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Art and Design - Key Stage 3

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Curriculum Year 7 / Year 8 / Year 9


Supporting your child

Extended learning


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, painting, sculpture and photography. Wherever we can, we have tried to break from the traditions of ‘high art’ that dominate art historical development, and instead 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:



What pupils will learn

How it builds on learning


To draw with confidence from observation in a range of media


We assume pupils have an elementary understanding and experience of drawing and some processes from KS2. However, to ensure a base level of understanding, we cover key aspects of the ‘formal elements’ like line, tone, colour etc.

Regardless of individuals’ experience at KS2, we give creative opportunities in the key areas of drawing, painting, printmaking, 3D and Photography. This, along with contextual studies work, allows us to baseline pupils and measure progress against baselines by the end of the year.

To explore motivations for making art and the importance of contextual studies


Knowledge and experience of techniques in printmaking, painting, 3D and photography



What pupils will learn

How it builds on learning


To expand drawing skills into abstraction and distortion



Year 8 projects and tasks will seek to revisit and build upon knowledge and skills from Year 7.

Pupils will apply drawing skills in more experimental ways, beyond realism and exploring alternative ways of seeing and presenting.

They will have increased opportunity to make creative decisions and control the direction of their work – ideas development will be a key feature of projects and tasks.

To further explore motivations for making art and how and why art breaks traditions


To build confidence in creative decision making


To expand knowledge and experience in printmaking, painting, 3D and photography



What pupils will learn

How it builds on learning


To revisit and further develop a broad range of drawing skills, applied to develop outcomes with complex meaning



Projects in Year 9 seek to consolidate and further extend skills in drawing, painting, printmaking, 3D and photography.

Pupils will need to show confidence to manipulate media to suit and communicate intentions and increasingly sophisticated meanings in their art.

To further explore motivations for making art and how art moved toward the ‘individual voice’ and ‘concept’


To revisit, further develop and manipulate processes to suit creative intentions


Your child will be given regular formative feedback and targets, both verbal and written, as we progress through projects and tasks.

Pupils will be assessed on their ability to:

  • Record accurately
  • Develop ideas
  • Explore materials
  • Review and analyse
  • Present and realise outcomes

Summative assessment will be communicated through a half year and end of year report. Latest assessments and progress toward assessment areas listed above will be ‘live’ data and can be viewed on go4schools.

Supporting your child

What you can do at home:

Try to get your child out to see some and experience some art. We will have a noticeboard up in department but also send information in the parent bulletin about local and national exhibitions and events.

Pupils will be encouraged to photograph classwork and keep a digital record in their pupil work folders on Microsoft Teams. Please encourage them to share their progress with you. When they are set homework, please discuss the aims of the task with them.


Pupils will be provided with sketchbooks and equipment to complete classwork in school. We advise pupils have the following at home to ensure they can enjoy and complete homework fully:

  • Sketching pencils (HB to 9B)
  • Drawing pens
  • Colouring pens / pencils
  • Watercolour paints and brush
  • Oil pastels

Extended learning

Homework policy:

Pupils will be set nine homework tasks across the year. They will have chance to review and act on feedback in order to improve this work where they can. Homework tasks will be a mix of both analytical work and practical making tasks.

Clubs/ Enrichment opportunities:

Art club will run weekly. There is an open door for art club. Photography club will run once every two weeks. In addition, pupils may be invited for masterclass workshops at points throughout the year.

Extended study suggestions and reading lists:

On the Art and Design subject area of the CATalogue is a list of useful tutorials your child might want to investigate in order to push and develop their skills further.

We will endeavour to highlight local opportunities for workshops and events through the parent bulletin.

Possible trips and visits:

We will endeavour to run a KS3 trip to visit a London exhibition.