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Intent

Art and Design is a creative, inspiring, thought provoking and practical subject.  The Art Department aims to actively engage students in the creative process of art and design in order for them to develop as effective, independent learners, creative thinkers with enquiring minds.    It is important to develop imaginative and intuitive capabilities when exploring and making images, artefacts and products.  Students are actively encouraged to become confident in taking risks and to learn from experience when exploring and experimenting with ideas, processes, media, materials and techniques.  The department seeks to provide an opportunity for learners to take a personal interest in why art and design matters and to be inspired by studying an exciting and stimulating range of content.

Pupils are encouraged to make connections to a broader range of subject knowledge and skills including building critical thinking and problem solving skills.   Learners also draw upon other disciplines such as mathematics, history, English, music, computing and design technology.

Overall, the department aims to teach progressively across the key stages building upon previous knowledge and skills and developing the students’ creative curiosity.  This is achieved through the departments’ intent to utilise core skills and activities throughout each scheme work.

  • Students actively engage with the creative processes of art and design through an understanding of context and a critical understanding.
  • Learners use a wide range of materials and techniques alongside a variety of approaches to produce work.
  • Developing an understanding of the different work practices and roles of the creative and cultural industries and where this fits into a balanced society.
  • Students develop critical understanding and are able to interpret and apply into the context of their own work.
  • The range of topics chosen to study by the department are designed to offer the opportunity to explore a variety of Genres in art. They are selected to encourage students to explore different approaches to making and creating Art. The work will grow based on the theme given, through the exploration of the idea or experience rather than for practical purpose or function. In year 7 students are introduced to the formal elements of art through a range of weekly teacher led tasks, designed to explore the elements individually. The projects that students then begin working on and continue through the key stages are designed to combine the formal elements into a coherent unit of work with evidence of meeting four assessment objectives.

SEN and Disadvantaged Students

Art and Design is a fully inclusive subject which fosters individuality and unique traits and characteristics within those producing creative products.  The department aims to fully consider the students needs when setting seating arrangements and using subject specific practical equipment.  The SEN register is regularly updated and referred to when planning and preparing for lessons with individual student needs being catered for.  Projects often have elements of choice and material selections which encourages independence and discerning choices allowing students to feel more confident within their work.  This gives the students an opportunity to take ownership of the development of their work.  Staff regularly spend 1:1 time with students to check in with those with additional needs both to support their understanding and wellbeing whilst ensuring practical  opportunities are also supported.  There is no requirement for any students to provide additional materials in order to make progress which supports our more disadvantaged learners.  SEN and disadvantaged students achieve outcomes in line with their peers and often above expectations.

Approaches to Literacy

Art and Design develops a range of literacy based skills and is highly dependent upon critical and analytical understanding and expression.  All schemes of work throughout each key stage are designed to develop and enhance the students’ literacy skills.  Key terminology is taught within each key stage and is woven throughout all schemes of work, used as building blocks throughout the courses and constantly referenced within the curriculum.  The formal elements of Art and Design are taught as the first project within year 7 and are constantly revisited within each key stage as the cornerstone to their Arts education.  It is a requirement that students fully understand and are able to refer to and recognise these formal elements within their work.   Students throughout all key stages need to demonstrate the ability to analyse critically, and interpret the work of artists and designers, taking into account the context (historical, cultural, social,economic, political etc) of their production in order to understand meanings, purposes, relationships and influences.  Students are encouraged to verbally interpret, discuss and develop ideas as well as putting these thoughts into formalised language within their sketchbook studies.  As the students progress through the school their literacy development in Art and design becomes increasingly sophisticated and formalised with written critique of artists, designers, cultures etc being produced throughout keys stage 3, which converts into formalised contextual studies within the GCSE syllabus, culminating into a formal essay which is a required component of the A Level Personal Investigation Coursework element.

  • Students are encouraged and given the opportunity to express ideas through drawing and develop the importance of it in the context of art and design, a core element of the practice of artists and designers.  The purpose of their drawings is recording, communicating and visualising intentions, ideas and emotions.
  • Ability to apply and consider a wide range of formal elements of art and design.  These include: Line, Tone, Texture, Colour, Space, Shape, Form, and Composition.
  • Develop ideas through research, selection and critical analysing from a variety of historical and cultural sources.
  • Evaluate and refine their ideas and make independent decisions as to how to develop them through further experimentation with media, materials, techniques and processes.
  • Record ideas through a range of approaches such as drawing, photography, written annotation using specialist vocabulary.
  • Realise personal intentions through a sustained creative approach.
  • The ways in which meaning, ideas and intentions can be communicated through the visual, sensory and tactile language of the formal elements.
  • Demonstrate the properties and effects of using and wide range of materials and processes and the ways in which they can be used in relation to learners’ independent creative intentions.
  • The different purposes and functions of art and design in a variety of contexts including a variety of approaches of artists and designers from both contemporary and historical periods, societies and cultures.

Implementation

From the start of key stage 3 learners are taught through an adapted specification from the GCSE criteria.  This develops core skills through confidence and awareness of the GCSE objectives which then become increasing fluent through KS4 into 5.  KS4 and 5 follows the specification laid out through the relevant exam board materials.

The core skills are the fundamental building blocks from which we build our projects around with the flexibility to adapt and vary content depending on both the students and teachers.  We are able to utilise a wide range of creative contexts and media within our schemes of work which creates what we hope is a dynamic and exciting subject.

The department uses a mixed media approach at key stage 3 with students then opting for a specialism for KS4 and 5 with Fine Art or Photography being offered.  Current topics taught are:

Year 7

Baseline Test and Introduction to the formal elements of Art and Design.  Landscape Painting. Myself.  Year 7. Colour theory and Landscape.  Looking the work of Artists such as Henri Rousseau, the Fauves and Van Gogh, students explore a variety of mark making techniques, exploration of space and shape whilst considering composition to produce imaginative Landscapes paintings. Students consider throughout, the historical context of the work they are looking at and how the artist have been influenced from what has gone before them and how they have shaped the opinions of society that witness the art. This is then followed with a contrast in art styles through the exploration of Pop Art.

Year 8

Armour and natural forms.  Personal Objects and Identity.  Architecture and Perspective.  Year 8 are introduced to the theme of armour. This project is designed for students to build on their prior knowledge and understanding of materials and processes whilst considering more complex historical contexts through Art. Encourage students to look at armour in the natural world and consider how this has influenced design of manmade objects and creations. Explore the function of armour in conflict, interpret how artists depict the effects of war through their Artwork. Consider the psychological effects of conflict and produce prints that have metaphorical symbols and meaning. The following projects are again a deliberate shift in genres, styles and approaches to different Art. Personal objects and Graphic art gives the opportunity to explore the contextual relationships between art and functional art. Aspects include typography, use of line, shape and colour in the design of their compositions.  The project progresses into a portrait and identity project. This project looks at the work of contemporary artists such as Michael Craig Martin and Julian Opie.

Year 9

Surrealism and metamorphosis.  Viewpoints and Independent Themes.  Year 9 look at the work of the Surrealist artists, students are encouraged to interpret and consider the images and concepts associated with the Surrealists. A considerable exploration of their imagination and appreciation of Sigmund Freud’s philosophy will inform their development of ideas and depiction of their own experiences and communication of ideas. This is an extended project with a range of elements covered and an opportunity to explore a range of materials and processes. The concluding project at the end of the key stage is deliberately designed to encourage independence of ideas. Students are given a series of starting points from which to choose from, allied with a criterion to follow that is more in common with the work that would be carried out if the students were to opt for the subject in key stage 4. This in turn gives the students an experience of what is expected at GCSE.

Year 10 – 11:    Fine Art: Natural forms and independent coursework portfolio.  Externally set task.  Photography: Object and Objectivity and independent coursework portfolio.  Externally set task.

Year 10

Students are introduced to a teacher led unit of work with an emphasis on developing skills and experimenting with a range of media. The intention is to give the students an understanding of how the tasks set meet the assessment criteria and to what level. It also gives the students’ knowledge on how to structure a portfolio of work in preparation of them becoming ever increasingly independent in their personal investigation.  Once the teacher led unit of work comes to a conclusion, students are given a choice of continuing with their current theme or selecting another starting point and developing their own portfolio.

Year 11

Students continue their personal investigation that they started in year 10 and finish the portfolio at the end of term 2. Students are then issued with a Set Task, (examination unit) in January. It is an early release paper from which students will be able to choose a starting point either visual or written to develop a response using the skills, knowledge and understanding they have developed through their previous course of study. They will be given a period of preparation then a 10-hour period of sustained focussed study in which to realise their intentions. The time frame for this is determined by the art department.

Year 12 – 13:    Fine Art & Photography:  Conceal and Reveal.  Personal Investigation and externally set task.

Year 12

Students are introduced to a teacher led unit of work with an emphasis on developing skills and experimenting with a range of media. The intention is to give the students an understanding of how the tasks set meet the assessment criteria and to what level. It also gives the students’ knowledge on how to structure a portfolio of work in preparation of them becoming ever increasingly independent in their personal investigation.  Once the teacher led unit of work comes to a conclusion, students are given a choice of continuing with their current theme or selecting another starting point and developing their own portfolio.

Year 13

Students continue their personal investigation that they started in year 12 and finish the portfolio at the end of term 2. Students are then issued with a Set Task, (examination unit) in February. It is an early release paper from which students will be able to choose a starting point either visual or written to develop a response using the skills, knowledge and understanding they have developed through their previous course of study. They will be given a period of preparation then a 15-hour period of sustained focussed study in which to realise their intentions. The time frame for this is determined by the art department.

In order to deliver the curriculum the department does not use a specific prescribed approach to the teaching of Art and Design which enables individual teachers to impart their own unique skills, abilities and professional judgement.  The common ways in which the curriculum is implemented within the department include:

  • Staff have excellent subject knowledge and are all subject specialists.
  • Lessons are appropriately challenging and well resourced.
  • Students are regularly given the opportunity to challenge themselves and be independent with their creative lines of enquiry.
  • Lessons aim to engage students and encourage them to explore a range of relevant contexts allowing for a greater understanding to be formed.
  • Skills are developed to encourage independence and confidence.
  • Assessment, in the form of teacher assessed or peer assessed work, which informs teaching and gives pupils feedback on the success of the work.
  • Homework is set regularly and in line with school expectations and tasks make a meaningful contribution to the development of the students’ independent learning.
  • The use of key technical vocabulary is embedded from the start of year 7 and is developed and enhanced through the annotation and interpretive skills expected.
  • SEN provisions effectively meet the individual needs of students, ensuring they have equal access to all areas of learning and progress.  Art and design tasks are also aimed at encouraging inclusion and avoid social and ethical stereotypes.

Retrieval practice forms an important part of the departments’ fundamentals.  Throughout their Art education, the students are expected to build upon prior knowledge and understanding within each key stage.  Through project work, pupils rely upon and recall prior learning, skills, techniques and processes in order to achieve their intentions this is done through accessing their long-term memory and forming their own links to their prior learning.

Assessment in key stage 3 is in line with the GCSE and A Level assessment criteria as students are now being marked using the 1-9 GCSE grade system.  Therefore the department has designed assessment grids based on the four main assessment objectives within our subject area – Develop, Refine, Record and Present.  The rationale behind this is to establish a familiarity with the assessment criteria throughout each key stage.  Project work is marked holistically looking at a wide range of tasks produced.  A large proportion of our teaching practice in our subject is based upon circulating and providing 1:1 verbal feedback which is then combined with termly assessment grids offering the opportunity for students to reflect upon their teachers comments and their own learning, this takes the form of both teacher and peer assessed written comments.  In KS4 and 5 this practice is built upon and extended with the exam boards setting out full criteria for marking and assessment.  Students at both GCSE and A Level will produce one extended personal investigation portfolio (coursework) worth 60% of the grade and an externally set task including a timed examination worth 40% of the overall grade.  All work (including the externally set task) is internally marked by teachers and then externally moderated by an exam board visit.

The art and design department provides students with a range of opportunities to explore the subject area outside of lesson times.  These include regular access to studio time during lunch and after school, annual house art competitions open to every student, an annual summer exhibition and submission into The National Students Art Exhibition.  Visits to Galleries are undertaken to provide students with both a context for the creative work being produced as well as many opportunities to take part in practical workshops offered by these institutions.  A partnership has been established between the school and UCA Rochester with opportunities to provide practical workshops to students and help jointly promote an awareness of opportunities within the creative industries. A selection of work is also showcased throughout the school providing students with an opportunity to fully realise the intention of creative practitioners for having their work viewed publicly.

Impact

The impact of the curriculum can be seen through a number of measures;

  • Students are engaged in lessons demonstrating the high level of expectations of staff as well as an enjoyment of the variety of subject content on offer.  The standard of work demonstrates their commitment to studies.
  • By the end of key stage 3 students have a sound foundation of skills, knowledge and understanding which allow them to then further adapt and develop their creative and problem solving abilities.
  • Formative assessment processes used demonstrate that students make good progress in the subject area and are developing useful and adaptive skills for later areas of study.
  • Art and Design is a very inclusive subject due to the variety of approaches that can be taken within our areas of study.  SEN and disadvantaged students achieve outcomes in line with their peers and often above expectations.
  • Students develop a range of SMSC attributes including good cultural and social awareness in line with fundamental British values.
  • Students’ cognitive techniques are developed through the use of regular recall of skills, knowledge and understanding within art and design as well as the ability to make links and connections through the different areas of subject content.
  • Students consistently achieve above the national average in both GCSE and A Level
  • There is a consistent uptake for Photography and Fine Art GCSE with successful outcomes as an indication of how the students enjoy the subject area.
  • Our uptake at A Level fluctuates due to the following factors; annually students opt to go to local art colleges to pursue more specialised creative subject areas and foundation level. There is also variation with the amount of external applicants to the school.
  • Success of pupils in applications to study art and design led courses post 18 including regular applicants for art, illustration, architecture, design courses as well as going into other creative industries.

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Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Fine Art Year 10

Photography Year 10

Photography Year 11

Art A-Level