Art, Design & Photography

Curriculum leaders

Mr S Herbert and Ms S Reddy

GCSE Examination board:


Link to GCSE specification: GCSE Art and Design

Curriculum Intent

The intent of the Art, Design and Photography curriculum aims to develop each of the school values:

  • Ambition - to become a successful artist, designer or photographer and to impact society and culture, whilst helping shape the future.
  • Growth - by encouraging development, refinement through exploring ideas, experimenting with new techniques and media whilst producing personal and meaningful responses.
  • Fellowship - to respect and learn from contemporary and historical artistic figures whilst considering important technical and cultural works.
  • Scholarship – to master artistic, design and photographic core knowledge and skills which lead to high-end universities offering specific disciplines or areas of study.

Curriculum Organisation

The art, design and photography curriculum is organised by the power standards. These standards reflect the essence of the subject as an academic discipline and reflect the strands of each discipline that must be developed to achieve mastery. These threads are cross-referenced against the KS3 national curriculum, GCSE, A Level specification, and degree courses at Russell Group universities to ensure that scholars’ experience of the subject is as broad and as academically rigorous as possible.

The art, design and photography power standards are:

1. Use formal artistic, photographic and design elements.

2. Understand how artists, photographers and designers contribute to a broader movement.

3. Articulate ideas and sources which influence outcomes.

4. Apply specific skills and techniques to develop outcomes.

5. Evaluate outcomes and suggest improvements.

Curriculum Overview:

Year 7:

  • Module 1: Natural Forms
  • Module 2: Understanding Collage
  • Module 3: Pop Art Keyring

Year 8:

  • Module 1: Landscape
  • Module 2: Portraiture through Printmaking
  • Module 3: Computech Stepometer

Year 9:

  • Module 1: Fourth Plinth Sculpture
  • Module 2: Stencil and Multimedia
  • Module 3: Be the Artist

Year 10:

  • Module 1: Component 1 Process/Techniques
  • Module 2: Component 1 Process/Techniques A01 - A04
  • Module 3: Component 1 A01 - A04

Year 11:

  • Module 1: Component 1 A01 - A04
  • Module 2: Component 2 - Externally set theme A01 - A04
  • Module 3: Component 2 - Practical examination

Supporting from home

Recommended websites/online platforms:

  • YouTube tutorials essential to enable scholars to best prepare for upcoming modules.
  • Art Map - access via Art room - details for current/live exhibitions/galleries/installations/lectures - discount through Teacher's Art card
  • Access to Art Quarterly magazine - Art room - current topic discussions/traditional and contemporary artists/photographers/designers


Recommended activities to complete with your child:

  • Sketch practice - portraits, still life, landscape, cityscape, and weather scapes.
  • Sketching of initial ideas around a chosen theme or design brief.
  • Create patterns and images using homemade stencils. Practice simple print making techniques using simple household objects.


Scholars receive verbal, self and peer feedback every lesson through:

  • Whole class feedback on common misconceptions in the read now, recall now activities and during daily review.
  • Responses to the whole class checking for understanding activities, such as hand signal responses, ‘heads down’ and mini whiteboard tasks.
  • Teacher intentional monitoring during deliberate practice activities.

Scholars are expected to respond in the moment to this feedback to show they can correct errors and improve their knowledge and understanding.

At Key Stage 3, scholars receive teacher feedback every lesson, where they learn whether they are on track, below or above their teacher’s expectations for mastery. At the end of every lesson, scholars will have a clear target to incorporate into their work in the following lesson.

At Key Stage 4, scholars receive teacher feedback every 5-6 lessons. This feedback is a summative evaluation of their progress to date, with a clear next step that they must act upon to ensure they continue to make good progress.

Ambition and careers

Success in art, design and photography can lead to careers in:

  • Graphic design
  • graphic, fine, landscape, or contemporary artist
  • Art broker
  • Gallery or Museum curation
  • Professional photographer in myriad sectors both on or off line
  • Product design
  • Architecture
  •  Sustainable design
  • Manufacture

Cultural capital, enrichment, and visits

Through the study of art, design and photography, scholars will be exposed to a range of culturally enriching knowledge and experiences.

Cultural capital within the curriculum:

The curriculum is underpinned by power standards which offer challenges but also link to important cultural capital points.

  • Use formal artistic, photographic and design elements. Helping scholars understand how traditional and contemporary artistic, photographic and design elements are produced and how they fit in with, aid or enrich society as a whole. 
  • Understand how artists, photographers and designers contribute to a broader movement. Affords scholars access to famous, iconic, culturally significant artists, designers and photographerss helping build their opinions and repertoire. Provides scholars with an appreciation for a diverse range of sources. 
  • Articulate ideas and sources which influence outcomes. Enables scholars to not only be inspired but act and effectively build on their sources of inspiration, producing important, considered outcomes which articulate intent and meaning. 
  • Apply specific skills and techniques to develop outcomes. Scholars build a rich variety of techniques, skills, and processes which they can employ across tangible and digital outcomes from an artistic, photographic or design point of view. 
  • Evaluate outcomes and suggest improvements. Scholars are taught how to analyse their own work and outcomes in a concise, ordered, and dispassionate way helping them improve and respond to feedback or criticism given. 


Art, design, and photography’s contribution to the enrichment programme:

  • Architecture study project
  • Martha Rosler collage - Powerful black cultural figures
  •  Appreciation bods - clay sculpture project

Art, design, and photography’s contribution to Drop Down Days and the trips and visits programme:

  • Sketching in Nature programme/trip
  • GCSE targeted outcomes workshops DDD