Art is an integral part of a student’s education. It is very important that students understand how artistic and creative skills can be applied to our everyday lives such as fashion, design and all other forms of visual aesthetics. Within art, students are allowed to explore their creativity through their own thoughts and ideas.

Key Stage 3

Throughout the curriculum in Key Stage 3, students will focus on the development of their creative skills by exploring and experimenting with ideas, materials, tools and techniques. They will investigate the work of artists and designers from the past and present. In order to further develop their ideas, students will learn to analyse and evaluate their own work and the work of others. Students are encouraged to take risks and learn from their mistakes.

Year 7

Students explore some of the more traditional elements of art. There is a focus on drawing and capturing tone and detail. Students study colour theory and different art processes, such as print making and collage. Literacy is embedded into the schemes of work. Students are encouraged to articulate their thought processes and explore different artists and their practices.

Year 8

Students will focus on art from other cultures. They will explore the Chinese culture, and will experiment with materials, pattern and texture. In addition, they will learn about artists from other cultures and the context of their work. They will also study Aboriginal art and how they can use art to reflect on their own environment.

Year 9

Students are encouraged to work independently and to explore their own creative paths. They will work on an ‘Icons’ project and are encouraged to explore the notion of composition. They will reflect on their personally planned pieces and develop an entirely original piece of work. During Year 9 students will also study perspective. They will learn the different techniques of perspective and optical illusion and they will develop this into a personal response.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, students will be preparing for their GCSE Fine Art. Students will work within set topics; however, they are strongly encouraged to develop their ideas independently and to produce an exciting and dynamic portfolio of work. The GCSE course consists of coursework produced throughout Key Stage 4 and a final exam. The coursework is worth 60 % of the students’ marks and is developed over the two years. The exam, which accounts for the remaining 40%, is a ten hour exam which takes place in the summer of the second year.

Year 10

In the first unit of their GCSE course, students explore the theme of Mechanics and Movement. Students have to implement a wide range of materials and develop their technical skills. Students have to study the work of other artists and respond to their studies. Literacy is integral to GCSE Art and students have to feel confident articulating their thoughts and analysing pieces in written form.

Year 11

In Year 11, the students are encouraged to develop project ideas themselves and cultivate their own avenues of exploration. Students will work within the title Safely Contained and will develop a portfolio of work and a mock exam piece under this title. In the spring, students will be briefed on their exam title and develop a body of work over the next few weeks. This will then cultivate into preparing them for their ten hour exam.


Exam board

Exam code


Art and Design



Year 10

Term 1 & 2

‘Mechanics and movement’ coursework project

Term 3

‘Inside’ coursework project

Year 11

Term 1

‘Safely Contained’ coursework project

Term 2

Coursework and developing 8 weeks prep for May exam

Link to specification:

Key Stage 5

At Key Stage 5, students undertake their AS & A2 Fine Art A Level. They will investigate other art forms and cultural influences and students are expected to explore, refine and modify their work independently. Similar to GCSE, AS and A2 Fine Art consists of 60% coursework and 40% exam.

Year 12

At AS Level, students develop a ‘MatchBox’ project. Students are guided through many different experimental material processes, meeting many of the different assessment objectives. For their mock exam, students develop an independent body of work based on the theme of ‘Journeys’. In the spring, students are briefed on their exam title and have the next few weeks to develop a portfolio of work. This will prepare them for their AS exam which is eight hours long.

Year 13

At A2 Level, students are allowed to set their own project title. They have to be confident with developing their own ideas and challenging themselves to develop a fluent portfolio of work. Students will be expected to explore current art forms and develop their own first-hand research. Part of the student’s coursework is to write a personal study. Students will explore a concept or art notion and write an exploratory study on their findings. In the spring, the students will be briefed on their art exam title. Students will then have several weeks to develop a body of work, preparing them for their twelve hour exam.

Gifted and Talented Students

Projects and Opportunities on Offer

  • Artist in residence sessions give students the opportunity to work with artists who give guidance and advice on the students' work.
  • Gifted and talented art students have had their artwork displayed at the Essex County Council, County Hall.
  • The Arts Award programme gives gifted and talented students access to external workshops, trips to art galleries, after school activities and the opportunity to learn leadership and creative skills.