Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is based on the concept of introducing key skills in Year 7, developing these in Year 8, to be able to extend them in Year 9. Students will have had varied experiences of Art when they join in Year 7. Therefore, schemes of work are devised so that all students can make progress whilst also being challenged, regardless of their initial starting point. By the end of Year 7, students will have had the opportunity to explore different media and processes and have been introduced to some of the key concepts within this subject. They will learn how to critically analyse their own and artists’ work using subject-specific language, develop skills in using a range of media and processes, and begin to work with increasing independence to explore personal ideas and create work that is meaningful to them. As students move through Years 8 and 9, creativity, competence and critical analysis skills continue to be developed and extended through broad, engaging topics.

Those students choosing Art at GCSE follow the AQA course, which has a large coursework component and a practical exam with an extended preparatory period. There are four assessment criteria that can be summarised as: develop, refine, experiment and present. Students will already be familiar with these concepts as KS3 projects are based on the same framework. At the beginning of the GCSE course, we will spend time refining practical skills, particularly focusing on observation and recording. Students will go on to develop two coursework projects throughout Year 10 and into Year 11, with students given increasing independence to develop their own ideas and work with media of their choice. All year groups are able to participate in educational trips, providing opportunities to experience and make art outside of a classroom setting. Years 11, 12 and 13 can also take part in an international trip to build on these experiences. 

Studying Art at A level, assessed through OCR, allows students to develop more sophisticated knowledge and understanding. A foundation studies approach in Year 12 challenges and questions how and why we make art. It introduces new ways of working, helping students to develop their own visual language and express their passions, ideas and viewpoints through a rigorous and in-depth creative process. Skills are refined and independence encouraged as personalised ideas are taken forward into Year 13, reflecting and supporting individual interests, whether they lie within the Arts or further afield.


  • Colour theory and watercolour painting
  • Mixed media and monoprint
  • Critical studies
  • Slab-based ceramics
  • Relief print and design
  • Three-dimensional ceramics
  • Cultural studies
  • Observational drawing and painting
  • Digital art and printmaking
  • Critical studies and acrylic painting
  • Experimental drawing
  • Sculpture


GCSE Portfolio

  • Coursework Project 1
    • Observational studies
    • Photography
    • Critical studies
    • Oil painting
  • Coursework Project 2
    • Drawing
    • Printmaking
    • 3D ceramics

GCSE Portfolio

  • Main project, showing explicit coverage of the four assessment objectives.

  • It must include a sustained project evidencing the journey from initial engagement to the realisation of intentions.

Externally Set Assignment

  • Students respond to their chosen starting point from an externally set assignment paper relating to their subject title, evidencing coverage of all four assessment objectives.



  • Engaging students with a wide range of core processes and materials including:
    • Drawing
    • Painting
    • Printing & ceramics
  • Developing cultural and critical understanding of other artists work and an ability to critically evaluate their own work.

Personal Study

  • Students can choose a starting point from a selection provided by the teacher for which they will generate an appropriate personal response.
  • They will carry out preparatory work to research, plan and develop their ideas into a final outcome.

Personal Study

  • Students will produce a portfolio of practical work in response to a brief scenario or stimulus of their choice, and a related written study of at least 1,000 words.

Externally Set Task

  • 15 hours non-exam assessment. 

  • Students produce a response to one of a number of provided themes, each of which will have a range of written and visual starting points, briefs and stimuli.