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Saint John Houghton Catholic Voluntary Academy

Learning without limits



Art and Design is taught once a week in key stage three in mixed ability groups by Mrs Rees. The work completed in Key Stage 3 is intended to develop a breath of knowledge and confidence with different materials and concepts. Starting with the groundwork in Year 7 and developing towards generating greater independence as students move into Year 9. During year 7 the units studied are mainly teacher led making way for a student centred approach towards the end of year 7 and beyond, building upon skills learnt and continually developing. Basic skills are taught in Year 7 looking at the visual elements that are then revisited and developed as pupils gain confidence and independence. Units are designed so that students gain a breath of experience and skills so that they can develop their own art personality in year 9 and beyond if they chose to take the subject into GCSE study.


The Team

Mrs L Rees – Head of Art, Design & Technology Faculty


Key Stage 3

During year 7 students are taught basic art and design skills in a series of mini projects. These projects are based around the visual elements, starting with a mini drawing project, focusing on Line, Tone, form and composition. Students will then move onto looking at colour and pattern and create a series of work which will give them experience and confidence with materials. In term 6 students will then work on a project that will tie all of these skills together.


Year 8 are taught three different projects throughout the year which build upon the skills that they developed in year 7. Year 8 will start with a Bugs and butterflies steam punk where they will develop their drawing skills, application of Tone and colour using materials such as water colour and pencil crayons, students will also develop their printmaking skills. The students will look at different artists and create a final outcome which will be 3D. Students will then move onto a project looking at Jim Dine. They will create several prints and look at different drawing techniques. Students will then begin to think more about 3D work and create a sculpture of a tool. The final project in year 8 is a cultural project. These projects change each year, in recent years we have looked at Mexican day of the dead, African art, aboriginal art and Japanese art.


Year 9 is a very independent year where students will direct a lot of their own learning and work confidently with different materials. Students complete three projects throughout the year. The first project students complete is the Jon Burgerman project. Students work in the style of Burgerman looking at doodling and illustration. Students will learn to draw from their own perception and think about how they see things and how this can be very different to the way others see things. Students will work a lot with colour in this project; they will also build upon their critical skills unpicking different pieces of art work to develop their understanding. The second project in year 9 is special affects make up (SFX). This project enables students to see the real possibilities of Art and Design and see that it is not all painting and drawing. Students look at basic SFX to begin with working with materials such as latex, polymorph plastic, scar wax and make up colour palettes. This project focuses heavily on colour theory.


The third project in year 9 is a graphics based course. Students are set a brief to design the graphics for a snowboard. Students pick their own theme, research artists, explore materials, develop their outcome and then complete their final piece.



Every term student will complete a levelled assessment. This will form the level that is sent home to parents in the data snapshot. This level is important for students to see where they are currently working at and enable students to think about what they need to do in order to hit their target level. Students will be given feedback after each assessment which will show targets. The students will then make an action plan of how to hit these targets. The descriptors we use are Emerging, Expected and Exceeding.


Students are assessed in four different areas in Art and Design. Creativity, competence, cultural and critical. Students have a grid in the front of their sketch books which show each criteria and how to hit each level. Students are informed of which criteria we are working towards at the start of each project.


As well as formal assessment. It is important that students give and receive feedback each lesson in order to progress. Students will use Directed Improvement Reflection Time (DIRT) in lesson to give feedback and targets and are given time to hit these targets and reflect on their work. We also use WWW and EBI labels This way students are given immediate feedback and this is very much student led which is important in art.


Student are also given feedback by Mrs Rees, this could be in the form of a mid-point feedback during a piece of work, or verbal feedback in lesson.


Students in years 7,8 and 9 are given one project homework each year. This is an extended project which is set at the start of the term and is handed in at the end of the term. Each student is expected to complete the project which is set on Show my homework.


Key Stage 4

AQA GCSE Art, Craft and Design


GCSE Art. Craft and Design provides students with a range of creative, exciting and inspiring opportunities to explore their interests in Art and Design in ways that are significant and developmental.


In addition, it provides:


  • A range of options with a broad course in Art and Design.
  • A strong and appropriate foundation for further progression to Art and Design related courses such as our A-level Art and Design and enhanced vocational and career pathways


Skills Students Develop


  • creativity
  • imagination
  • critical thinking skills
  • investigation and experimentation
  • the development of ideas from first-hand experience and, where appropriate, secondary source materials.


How is the Course Structured?

The GCSE Art, Craft and Design course consists of two parts. Unit one which comprises of two projects. One extended project and one shorter project. Unit two is the Externally set task.


In the January of year 11 students will receive the externally set task from AQA. This will be a number of titles set out with some artists attached. Students will decide on a title and create a body of work showing the development and thought processes around their chosen title, hitting each assessment objective. Students then spend 10 hours of focused study time creating an outcome to their project.


Lesson Time

Students will work on two projects throughout year 10 and term one and two of year 11. KS4 have 5 lessons each fortnight in the art room. Subject sessions are led after school on a Monday for any KS4 students.

Each year, year 10 will attend an art trip. This is part of the requirements of the course. In recent years we have visited London, Liverpool, and the Yorkshire Sculpture park.


This course will suit you if you:


  • like to use different materials and processes to develop your visual skills
  • are creative, enthusiastic and imaginative
  • are willing to experiment and to take risks when you are trying out your ideas
  • are able to work independently and like to visit art galleries and museums to make your work more informed and interesting
  • Like communicating your ideas, opinions and addressing issues
  • Have an interest in a certain area of Art and Design
  • Are hard working


For further information, contact Mrs Rees.


Twitter: @SJHDesignTalent