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Art and Design


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Developing as an artist and the joy of achieving  

  • Learn to observe subject matter
  • Developing student’s mastery and creativity with a range of media
  • Understanding why artists, past and present create the work they do 

Knowledge in Art

  • The formal elements – Tone, line, shape /form, colour, composition, scale, texture 
  • Techniques – Understanding the different qualities of a range of media and the relevant tools for each one
  • How to observe –Teaching drawing styles for different purposes. Working from direct observation more often
  • Contextual - Historical (movements/cultural) and contemporary (including conceptual) context, including an understanding of artists techniques
  • Expressing opinions and ideas – Why create art? What purpose? ‘SCAMPER’.
  • Artistic terminology – Reference to their own and other artists work

Skills in Art

  • Techniques – Practising different styles and approaches with different media. 
  • Observations – The process of choosing how to draw different subject matter: 
  • Mastery – creating work which aims for accuracy using the formal elements (Line, shape/forms, tone, colour, texture, composition, scale) 
  • Purpose – Creating work which reflects the subject matter/occasion/students’ emotions. This may include a more expressive approach which goes against the rules required to achieve mastery level. 

Creativity in Art 

  • Ideas – Interpretation of other artists styles and personalisation of the students own work
  • The development and refinement of work. SCAMPER 
  • Taking risks when experimenting with ideas
  • Mix media work
  • Unorthodox methods  
  • Working with unusual tools and surfaces
  • How the subject matter is observed, e.g. in abstract/surreal forms

Art and Design Vision 

To develop students' mastery and creativity, by teaching the way students observe, see subject matter, other artists work and the world around them. 

Challenging perceptions of what art is 

Our students come from primary school having had little exposure to art and therefore have a very narrow view of what art is. We will provide access to a broad range of art styles and use starter tasks based around the theme ‘why we do art’ to combat some of the student’s perceptions. 

Developing a range of techniques (knowledge/skills/creativity) 

A number of our student’s join us with low/limited knowledge and skills. We will teach students a range of techniques to enable them to observe the world around them and transfer that in technical and expressive/creative forms. We will also use a diverse range of artists and designers who work in an expressive and simplified way to enable our less technical students to see that art is not just about drawing/painting with accuracy, but observing and recording. Scale, media and purpose will also be a factor when developing our technically able students. 

Creating a no fear culture 

Several students have a fear of making mistakes and feel they ‘can’t draw’ and become reliant on short cuts... We will teach different drawing techniques to build confidence and change their mindset. We will celebrate high quality work, through our displays and social media but also ideas, concepts and progress based on their starting point. 

Encouraging experimentation and risk taking 

Our most successful students have demonstrated the ability to take risks with ideas and media. This involves experimenting, where the outcome may be unknown. There is a love of developing an idea, through their rigorous approach, which is accompanied by their ability to experiment with the techniques and ideas of other artists and designers, which they adapt to make their work personal. It is important to give our students the opportunity to take risks, which is appropriate to them learning and understanding that failure is part of the design process. Helping them to understand that artists use failure to refine their ideas and techniques is the way forward. 

Curriculum path 

Students will explore most of the formal elements each year, alternating throughout projects, as part of the interleaving approach. As will contextual links, however, there will be a greater focus on a few of the formal elements within each year group. 


Main Focus 

Themes 20/2021 




Pencil, charcoal, Drawing ink 

Learning to Look and Draw 

Exploring still life all year, but in different forms. 

  1. Inanimate objects (inspired by Jim Dine’s tools) 

  1. Art History – Symbolism (copies and analysis) 

  1. Contemporary Still life (objects of our time) 





Watercolours, oil pastels, coloured pencils, Print making 

Colour theory - Influenced by artists 

  1. Understanding colour theory 

  1. Sheffield Landscape (inspired by David Hockney) 

  1. Art History - Exploration of colour – Developing techniques and understanding through copies and analysis 

  1. Architecture (Local artist Jo Peel, Stephen Wiltshire and Jennifer Maravillas) 




Form (3D) 

Card, wire, clay, paint, pencil, oil pastels 

Proportions and angles 

  1. Figures in motion – 3D approach 

  1. Identity through portraiture (Contextual knowledge showing artists from a broad range of cultures) 

Both projects will explore how different artists observe the figure and topic of Identity. 


All of the formal elements covered 

  1. Natural Forms – Developing a range of skills and techniques covering all of the formal elements (mini project) 

  1. Slum Architecture –perceptions of the slums explored through the textures, colours and mix media (3D and Relief work) 

  1. Juxtaposing Natural Forms - Independent project  


All of the formal elements covered 

Option 1 - Graphic Design 

  1. Album cover design based on one of the following: 

  •  A genre of music,  

  • Existing album,  

  • Musician/Instrument,  

  • Song Lyric,  

  • Piece of literature/quote or a social/political event. 

  1.  Plate design based on the theme food and drink. 

Option 2 - 3D Design 

  1. Figurative sculpture  

  1. Vase inspired by Grayson Perry. 

January to May - Exam Project – Independent project 

Art Graphics Curriculum Path 

The course was originally set up to provide a way for some of our EAL students to develop their literacy skill, while also gaining a GCSE. The Graphic Communication endorsement of the Art GCSE course enables students to achieve this, as there are less barriers to learning given the visual and practical nature. The development of their literacy is gained through an additional lesson add to their 3 Art Graphics lessons, to revisit and embed key words and knowledge linked to their English topics. 

The Graphic Communication aspect of the course has been very successful, with the majority of students achieving a pass grade. However, the dynamics of the groups have changed over the last few years, with our current groups supporting more SEN students than EAL. 

On first starting the GCSE course students would produce work based on the theme, ‘what is Graphic Design?’ They would create visual sheets which look at the different forms of Graphic Design, including their purpose and types of media used. 


Main Focus 

Themes – 2020/2021 


(GCSE’s started in Y9) 

All of the formal elements covered 

  1. Lord of the Flies Character Illustration inspired by Jason Ratliff 

Exploring the key characters from the book and linking them to Marvel characters to create a visual representation and further develop the students’ Knowledge of their English Literature text. 

  1. Modern text and Poetry (Mini Project) 

Explored using the artistic techniques of Jackson Pollock and Mark Titchner. 

  1. Jon Burgerman inspired character illustration 

Students will explore character illustration in a different way to their first project. They will base their character designs on everyday objects, to create a design for a product, such as a plate, lunchbox, T-shirt etc.. 


All of the formal elements covered 

  1. Great Expectations book illustrations 

Students will explore themes and key quotes from the novel to produce work Influenced by Barbara Kruger. 

  1. Exam Project – Independent project.