Ethos and Aims
In Art, students become visually aware, culturally curious, resilient and adaptable. The development of practical skills, knowledge and understanding, brings confidence, a sense of ownership and a realisation of the values Art embodies. This is nurtured in regular art clubs across the key stages, and all students have the opportunity to take part in the Arts Award.
We help students to develop valuable, transferable skills. We don’t promise certainty – but provide the opportunities and support to aim high, struggle, grow and achieve. Whereas most students are unlikely to pursue careers in Art and Design, the skills, creativity and resilience they develop in Art undoubtedly prepare our students for a career in the Arts, but also science, public services, technology and life in general.
The curriculum is adaptable, enabling all to find their way and succeed, and is subject to constant reflection and renewal. It is rigorous, challenging and builds upon the skills, knowledge and experience acquired at KS3. Key objectives (AOs) run through the whole Art curriculum, and all years focus on these, not isolated skills. We establish high expectations – from the correct use of terminology to the discussion of challenging subject matter – verbally and written.
Practical and conceptual work increases in complexity and challenge for students, but they understand that it is a continuum– they already have valuable skills and experience upon which to build. Our rigorous but collaborative approach to assessment means that all students have a safe and secure environment in which to thrive, risk failure, learn from it and grow.
KS3: Years 7 and 8
Students follow a well-structured curriculum that allows them to build skills, knowledge and understanding through drawing, painting, print-making, mixed-media and three- dimensional materials. Critical understanding of Art “in context” is a core skill even in Year 7, and the keeping of a sketchbook means students record, and can reflect upon, their Art journey. Debate and discussion are encouraged and students become confident in sharing ideas, opinions and insights with their peers.
The continuity from KS3 into 4 is ensured by exploring ideas and techniques in more depth. Through a series of “workshops”, students develop and refine practical and critical skills, with an expectation that students grow as individuals, finding their own interests and motivations in Art. Students continue to lay down excellent foundations for further Art studies, and for lives as more confident, visually aware, empathetic and communicative people. Year 9 Art students have the opportunity to broaden their experience by visiting one of the London Tate Galleries.
Currently all students follow the Edexcel Fine Art course, which is broad based with an emphasis on individual development, aesthetics and communication of ideas and feelings. All students will have followed the Year 9 course, will be prepared for the challenges of GCSE, and will be comfortable with the GCSE Assessment Objectives, which underpin the curriculum throughout KS3. Students produce a personal portfolio of work, which is initially inspired by “Natural Forms”, but broadens out to accommodate, as far as possible, the interests and strengths of the students. Students in year 10 have the opportunity to be involved in a printmaking workshop, on site, with a professional Fine Art printmaker. There is a final practical examination, the theme of which is set by the examination board.