Introduction to the Team:

Debbie Laird – Faculty Lead for Creative Arts & Technology
Deanne Mackenzie – Assistant Faculty lead for Creative Arts & Technology

Sarah Dickens – Teacher of Art & Design Technology, SENCO
Ureta Makoni – Teacher of Food Technology
Carlton Levy – Learning Manager
Leah Whitehouse – CAAT TA apprentice

Art aims/Intent:

Our KS3 curriculum allows all students to experience all aspects of Art and design. 

We aim to create the very best Artists, Designers and Photographers. We challenge students to think, act and speak like those working in the field. We teach students to become visually literate, so they are able to read, interpret and find meaning in others work and exploring and then re-shaping these ideas and meanings within their own work. Purposeful exploration, making and doing foster artistic and design awareness, understanding and skills. We provide learning contexts that promote the understanding of the creative design industries, their role in the economy and how they can lead to exciting career opportunities. Our curriculum goes far beyond what is taught in lessons, as a department we offer students extracurricular clubs in Photography and Art to invite students to develop their skills and knowledge further in these areas. Our curriculum in Art, Design and Photography forms a backbone to our ethos statement. Working with different materials, processes, tools and technologies sparks pupils’ curiosity, provides intrinsic motivation, pride in their work and their developing skills. Engaging with different design contexts and materials creates highly engaged and motivated learners as they become able to explore the wider world and their place within it. Providing stretch and challenge encourages students to strive for their best, developing increased confidence with each creative obstacle they overcome. We aim to provide an environment in which students are happy to take risks, ask themselves questions about their creative journey and respond positively to both staff and their peers.

As a knowledge engaged curriculum, we believe that knowledge underpins and enables the application of skills; both are entwined. As a department we define the knowledge our students need and help them recall it by scaffolding our curriculum in such a way that students continually revisit skills and build upon them each year, tackling increasingly challenging concepts. As each step in a learning journey develops, it incorporates a deeper understanding of prior learning. Student progress is documented through sketchbooks and online journals along with checklists for key concepts and ideas. We encourage conversation, discussion, and debate about pupils’ own work and about the work of artists and designers. This embeds and extends our students’ knowledge of artistic concepts and principles along with the appropriate language for discussing works of art.

Embedded in our curriculum is the exploration of the work of other artists and designers from a vast spectrum of backgrounds, genders, ethnicities and beliefs. We learn about how the world and its artefacts are represented and about the ideologies running through them. Cultural awareness is developed through creating, investigating, making and doing, this gives our students a voice with which to express their thoughts, feelings about and responses to the world around them.

Further rationale behind our curriculum design includes building opportunities for students to experiment with 2D, 3D, Photographic and digital processes. Students should have sufficient time and opportunity to develop their proficiency and confidence with these materials over the course of their studies.

In Art, Design & Photography we also implement our curriculum through teaching methods that promote the understanding of not simply what, but why we are learning and how this learning might impact and enhance their overall learning experience. We provide contexts that are relevant and take in to account the interests of learners to enhance their experience of the subject and deepen their understanding and ability to apply key concepts and ideas to a multitude of everyday situations.

The departments schemes of learning are based upon the national curriculum and the related GCSE. KS4 work is evidenced even in year 7 as we instil in all our student’s high academic rigour and challenge from the outset. Our team of teachers are enthusiastic about their subjects and share this passion with all our students. As a result, the vast majority enjoy and achieve in Art and a large proportion of students choosing to study beyond with our KS4 pathways.

Knowledge organisers are evident for each project of work reinforcing key language, vocabulary, skills, and knowledge that are being learned by our students. These are used in lessons and for homework tasks, so students fully understand what they are learning and why.
At the heart of our creative curriculum is the engagement of students with practical tasks. These tasks specifically serve identified needs, solve problems – and function, it is considered essential that these learning activities reflect the nature of the subject within a range of contexts.

At KS4 students are given the opportunity to focus on their chosen specialism and opt for the course that best suits their own career aspirations or interests. We continue to offer GCSE courses which are designed to fit the needs of a wide range of learners.


  •  7- THE BIG ART BOOK project- focussing on the teaching of the formal elements of art
  •  8- FESTIVAL / CELEBRATION -Students will research a range of artist and cultures
  •  9- DOODLES- graphical project focussing on the artist Iain McCarther
  •  10- SKILLS – Students will have skills based workshops within their chosen area of study
  •  11- NEA- coursework unit

Spring 1

  •  7- Formal elements focus with the development of literacy through a superhero project
  •  8- FESTIVAL PROJECT- Students will research a range of artist and cultures
  •  9- DOODLE PROJECT graphical project focussing on the artist Iain McCarther
  •  10- NEA coursework unit – teacher led workshops and independent development.
  •  11- Students will focus their time on completing their externally set exam question

Spring 2

  • 7- SUPERHERO PROJECT- students will develop 2d drawing skills
  •  8- CONSERVATION PROJECT-Students will use art to study the environment and ocean conservation.
  •  9 – ARCHITECTURE PROJECT- Students will draw on perspective and a range of artists to study British buildings and architecture.
  • 10- NEA- non examination assessment/ coursework unit


  • 7- SUPERHERO PROJECT- students will develop 2d drawing and painting skills
  • 8- CONSERVATION PROJECT-Students will use art to study the environment and ocean conservation.
  • 9 – ARCHITECTURE PROJECT- Students will draw on perspective and a range of artists to study British buildings and architecture.
  • 10- NEA- non examination assessment/ coursework unit

drawing assessments are undertaken throughout the academic year with KS3 students. This helps staff to inform planning/teaching and learning for their groups and enables individual students to see their progress.

Capability is assessed through a mastery of drawing, painting, making, evaluating and technical knowledge and understanding. The wide-ranging content naturally lends itself to a variety of assessment strategies which can be used to focus teaching and support on students’ needs and in recognising achievement. Use of such assessment strategies ensures that students have experienced a successful and balanced learning in all four areas of mastery. (See students assessment sheet).

Coded marking is now used in line with all marking across the academy. This indicates to our students’ areas of success and areas for improvement within their work.

Tasks are set in line with project Knowledge organisers. This enables students to further embed and develop key skills which have been delivered within lessons. Homework is set every two weeks

Extra- Curricular, Curriculum experiences: 
A variety of clubs and support are available for students of all abilities. These can be face to face working with teachers or menu style projects online that students can work on independently in their free time. Gaps within our curriculum are also addressed here where students will get opportunities to work with external agents/companies on specialist projects/materials etc.

Other useful resources:
Student essentials

  • Pencils, 2B,4B
  • Black Fine liner
  • Pencil crayons
  • Glue stick
  • Eraser
  • Pencil sharpener


  • Fine artist. Fine artists create and sell their original artwork, often specialising in mediums such as painting, drawing or sculpture. 
  • Illustrator. 
  • Graphic designer. 
  • Photographer. 
  • Interior designer. 
  • Furniture designer. 
  • Art teacher or lecturer. 
  • Curator.