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Art and Photography

Our intent is to provide all students with the opportunity to access Art and Design through exploring the use of different materials and processes, and by learning about the work of a variety of artists within different contexts. We aim to inspire, engage and challenge students to produce exciting and high quality outcomes. Due to our rural location, many students do not access the Arts outside of School- We organise enrichment opportunities to allow for this in addition to already exposing students to a wide variety of artists, materials and ideas. Our curriculum reflects developments in the Art world and we prepare students for the numerous developing careers within the Arts when they leave Banovallum.


Our current curriculum matches our intentions as much as possible, incorporating Art, Craft, Design and Photography. We cover many topic areas which are cross-curricular and incorporate elements of different subject areas such as Maths (symmetry), Geography (Arts of other Cultures) British values and History. Progression is encouraged through the development of different skills and techniques which results in students becoming more confident and taking ownership of their work. We ensure that all students regardless of ability or background have access to the arts and provide personalised learning to support individual needs.

KS3 Art

Students starting in year seven work on a number of skills based projects with a range of materials to experiment in mark making and with colour, line and shape. Students are also introduced to sculpture and printing. Observational drawing is a key foundation skill and students draw frequently. Examples of topics include Colour, Natural Forms, Illustration and Mechanical Mayhem, with topics making links across different subject areas.

In year eight students undertake a number of projects, developing and reinforcing the skills they acquired in year 7; they produce creative work, develop critical and analytical skills, explore ideas and record their experiences. They develop drawing, painting, sculpture and other art techniques. They continue study the history of art and learn about a wider range of artists and designers. Examples of topics include Art of Other Cultures, Mixed Media, Portraits, Food and Identity.

Literacy underpins a large proportion of the KS3 Art curriculum- Artist research and analysis forms part of every topic, with students encouraged to develop a well-informed opinion about their own work and that of others. Specialist language is used at every opportunity. Numeracy is incorporated through scale, ratio, symmetry and proportion. Cultural Capital, British Values and SMSC are evident within our Art and Design Curriculum.

KS4 Art and Photography

Assessment objectives

AO1- Developing work through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.

AO2- Refining work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with different materials, techniques and processed.

AO3- Recording ideas, observations and insights relevant to your intentions.

AO4- Presenting a personal and meaningful response that realises intention.

When students begin the Art, Craft and Design course in year 9, they will explore the work of artists, photographers and designers in further detail, developing the skills they learnt in KS3 using an extensive range of mediums and techniques. Year 9 is a foundation year for the GCSE course, with students gaining more confidence in drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking. They will produce at least one sketchbook for their GCSE portfolio, which makes up 60% of the final grade. Technical language is reinforced throughout the course.

Literacy is reinforced in greater detail though extended pieces of critical analysis and artist biographies. All practical work is annotated, encouraging students to consider how they could develop their work further.

In year 10 students continue to work on sustained projects, completing at least two to add to their portfolio. Students become more independent and are given the opportunity to select a project title from a wide choice, enabling them to take ownership and choose what they draw, create and research. Students begin year 11 with a mock exam project, producing preparatory work before completing a ten-hour exam in December. In January of year 11 students receive their final exam paper and choose from seven topics. Students will use the skills and techniques learnt throughout the course to produce their preparatory work in the run up to their final exam. All projects are underpinned by the four key assessment objectives.

Students begin GCSE Photography as a brand new subject, with year 9 an introductory year to the course which provides an overview to cameras, photography technique, editing and learning about key photographers. Students are provided which specialist teaching on Photoshop and will become confident in both taking and editing Photographs. Students cover a variety of topics including Britishness, Identity, Landscapes, Portraits and Architecture. Themes within SMSC intertwine with the Photography curriculum as students consider areas such as social media, advertising, body language and mental health/

The structure of the GCSE Photography course is identical to GCSE Art, with students producing sustained projects and completing a mock exam project in the autumn of year 11 and final exam project in the Spring of year 11. All projects are underpinned by the same four assessment objectives.

Impact- As a department we receive some excellent outcomes at the end of year 11, with 85.7% of students receiving grades 4 and above in Art in 2018 and 23.% receiving a 7 and above. In Photography, 71.4% received a 4 and above, with 19% receiving a 7 and above. Within our 2019 results, three students achieved a grade 9 in Art and one in Photography.

As demonstrated above, students are exposed to a well-rounded Art and Design curriculum which provides plenty of opportunity for learning about and developing artistic techniques and processes in addition to exposing students to cultural capital. We remain a popular choice at GCSE, with 55 students choosing to take GCSE Photography in year 9 this year and 51 choosing to take Art, Craft and Design.

Examination Support

At GCSE level it is vitally important that students spend time outside of their timetabled lessons developing their practical work and broadening their cultural horizons. We encourage students to visit galleries and exhibitions wherever possible in addition to taking photographs and making sketches.