Curriculum rationale:

Our Art curriculum has been designed around the introduction to the elements of visual language and the development of this within the fundamentals of; drawing, painting and the appreciation of artists’ work past and present.  The curriculum is predominantly practical and aims to engage students in the activity of creating work for as much of their time in the classroom as possible.  We believe that the teaching of the practical element should be taught alongside both historical and contemporary art theory. It is important that we develop the practical skills that will inform and strengthen students’ wider understanding and appreciation of art in all its forms. 

Our specialist art classrooms, digital suite and dark room allows students to have the opportunity to study mark making (drawing), colour theory, painting, clay, glass, printing, digital art and photography. Exploring a wide range of skills and styles at KS3 means that students are adequately prepared for and feed into GCSE Art and Design at KS4.

Curriculum Design:

Aspects of the areas of study from the GCSE specification are incorporated into the KS3 curriculum in various topics e.g. students study a portrait project in Year 9 that closely follows the approach taken in the Art GCSE. This is for the students that have not selected to do the Art GCSE in Year 9. This will allow students who are not taking art further to develop creative ideas and use the skills acquired in Year 7 and 8. 

Curriculum Plan:

Key Stage 3

In Years 7-9 art is taught on a rotation system so modules are not tied to specific terms.


Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Rotation 1

Baseline assessment

Introduction to drawing mark making and drawing system

Further drawing practice and drawing systems


Teaching of portrait drawing to develop composition

Start composition project

Rotation 2

Introduction to paint

Colour theory and colour mixing

Introduction to artists’ work and movements


Introduction to artists’ work Composition techniques

Visual study or artists work and techniques


Introduction to practical techniques

Study Artists using similar techniques

Student to produce own composition

Rotation 3

Production of pictorial composition

Develop acquired painting skills

Shown examples of artists’ work


Production of a composition

Develop visual ideas and using mixed media techniques

Evaluation of own work and the work of the artist


Complete a multimedia composition

Develop image digitally

Present work showing development and connection with the artists

GCSE Drama

Half Term

Year 9/10

Year 10/11

Sep - Oct

Introduction to course and project 1 brief

Collect resources and photograph

Project 2: chosen from a selection of 3 starting points

Starting points and timelines discussed

Oct - Xmas

Draw resources collected. 

Paint resources

Collect resources and record materials gathered

Research artists suggested in the starting point and develop personal ideas.

Experiment with ideas in different media

Jan - Feb

Research artist working on the same theme and study their approaches to the subject.

Explore ideas in a variety of different media including a mix

Work on developing a series of personal ideas for the final piece.

Mount all development work on boards

Produce final piece of work.

Feb - Easter

Develop a selection of personal ideas on the theme

Take one idea forward to develop as a final piece of work

Complete personal response to the starting point


April - May

Mount work onto A2 boards for assessment

Add annotation to work

Start on personal response



Jun - Jul

Finalise personal response

Present the personal response along with all research work



Curriculum Assessment:

Years 7 - 9 will have regular, low stakes diagnostic tests to check understanding and allow teachers to address misconceptions. They will also have an end of rotation practical and written assessment. These assessments allow teachers and students to identify areas of strengths and areas to improve.

Years 10 and 11 will also have regular, low stakes diagnostic tests to check understanding and various accumulative written tests every half term to check their understanding. These tests build each half term in length and complexity as they review previous topics as well as current ones. Alongside this they will be assessed in their practical work where they receive regular, personal verbal feedback and written feedback on areas of strengths and areas to improve.

Extra-curricular opportunities:

Visits to art galleries

Summer Arts Festival we host an art exhibition inviting family and friends in to view classwork 

Various afterschool clubs exploring digital art, clay, glass work and photography

Art and Design competitions

Essential equipment:

Year 7 you will need to purchase an A4 sketchbook through the school which will last for the duration of KS3 s (cost is usually around £2.50)

GCSE Art you will need to purchase a starter pack through the school (usually around £16)