art curriculum

‘Every child is an Artist’ – Pablo Picasso

In our Art curriculum we believe we are able to foster the talents and ambitions of all our young people through a knowledge based curriculum.  We have faith in our actions and trust our judgement as we are safe in the knowledge our curriculum is broad, challenging and will holistically develop our students.  Our curriculum is always rooted in Christian teachings: Psalm 119:66 “Teach me knowledge and good judgement for I trust your commands “

At KS3 the scheme for learning are adapted, planned and coherently sequenced to build on the skills within art. The four progress objectives permeate each scheme and are equally balanced to create the building blocks needed for development and independence.

Each student works in a sketchbook which shows a personal journey and record throughout each year and builds evidence of the diversity of skills and talents each artist has. The curriculum is designed to ensure that all our students are able to achieve and make progress, we stretch and challenge, adapt and develop, express and experiment.

Year 7 scheme focusses primarily on key skills of the colour theory and drawing exercises. As many of our students have a different starting and knowledge base from Primary schools we run a broader arts curriculum, enabling each student to have the same starting points in knowledge and understanding by the end of the second term.  These skills are also developed and nurtured during the transition period. Understanding and applying the formal elements of art across all disciplines: line, shape, form, tone, texture, pattern, colour and composition are vital in underpinning creative work, each Key stage promotes these skills.

Research and analysing of various artists, crafts people and designers are linked to each scheme enabling students to form their own opinions of artwork. KS3 assessment links closely to the development and presentation of their sketchbooks. Independence of developing their own styles are encouraged and samples of good practice work is readily available throughout the department.

Year 8 and 9 schemes are designed to continue to develop skills through the delivery of project-based schemes. Each project has a wide range of arts and medias which enables all learners to be successful and able to achieve. Various artists include Jon Burgerman, Jim Dine, Michael Craig Martin and cultural diversity is analysed through the theme of Aboriginal and Day of the Dead projects. Students are regularly shown virtual exhibitions and the displays of work in our Art Gallery. Art teachers share their personal career pathway and discussions take place around this.

At KS4 the schemes of learning are diverse and are based on themes, currently in Year 10 the microscopic world is investigated which also highlights a cross curricular element.  An excursion in year 10 takes place to introduce students to work outside the classroom and encourages cultural capital. Students are also invited to Priestly College to see the arts facilities and work with the tutors there to broaden student knowledge on CEIAG.

The last two terms of the Year 11 are purely focussed on the exam which is worth 40% Students y can now independently choose the question that inspires them and should feel confident and fluent in knowing what to cover through each assessment objective. The exam is for two days and to focuses on bringing together all they have learnt. This is then celebrated in an end of year exhibition where friends and family can see the skills they have developed for future learning or employment.

Artwork is regularly displayed throughout the whole school so students can view it in a different environment and give a sense of pride.  The students are also often involved with producing competition work for display at different times of the year like Christmas, Easter card designs, diversity project, buntings for concerts, backdrops for plays and work for the Peace Garden which is an arts project in progress.

Where possible, artists are invited into school to work with students. This year, Alumni of the school are working with Year 8 students on an Arts Career day, focusing on Costume design and concept art.  Students also worked with artist Kirsty Rae on environmental issues in The Rivers of the World project, links where forged with a school in Ethiopia and their work was displayed in Warrington, London and now across the Globe.


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Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School by STB