCSE course;

  • London galleries trip (National Gallery and Tate Modern / Britain)
  • Cambridge drawing trip (Zoology museum and Archaeology museum)
  • Berlin trip