Art Curriculum Plan

Why are we teaching a knowledge-rich curriculum; how is it different?

Our Art curriculum teaches pupils the fundamental building blocks of Art knowledge and provides them with opportunities to practice and refine their skills, allowing them to develop into skillful and knowledgeable young artists. The formal elements of Art underpin all projects, with development centred around colour, tone, pattern, line, texture and form. Each project in Key Stage 3 is based around an artist so that pupils can put their newly acquired knowledge into context.  Enhanced with dedicated Art History lessons, our pupils are taught how to think critically about their own and other’s work in order to reflect on and appreciate the art around them. 


Why are we teaching this content?

Each project in Key Stage 3 encourages pupils to develop their designing and visual thinking skills in order to produce their own personal responses to the design briefs set. pupils need to be critically aware of the world around them, this is why we implement artwork analysis into our key stage 3 lessons, so that pupils become familiar with art specific terminology such as composition, focal points, leading lines and subject matter. These lessons allow pupils to take the time to think and realise their opinions on various artworks, which in turn help to inspire their creativity.  We want our Art pupils to be confident, creative and expressive learners with strong problem solving and analytical skills, this is why we have chosen to deliver a broad Key Stage 3 curriculum that teaches drawing, painting, printing and sculpting skills. 

At Key Stage 4, pupils can build on the knowledge learned in key stage 3 to develop their own ways of working through experimentation and mixing of media. Our GCSE pupils are encouraged to take control of their own learning and adapt their coursework projects to themes they are personally inspired by, as their GCSE Art portfolios may contribute to longer term goals and aspirations. GCSE pupils are required to record their ideas, observations and insights relevant to their intentions which should show an element of skill. The constant repetition of Art processes alongside verbal and written feedback allows pupils to develop their art ability with confidence in a supportive environment. 


Why are we teaching it in this order? 

This first project, based on the work of Hundertwasser, is designed to boost the confidence of our year 7 pupils and allows them to realise the importance of imagination and creativity.  In our second Year 7 project, we look at how to draw accurate 3 dimensional shapes, apply tones and pupils are introduced to colour theory when we look at how to paint in the style of Paul Cezanne. We believe that these are some of the primary skills which pupils need to know first, in order to build and enhance their knowledge and understanding in the following years.  The first few weeks of Year 8 see pupils consolidating and refining their observational study practice and learning how to implement tones and texture through mark making and line work.   Ceramic work requires knowledge on the designing process and is a much harder skill to grasp, this is why we have chosen to introduce this media in Year 9.  Portraiture is also taught in the second Year 9 project where drawing skills are developed further to bridge the gap between Key Stage 3 and 4. 

Our Year 10 pupils begin their GCSE Art course with a 7-week intensive skill development project where their previous knowledge on drawing and painting is expanded on. Once pupils are confident in how to apply all types of media they are assigned teacher-led tasks to complete, where progress can be monitored closely with plenty of support in place to develop confidence and resilience. Towards the end of Year 10, pupils are encouraged to work independently to produce coursework that is of significance to their own interests and Art styles. Year 11 pupils should show their ability to self reflect on their work, further developing their sketchbook pages and advancing their art dexterity in preparation for their externally set task. 


What do pupils need to remember and be able to do in this subject?

Pupils need to remember the success criteria and correct processes for working in various media, for example, when working in graphite pencil we need to evidence 10 tones and when working in acrylic paint we need the right consistency of water to paint on the brush. Pupils need to be able to think critically about their own and other’s work so that they can work effectively and efficiently to complete their body of work. Having knowledge of various artists and an understanding both historical and contemporary artwork will enrich their cultural understanding which is an essential point of assessment.


What methods do we use to help pupils secure this knowledge in long-term memory? 

A well-sequenced curriculum is important to ensure that pupils have the prior knowledge they need to master new concepts.  In Key Stage 3 there is repeated exploration of the formal elements such as colour, form, tone.  Content is made explicit through carefully paced explanation, modelling and examples. Understanding new ideas can be impeded if pupils are confronted with too much information at once, this is why worked examples are key in the Art curriculum with scaffolding which is gradually removed.  The repetition and retrieval practice on art specific terminology and art processes allows our pupils to develop the foundations needed for successful learning.