The curriculum from KS3 onwards is based on development of knowledge, understanding and skills that are linked to GCSE and A level art. This includes the development of 2D and 3D art skills whilst developing relevant contextual, cultural and historical knowledge. These disciplines are taught through a wide range of topics that:
- inspire and challenge all students;
- provide a wide range of opportunities for working independently and also collaborating with others;
- provide a wide range of opportunities to develop skills using a wide range of media;
- provide a broad, balanced and engaging curriculum for all;
- provide opportunities which develop depth and application of knowledge, skills, independence, resilience, literacy and challenge;
- provide opportunities to apply knowledge and understanding in practical contexts;
- build on prior skills and knowledge to prepare students for the next stage in their learning;
- provide opportunities for developing confidence in creative expression.
Every scheme of work includes the development of practical art skills, in addition to the development of knowledge and understanding of visual art of different styles and cultures.
Students are taught about formal elements in the first half term. This involves learning about the core elements of art, including shape, colour, tone etc. This scheme of work also includes a baseline assessment that teachers will use to inform their planning to ensure lessons promote outstanding progress for all. Students then use the knowledge and skills they have gained in the first part of the term to complete an art history project, exploring the work of artists such as Matisse and Oldenberg.
During the spring term, Year 7 go on to learn about Moroccan art. This scheme of work initially allows students to develop their knowledge and understanding of art of different cultures. This also builds on their understanding of formal elements. The practical element of this scheme of work involves designing and making clay tiles. This project also gives the students the opportunity to complete the Explore Arts Award.
The final scheme of work in Year 7 continues to build on the students’ knowledge of art of different cultures. The focus for this term is Aboriginal art. Again, students develop their knowledge and understanding of the style initially before then creating their own. This project is usually completed in small groups, allowing students to collaborate artistically with their peers.
Students initially study pop art; this includes exploring the work of Lichtenstein and Warhol. This allows them to build on their understanding of art of different styles and cultures. Students develop skills in either design or print in this topic, allowing them to demonstrate their understanding of the style using different materials to those explored in Year 7.
Following this, Year 8 students then focus on core drawing skills in a scheme of work about human image. Often students are encouraged to recreate images of themselves. In this topic, students further explore art history and the different aspects that have influenced this. They then create a larger portrait of themselves in sections.
The final scheme of work in Year 8 is Surrealism. In this topic students explore the idea of hybrid creatures and return to using clay, continuing to develop skills introduced in Year 7. They create 3D ceramic pieces of their own creatures. This project also gives the students the opportunity to complete the Bronze Arts Award, building on their successes in Year 7.
Students complete a scheme of work per half term as their knowledge, understanding and skills allow for faster completion of project work. Students initially recap the formal elements introduced at the start of Year 7. In this scheme of work, they are further exploring this skill through a project on shells and fruit. They then go on to explore graffiti art, which introduces them to another contemporary style of art. In this project they are creating utilising stencils with spray ink.
In the spring term, Year 9 explore the work of artist Georgia O’Keefe. They go on to further refine their painting skills, in particular their use of water colours. Following this they complete a project in which they learn more about artists who have used food in art. Their practical work focuses on the development of ability using oil pastels, chalks and charcoal.
In the final term of Year 9, students complete research into typography. In particular they explore the work of artists such as Jasper Johns, and Keith Haring. They then complete a final 3D project, creating sculptures from cardboard which they then decorate influenced by the artists.
Years 10 and 11
At KS4 students complete the OCR GCSE in Art and Design with a focus on Fine Art. There are two components to this course.
Component 1 consists of a portfolio of practical work showing their personal response to either a centre- or learner-set starting point, brief, scenario or stimulus. This is worth 60% of the overall qualification.
Component 2 is an externally set task which is released by the exam board each January. It provides learners with five themes, each with a range of written and visual starting points and stimuli. Students then produce a response based on one of these options over the course of 10 hours. This is worth 40% of the overall qualification.
In Year 10, students build on their skills, knowledge and understanding developed throughout KS3 in two schemes of work. These are “Sea and Sky” and “Human Image”. In these projects students work more independently to carry out research on different styles of art. They then put their research into practice by creating their own artwork in these styles. At KS4 students are given more choice around the different media and materials they explore in each topic which allows them to focus on their specialisms. Towards the end of Year 10, students complete a mock exam for component 1 in the style of the final exam they will complete in Year 11.
Students are given further autonomy in Year 11 as they work towards developing their portfolio for their final assessment. This is the focus of the first term. Following this, emphasis is then turned to preparation for the exam which is competed around Easter in Year 11.