“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

T Merton

Art and Design Curriculum


At KS3, students begin exploring the five essential elements of art. These include; colour, tone, line, texture and space. These five elements are the building blocks to prepare every student with the skills required to excel at a GCSE level. The elements are explored through studying a myriad of different artists to learn not only the practical application of skills but also the theory behind them. As students progress onto year eight they study different key eras of art and the movements that defined them. Students receive a well rounded, versatile knowledge of Art & Design to allow them to progress to a further education. These skills stay with them for life, we teach our students how to persevere through mistakes and manage the emotions that come with creating something in this world.


At KS4, students follow the AQA GCSE specification. This has been designed to allow students to develop knowledge and understanding during the course through a variety of learning experiences and approaches, including engagement with sources. This will allow them to develop the skills to explore, create and communicate their own ideas.

The course consists of two components, a portfolio of coursework (worth 60%) and a practical exam or externally set assignment (worth 40%). Each has four areas of assessment which are equally weighted, however this does emphasise how the learning journey is more valuable than the final outcome:

  • AO1: Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.
  • AO2: Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.
  • AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.
  • AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.