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Art and Design

Art image

Curriculum statement: Art and Design

‘Until we can insert a USB into our ear and download our thoughts, drawing remains the best way of getting visual information on the page.’ Grayson Perry

Curriculum Aims:

Art, in all its varied forms, allows students to develop their voice and their sense of self. We want our students to develop a sense of curiosity and an eagerness to know, to notice the unnoticed, to see beyond what they think is a fixed idea and see things from another point of view. We want our students to become excited about everything: engulfed by their own enthusiasm that drives them to make and create.  They will go out to enhance the world, their world, in a visual way.

It all begins with drawing: it is vital to the creative process. Drawing has many purposes and our students are equipped with a thorough understanding of visual communication. They will learn the technical skills but also understand that drawing and recording has many purposes. We want students to understand the social and political contexts of work, which in turn will help them to see things from different perspectives ‘They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.[1]

Curriculum Features:

We put students at the centre of their own learning, to allow them to become the ‘architect of their own experience[2]. Strong relationships between student and teacher are built on trust and mutual respect. By the time students have reached Key Stage 5, there is constant dialogue about the work which builds a creative and purposeful atmosphere. The work they produce is of quality and has integrity.

By the time our students leave we enable the students to develop ‘intuitive capabilities[3]  The practices that we deliver at Key Stage 5 such as refining the use of the formal elements, analysis of artists, increased proficiency in materials techniques and processes and risk taking mean that they can approach any challenge with creativity and dexterity. In the pursuit of curiosity, students explore, experiment and discover their own visual language with which they go on to understand and enhance the world they live in. We aim ‘to refine our senses so that our ability to experience the world is made more complex and subtle: they promote the use of our imaginative capacities so that we can envision what we cannot actually see, taste, touch, hear and smell.[4]

Key stage 3 in an opportunity to build confidence, enjoy a sense of discovery and realise the importance of taking risks and making mistakes. We do this by starting with the fundamentals of drawing. The formal elements[5] are practised in a wide variety of ways using various materials to build up proficiency and confidence. We introduce the importance of analysing the work of artists.

By the end of Key Stage 3 pupils will be able to use different drawing skills for different contexts. They should have a growing understanding of selected key movements.  They should also begin to understand its importance and even have common misconceptions challenged.

[1] Art and design programmes of study: key stage 3, National curriculum in England

[2] 'Education is a process of learning how to become the architect of their own experience and therefore learning how to create yourself’ Eisner. The Arts and the Creation of the Mind

[3] DfE, GCSE subject content. January 2015

[4] Eisner. The Arts and the Creation of the Mind

[5] Colour, tone, shape and form, line, composition, texture, space, pattern

Key Stage 4 builds on their understanding of the Key Stage 3 curriculum. Work is produced in response to themes and students are encouraged to pursue their own interests, with guidance. Students will start to develop their own visual language, by being able to understand the work of others and having an increased proficiency in materials, techniques and processes. They should become more able to notice and observe, to become more visually aware, enabling them to see the potential in the world around them. Their knowledge of art history should broaden. They will begin making connections to the historical and social events. They should be developing their own sense of self.

Art is seen all around the school. We promote and celebrate the skills of our students by sharing their work with the whole school through regularly changing displays and exhibitions of their work. We collaborate with the performing artists on school productions; everyone’s skills and talents are valued and pupils see how working together makes a difference.   

Co-curricular experiences:

Working ‘out of suite’ has provided an opportunity to see inside other teacher’s classrooms. Just the other week I was listening to a history teacher deliver information about the Weimar which lead to talking about Otto Dix and Dada. From conversations with RE, I know that they explore religious iconography and architecture. This would allow students to see how everything is connected.

Although, we are unsure of what the future will bring, I would like the Art department to continue to work with Music and Performance.

Many JHN students have gone to work in the industry and we use this information to help students to understand what the options are after formal education.

What follows is a current summary of the intended subject curriculum content in each year of the key stage.  It highlights the key knowledge and skills intended for learning, and some of the ways progress in the curriculum is to be assessed.  It clarifies the key questions students should be addressing and gives links to help students and families to develop this learning further.


The department follows its own schemes of work, which are carefully designed to tap into the interests and aptitudes of students according to their age and abilities. Projects develop both skills and understanding in a logical and sequential fashion that enables students to produce meaningful and exciting artwork. Drawing is crucial to the development of ideas and is the basis of all the projects, as is looking at how other artists, designers and crafts people have worked on similar ideas. Extension tasks are designed to encourage independent work outside the classroom in order to support learning which takes place in lesson time.


year 8

year 9


Art and Graphic Communication are popular subject choices at GCSE. We have also introduced Textile Design. We encourage students to develop their own interests based around a central core of observational drawing, an essential skill for success in the subject.

Students take the Edexcel GCSE in Art, Craft and Design (1AD01), Edexcel GCSE in Graphic Communication (1GC01) or Textile Design (1TE0). Project based work is used to develop pupil’s skills in working with ideas and developing observation skills, thus allowing them to record and visually communicate effectively. Pupils are encouraged to explore a wide range of media, artists and designers in order to develop their creativity. Artist analysis is also key skill that is developed here.  Coursework accounts for 60% of the overall grade at GCSE.

GCSE Art Curriculum Map

View Edexcel Course Information


The A-Level Course enables students to explore their artistic interests in much greater depth, with many students opting to pursue their studies at University.

Students take the Edexcel A-Level in Art and Design, which gives them sufficient breadth and depth to their learning to progress to Higher Education. There are opportunities for students to specialise into a specific discipline as the course progresses. This can include Art, Craft and Design as well as Fine Art and Graphic Communication, Textile Design.

A Level Art and design Curriculum Map 

View Edexcel COurse Information

The BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Art & Design is offered as a vocational Art course. This course develops skills in a variety of specialisms for example drawing and painting, graphic design, fashion, textiles, jewellery, architecture. Many of our students are successful in gaining places at university to extend their learning on a wide variety of specialised courses. This course is made up of a combination of internal and external units.

When viewing the course information please click on the Diploma 2017 tab. 

BTEC Art and Design Curriculum map


Subject Documents Date  
Guide to GCSE Art and Design 22nd Jun 2020 Download
Draw Booklet 21st Feb 2018 Download
Art Resources 05th Feb 2019 Download
Art GCSE Option Booklet 05th Feb 2019 Download