Art and photography

ArtCurriculum coverage at key stage 3

Students in Year 7 to Year 9 build up their understanding of the basic elements of Art along with a wider appreciation of both historical and contemporary artists and designers. They record their observations in sketchbooks and folders showing evidence of a wide range of media. At the end of Year 9, students have developed the skills to start their Fine Art or Photography GCSE.

Year 7 units
The basic elements are investigated throughout Year 7. (i.e. line, tone, colour, shape, texture, pattern and form). Observational drawing tests are completed termly.

  • Tiger observational drawing test and poem illustration of ‘Tyger Tyger’ by William Blake being done in the autumn term, along with the Day of the Dead
  • Mehandi hand patterns along with form and texture
  • Robot observational drawing test and introduction to Keith Haring
  • Jesus in Art competition, using a variety of influences such as Marc Chagall
  • Mr Potato-head observational drawing test. Giuseppe Arcimboldo in the summer term
  • Newspaper Collage Zebra, David Farrer, Grayson Perry

Year 8 units
An introduction into how a GCSE Art sketchbook looks and what it should contain. All the work throughout the year is based on natural and man-made.

  • Mind map and basic elements (based on insects and leaves) building up observational drawing skills and better recording techniques
  • Charles Rennie Mackintosh flowers and design work
  • Fish studies in a variety of media. M.C. Escher and Tessellation. Eye and skull
  • Aboriginal Art research and designs
  • Man-made mind map Pablo Picasso Faces/features and caricatures
  • Final piece based on Pablo Picasso’s Guernica

Year 9 units
Year 9 students prepare for GCSE work using A3 folders and the theme of labels. Other topics include:

  • Initially a mind map on ‘What is Art’ then a project based on the ‘unknown soldier’ using a strong range of Media and Elements and their own research ideas
  • ‘Objects which mean something to me’ project
  • ‘Me Myself and I’ Self-expression and Street Art
  • Facial Expressions, self-portraits. Superheroes
  • Hans Holbein’s ‘The Ambassador’s’
  • A3 grid based on Labels and further development of Pop starting with favourite sweets and soft drinks can

Curriculum coverage at key stage 4

Year 10
In GCSE Unit 1 students take both Fine Art and Photography as an option. The project is titled ‘Identity’ and lasts throughout years 10 and 11.

Students produce self-portraits in a variety of media and techniques using a variety of influences starting with Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ in art, and a choice of photographers such as Cindy Sherman or Irvin Penn in photography.

Other topics include:

  • Identity mind maps and expressionism
  • Evidence of quality observational drawing and research
  • Labels e.g. shops/food/clothes/hobbies (developed from Year 9) 
  • Printing techniques
  • Press print, mono print, lino print
  • German expressionist woodcuts
  • Julian Opie portraits
  • Tamara De Lempicka
  • Shepard Fairey mixed media portrait

Photography students must also complete a 365 day self-portrait project along with evidence of all the basic elements together with a movie poster design topic. We also develop a range of photographic styles that must include landscape, portrait and abstract.

Students complete a project about love, a chair project and a multiple project that shows their ability using Photoshop.

Year 11
Art topics include:

  • Chuck Close portraits in monotone, gridded flesh tones and a gridded oil pastel

In Photography students produce a portfolio in preparation for their work to be moderated or for college interviews.

Unit 2 is the externally set exam provided by the exam board which starts in January. All students have a choice of 10 questions to pick from. They chose only one and have 10 weeks to complete their exam preparation before sitting a10 hour exam sometime in April or May. During this time they have to produce a portfolio which shows evidence of a wide range of influences combined with a range of primary resources.

We expect students to produce evidence of different media and elements based on their selection question.