Art & Design

Available at KS3, 4 & 5. Includes Photography.

Department Curriculum Intent

Our fundamental belief is that all students are entitled to a stimulating and enriching art education that engenders a lifelong relationship with the visual arts regardless of their career aspirations. We strive to develop students’ visual literacy enabling them to make sense of the highly visual society in which they live and the wider world around them. As such, we aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that is engaging, challenging and inclusive, and in which, the acquisition of skills and knowledge is underpinned by an understanding of a universal visual language.


KS3 Vision

At KS3 it is our intention that students become proficient at using the formal elements of art (such as line, tone, texture, colour, shape etc.) to communicate visually. Throughout the key stage, students are introduced to a variety of media, techniques and processes including drawing, painting, mixed media, ceramics and sculpture, with the informed use of the elements of art being a common strand. 


Students also explore the work of artists and designers from a range of historical, contemporary and cultural sources further enhancing their understanding of visual language. In doing so, we are committed to developing their research and analytical skills which naturally supports verbal and written literacy. The use of dual coding is intrinsic to our approach and is vital in developing creative and critical thinking skills.


Central to our KS3 vision is the commitment to instilling confidence in every student allowing them to develop a sense of self-worth and to have feelings of pride for their work. The celebration and display of students’ work is therefore a key priority in modelling how we value their work and the visual arts in general. 


Exam Groups Vision

Our vision for exam groups builds on the foundation of KS3 with the intention that students become increasingly independent learners capable of a deeper level of creative and critical thinking. They also become progressively skilful in their practical work and can respond to project briefs on a more personal level. Naturally, there is also a shift in emphasis towards consideration of career pathways in the field of Art & Design. 


Our aim is that students will eventually have the opportunity to specialise in their strongest discipline(s) but will also have the confidence to accept challenges and risk-take from a position of strength and security within a supportive culture of embracing error.