Art and Design

Curriculum Overview - Art

The intent of our Art and Design teaching is to offer opportunities for all students to access the curriculum. This is achieved by providing students with high quality Art and Design lessons, which result in successful quality outcomes of work.  

It is our vision for every student to succeed and achieve their potential on a range of levels. Art lessons aim to engage and challenge students, resulting in an enjoyable learning experience for learners of all levels and abilities. We provide opportunities for students to develop their cultural capital with trips and workshops.  

Art gives opportunities for diverse thinking by developing students' world views. Students are encouraged to take part in art clubs and exposed to local and national competitions. 

Key Stage 3

Students all receive 1 hour of Art per week. The curriculum focuses on starting all projects in a similar way to strongly embed the design process. Within the curriculum we aim to give students as much exposure to the broad spectrum of Art and Design with some elements of choice. This is to allow students to learn the key fundamentals and starting points for a wide range of skills and techniques. We develop their understanding and confidence in these before embarking on further study at Key Stage 4. 

As a result, we aim for Art students to:  

  • Enjoy and contribute positively in lessons by being actively involved in all projects.
  • Regularly take part in peer and group feedback.
  • Make the most of opportunities provided to them.  
  • Develop resilience by understanding the importance of hard work to bring about positive improvements. 
  • Acknowledge their own and others’ success. 
  • Support the learning of those around them. 
  • Leave Art with strong qualifications that benefit careers and aspirations in the creative industry and beyond. 
  • Leave the Art department with an understanding of the link between art and culture.  
  • Conduct themselves with pride and integrity in all that they do and be proud of the artwork they achieved.  

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 students have the opportunity to select GCSE Art as one of the year 9 options. GCSE students have five hours of GCSE Art and Design lessons over a fortnight.  

Students will have the opportunity to improve on skills acquired in Key Stage 3 and to also develop new skills using an even wider range of different media, techniques, genres and themes. 

Students will have access to the Art room and its wide range of materials for lessons as well as extra curricular art clubs which are run weekly. There are opportunities throughout the year for students to take part in workshops to support their learning.  

The Edexcel GCSE Art course aims to develop students' understanding of other artists' and craft persons' work. They will use this as a starting point from which to develop their own original pieces of work. Through annotation and testing a wide variety of techniques, styles and materials, students will develop their sketchbook coursework which will showing their own personal visual journey through topics with lots of opportunity for autonomy when designing and creating.  

Following this course will improve students' understanding of Art and its links to social and cultural contextual references. Students will also develop their analytical skills when writing about their work and the work of others. The course encourages students to develop design skills that could be helpful in a wide range of jobs in the creative industry. Students will have opportunities to access other local, national and international artwork. 


At Key Stage 3 assessment is formative and an ongoing part of the teaching and learning process, providing regular feedback to enable students to progress. Students generally work on their skills and knowledge by developing several  pieces of development work and building towards creating a final piece.  

At Key Stage 4 the GCSE Art course is focused and graded against the following criteria, each worth 25% of the total mark: 

  • AO1: Develop - annotation, pastiches, design ideas, select resources.  
  • AO2: Refine - experiments, develop techniques, select materials, media trials and analysis. 
  • AO3: Record - mind mapping, mood boards, observational studies, Artist copies. 
  • AO4: Present - designing, planning, media trials, final piece and evaluate. 

In Year 10 there is a sit down mock exam. In Year 11, students preplan a final piece of artwork which they then complete in a sit down exam under exam conditions (in silence).