Art & Design


To provide pupils with a creative and innovative curriculum that challenges them both visually and contextually. Pupils will experience both historical and contemporary art practitioners and movements through a variety of projects and tasks in readiness for GCSE and portfolio preparation for entry to Post 16 education at both 6th Form and College.

The Department:

The art plaza is a dynamic educational space consisting of three teaching areas. The spaces are designed to allow pupils to experience a variety of art forms ranging from painting to printmaking and sculpture to ceramics. The department consists of three Art teaching staff all with a passion for creativity.

Mrs J. Urquhart – Head of Faculty for Art and Technology

Miss S. Mackie – Deputy Head Teacher

Mr J. Padgham – KS3 Art Coordinator

The Curriculum:


All KS3 art projects are developed to allow pupils to access and engage in social, emotional and visually challenging imagery and subject areas. The Formal Element skills are taught throughout Year 7 and are developed and transferable over the duration of Yr. 8 and 9.

Year 8 Projects

  • Urban Art
  • Day of the Dead
  • Oldenburg

Year 9 Projects

  • The Human Figure
  • Posterize
  • Printmaking

KS3 Topic Overview and Assessment

All assessments are linked to the project the student has recently engaged with. These are standardised and differentiated across the department. Each full term an assessment is completed and these are used to monitor and assess student progress. Pupils are tested on both visual skills and written ability. Marks awarded to each student are documented on the pupils KPI.  Each pupil is aware of their KPI grade and what they need to do to make progress through the curriculum. Each year pupils are provided with a full written report using this data.


Art and Design is a very popular option at KS4 with all pupils enrolling on the AQA Art and Design course. This course is a full GCSE consists of a 60% coursework portfolio and a final externally set task requiring pupils to sit a 10hr examination. This constitutes the remaining 40%.

KS4 Topic Overview and Assessment

Year 10

The Year 10 project focuses on Natural Forms. Pupils are looking at links within Nature and artists that have utilised nature. They will experience a variety of workshops including observational drawing, colour theory, printmaking and sculpture.

Year 11

The Year 11 project is titled ‘Identity’. This project requires the pupil to be more independent in their choices and includes developing skills in etching, collage and painting.

Each project requires a final piece of work and contributes to 60% of the final GCSE grade. A final externally set examination over 10 hours constitutes the remaining 40% of the grade. This is completed in Year 11.

Assessment is provide in line with AQA specification for Art and Design Programme 2017-19.  Each pupil has an individual bespoke assessment guide and feedback sheet. Detailing target and current attainment grade. Specific feedback is provided to develop learning and increase progress. These sheets are used to document all aspects of a pupils work and form a conversation between pupil and teacher.


Art pupils have to make independent decisions all the way, and be self-critical. They also need to be brave in exposing their creations, and accept criticism. Working in teams helps pupils become good communicators. Many employers now actively seek those who have studied the arts. Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, was fond of saying his success was due to his hiring artists and musicians fascinated by technology rather than computer geeks.

Art develop the broader dimensions of the human being – mind, body and soul. The arts can express the inexpressible and make sense of things that otherwise do not seem to. This can be very fulfilling and helps us function as human beings – which can only be good for society as a whole. 

Teachers find arts subjects particularly beneficial for two groups: those who struggle with traditional subjects and those who are high achieving. Less academic pupils can become defeatist if they feel they can’t achieve: drama, music or art can be the place they blossom. With studious pupils, the arts can bring them out of themselves and be a release. 


The art department offers a variety of enrichment opportunities ranging from –

  • A sketchbook surgery after school each week for all GCSE pupils looking for extra advice and the opportunity to catch up or make further progress with their coursework tasks.
  • KS3 art club after school each week. Pupils have the opportunity to use the facilities to create drawings and works of art outside of the lesson tasks and projects.
  • A variety of organised trips to major art galleries in London to see works of art first hand.
  • Opportunities to visit The University for the Creative Arts and work with Post 16 pupils on diverse art projects.
  • All year 9 pupils have the opportunity to partake in the Bronze Arts Award during Tutor time.

Assessment & Key Performance Indicators


Assessment at Key Stage 3:

Pupils in years 7-9 will carry out baseline tests at the start of the academic year and these will be moderated across the department in order to inform pupils of their current grades on sims.

Pupils will receive feedback in sketchbooks which will be follow the school marking policy and will have a detailed mark sheet once a term.

Pupils will also complete KPIs which will be stuck in pupil sketchbooks. Pupils will refer to the KPIs in lessons when talking about the progress they are making with their observations, research and material experimentation.

Assessment at Key Stage 4:

Pupils in year 10 and 11 will be assessed using the AQA GCSE Art and Design assessment criteria. 

Pupils will be assessed throughout the course as they complete tasks and pupils will receive written feedback and levels where appropriate. Pupils’ progress will also be tracked on a grid that shows pupils the tasks they need to complete and what assessment objective this links to. These forms will be kept in their folders and will be used in lessons to help pupils track and manage their progress.

At the end of year 10 pupils will have a 1-day mock exam and in term 2 of year 11 will have a two-day mock exam. The work will be assessed and moderated and these levels will inform their end of course prediction.

How do staff and pupils within the department use KPIs?

Staff are currently using the KPI to guide and lead learners through the curriculum and as a benchmark to explain current learning and develop progress. 

Pupils will have their KPIs updated termly but will refer to them in lessons. 

Where are the KPIs located?

An individual KPI is located behind the front cover of every book in the department at KS3. KS4 pupils do not use the KPI system and are using the AO1-4 objectives to support the AQA GCSE syllabus.

Where will assessed work be found?

All pupils are provided with individual feedback on each assessment and task/project that they complete at KS3. This also includes written feedback for all extended homework projects.

As generic/group feedback and marking is required at KS4 all pupils are provided with a task report and assessment sheet. This allows for all pupils to track attainment and progress towards the 60% coursework assessment objectives. For the duration of the controlled assessment pupils will again be provided with a task and assessment sheet to support progress.

How often will pupils complete an assessed piece of work?

Pupils across KS3 will all have an assessment at the end of each double term e.g. (1+2). Grammar stream pupils will be expected to complete further interim assessment to ensure that they are making the expected level of progress.

Year 10 and 11 will have schedule incremental mock examinations in preparation for the 10 hr controlled assessment.

Rationale behind marking within the department.

At KS3 pupils work is marked through moderation of baseline and termly assessments. Pupils will receive termly feedback on their projects and pieces of work and this will include a KPI level. Teachers will also SPAG and acknowledge practical work and homework in the sketchbooks.

At KS4 pupils will receive verbal feedback weekly and written feedback about each piece completed. This will be recorded on their mark sheet which is kept in the folders.

Any department specific information regarding assessment.

Art and design marking is very much a holistic practice. Pupils will often be highly skilled or talented in specific areas. To allow for good progress by all learners the curriculum is often adapted to ensure that inclusivity is provided for SEND and EAL learners.