Art & Design


“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” Scott Adams

In the Art Department we aim to provide a positive, supportive and exciting place where students are encouraged to use their imagination and creativity to express themselves. As Art staff, we are passionate about our subject and we seek to share our love of Art by giving our students the confidence to develop their own ideas and then to understand how to use different materials, techniques and processes to realise their intentions. We explore ideas and meanings in the work of a vast array of traditional and contemporary artists, craftspeople and designers and learn about the diverse roles and functions of art, craft and design in the contemporary world and in different times and cultures.

The Art Department consists of six qualified art teachers each with their own specialism within the subject. By utilising this range of expertise, we are able to present a diverse and lively Art curriculum that gives our students the opportunity to explore, create and express themselves through a vast range of media.

Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As students progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.

Our aim is to help students produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences. We help them to become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques.

We teach students to evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design; to know about great artists, craft makers and designers;  and understand the historical and cultural development of their art form.

Staffing Structure
Curriculum Leader – Lisa Stevens
Contact Details –
Team Structure – we are a team of five specialist art teachers all of whom have an art degree specialising in a range of different art disciplines. These include fine art, textiles, ceramics, photography and graphics.

Curriculum Facilities
The art department is proud to present our new £1 million purpose built art facility which offers students a modern, lively and inspirational learning environment in which to express themselves creatively through a wide range of art and photography processes. 

Visitors to the art centre are greeted by a light and bright foyer which serves as a gallery area showcasing students artwork from all year groups.

Lessons take place in four purpose built art studios, three of which are fully equipped with a class suite of Apple Mac computers allowing us to expose our students to industry standard facilities and technology alongside traditional art processes and techniques. Students are able to explore a wide range of art disciplines to produce quality artwork of a high standard.  Photography is taught using class sets of bridge cameras and students are taught to use Photoshop to edit and present their work digitally. In addition, we have a darkroom for processing wet photography and one of our studios includes a kiln for the production of ceramics and glass.


KS3 Description of the key skills, knowledge and understanding that are a prime focus of KS3 teaching in the subject area

Students receive one hour of art per week and we teach in mixed ability classes.

Painting and drawing sits at the heart of what we do but our Keystage Three Curriculum also encompasses two and three dimensional work, textiles, fine art, ceramics, sculpture and digital media. This range gives students the chance to experience new skills, techniques and areas of knowledge each year, and to further develop and refine their expertise and understanding of art as they move through the key stage. Provision is therefore made for children to show progress throughout the year and between Years 7, 8 and 9 as their repertoire widens.

Throughout our Art Curriculum, we look at the following key skills:

1. Respond in an original and creative way to ideas.
2. Record from direct observation or personal experience.
3. Develop a piece of art work from first idea to completion.
4. Work independently.
5. Analyse ideas, research and present them.
6. Select and use appropriate materials, techniques and processes to create your ideas.
7. Use and control line, tone, colour, pattern, texture shape, form and space.
8. Form ideas about some historical or critical aspect of art.

Organisation of the KS3 curriculum and how students are assessed (brief summary of long term plan of units and very approximate timings.

Projects tend to run for 1 term and classwork and homework is continually assessed according to NWHS Assessment Policy.
Topics may include the following :
Year 7 – Self Image, Japanese Art, Buildings and Architecture, Natural Forms, Mexican day of the Dead.
Year 8 – Aboriginal Art, Cubism, Cross-curricular Arts project, Arts Award, Gargoyles, Animation.
Year 9 – Graffiti and Public Art, Creatures, Animals and Marine Life.

A great learning environment is vital so lessons take place in purpose built art studios which provide a lively and inspirational backdrop. Traditional, specialist art equipment and materials are used alongside new technology to ensure that students can produce quality artwork of a high standard. In addition, students have the opportunity to extend their art experiences through a range of extra-curricular opportunities and the work of the Department is frequently displayed throughout the School and in the local area.

Sources of information that may be useful


Subject title, board and syllabus code

AQA Examination Board
8201 – Art, Craft and Design
8203 – Graphic Communication
8204 – Textile Design
8206 – Photography

KS4 Description of the key skills, knowledge and understanding that are a prime focus of KS4 teaching in the subject area

This lively and exciting range of subjects allows individual ideas and imaginative personal feelings to be developed and expressed in a creative way.  Students are encouraged to look at things in new and different ways and as confidence grows, so does development of visual awareness. Students are given the freedom to explore by interpreting your ideas using a whole host of different artistic approaches.

Assessment requirements govern the work presented at the end of the course and students take ownership of creating their portfolio.

Students should be able to show a clear developmental journey throughout their work. This will show their initial ideas, preparation through experimental exploration, artist research, all leading up to the production of a final piece.

Organisation of the KS4 curriculum (brief summary of long term plan of units and very approximate timings)

In Year 10, we carry out 2 major projects which make up the Controlled Assessment section of the Course.
Each project lasts for one and a half terms and is designed to address all four Assessment Objectives. Within these projects, we will include many strands and sub projects in order to provide depth, breadth and make use of a wide range of materials, techniques and processes.

In the Autumn term of Year 11, we allow our students to experience the time constraints of working to the 10 hour exam through the production of a final piece for the Identity project. In addition, controlled assessment work is selected, refined and mounted up.
Students are issued with the final examination paper in January. They have approximately 10 weeks in which to prepare their responses and then sit a 10 hour practical exam which is timetabled over 2 school days.


Details re Assessment (number of examinations, weighting, components)
Key topic list per year group
Our 2 Controlled Assessment project themes broadly cover “Natural Forms” and “Identity”. Classwork and homework is produced, refined and put together as a portfolio of work which is continually assessed holistically throughout the course.

There are 4 Assessment Objectives:
AO1 – Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.
AO2 – Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.
AO3- Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.
AO4 – Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.

Component 1 (portfolio) 60% – Students develop responses to initial starting points and project briefs or specified tasks and realise intentions informed by research, the development and refinement of ideas and meaningful engagement with selected sources. This work is assessed at school at certain stages throughout the course.
Component 2 (externally set assignment) – 40% – Students respond to a starting point set by AQA. This response provides evidence of the student’s ability to work independently within the time constraint of 10 hours and put into effect, the experience gained during the course.

Sources of information that may be useful

Web link to specification/s
Additional useful web links