Mrs Emily Underhill – Subject Leader of Visual Arts

Mrs Rachel Hooper – Teacher

Miss C Renn – Teacher

Art Curriculum Overview

For more details about the Art curriculum, please email


In Visual Arts we feel that the exploration of a variety media and techniques is paramount to students’ experience of art and the way they physically engage with the visual world.  Pupils are taught to use artists, craftspeople, designers and a variety of resources to develop themes and ideas for their work.


We aim to craft an environment where our students grow in confidence to make their own creative decisions independently, both in school and at home.


Through practising drawing and by learning how to use and control lots of different materials, pupils will be well-equipped to apply the different techniques and skills they have learnt to other pieces of work and projects later in the projects and years ahead, helping them to recall ideas and processes and to independently make creative decisions based on this prior learning.

Key Stage 3

In Years 7, 8 & 9 pupils will experiment with a range of two and three dimensional work, using traditional techniques and media such as drawing, painting and printmaking, in conjunction with construction using wire, card and the development of textured surfaces.  Themes and topics are constantly evolving in response to our artistic influences and current affairs.  We hope to attract increasing numbers of pupils to one or both of our popular and successful GCSE courses.




GCSE Art & Design (Fine Art; AQA) – can be taken in Year 10 or 11


We choose to deliver the Fine Art specification at GCSE as this allows us to lead students’ exploration using a diverse range of media and skills.  Progress from Key Stage 3 is developed through more in-depth evaluation and refinement of techniques as well as allowing opportunities to explore greater range of materials.  More challenging topics are approached, and personalisation of outcomes becomes increasingly important.

GCSE Art & Design (Photography; AQA) – can be taken in Year 10 or 11


For students choosing GCSE Photography a variety of project themes are explored to gradually introduce technical camera use; digital Photoshop or manual editing skills; compositional devices and concept-based topics.  These are approached in relation to photographers and artists to support the development of projects.  The analysis of others’ work to generate and support project ideas is highly important, especially when the personalisation of outcomes starts to be introduced.  Throughout the year students’ work becomes gradually more driven by their own interests and skill set.

At a glance, our projects this year will be:

Year 7 – Architecture

Year 8 – interiors or insects; landscape

Year 9 – natural forms; 3-D and mixed-media work

GCSE Art – natural forms; Into the Deep part one (printmaking); abstracted architecture; Into the Deep part two (3-D); choice of exam-style projects.

GCSE Photography – still life; Transform; Altered Portraits; Movement or Out of Place; choice of exam-style projects.



During Enrichment we offer a variety of projects throughout the year to allow pupils the chance to experience different techniques or artistic practices in greater depth.  This year we have projects planned such as: drawing in a range of media; photography and Photoshop basics; wire creatures; printmaking.  Our art sessions can range from smaller groups of pupils studying topics independently, to large busy classes of pupils working on large expressive or collaborative pieces.



GCSE pupils have open-house access to the department each night and we are offering dedicated year bubble homework nights to allow lower school pupils the opportunity to use the resources within the department and to have guidance from staff.  We can’t wait to have our full range of clubs as well as our Art Ambassador team up and running again soon.


To make sure that everyone stays safe we will be:

  • ensuring sure that pupils don’t share resources between different groups
  • rotating equipment to leave sufficient time between uses, or cleaning items
  • asking pupils to take responsibility for equipment which must be shared e.g. cleaning cameras before and after use
  • asking that pupils ensure they have the required equipment and books/homework as needed
  • leaving adequate time between staff and pupils handling work and resources
  • facing desks forward
  • using visualizers for demonstrations, so pupils can stay in their seats