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Creative Arts

The Creative Arts Faculty offers four subject areas of Art & Design: Art, Graphics, Textiles & Food. 

Key Stage 3 Art is taught for one hour per week, within a tutor group class, whereby students remain with their teacher for one year. The other three subject areas are taught in a one-term carousel system, where two tutor groups are split into three equal sized classes and rotate between Graphics, Textiles & Food. All students make their GCSE options choice in Year 9.  



Creative Arts - Curriculum Intent 

The Creative Arts Faculty intends to deliver a vibrant and dynamic Art & Design based specification from year 7-13 that will give students the freedom to explore their creativity, inspire design ideas, whilst equipping them with the skills to continue the subject with confidence at A-level and beyond. The qualification features a wide range of titles including Art, Craft and Design, Graphic communication and Textile design giving flexibility to tailor the course to our students’ interests.

The rationale for this qualification provides scope for innovation and curriculum development and provides opportunities to tailor courses of study to the individual needs of our students. At GCSE level students are required to produce two components, comprising a ‘Portfolio’ selected from the course of study and an ‘Externally set assignment’. It allows for progression from Key Stage 3 whilst providing a strong foundation for further study at A-level as well as vocational pathways. To support this progression, the GCSE assessment objectives, structure and titles are very similar to those detailed in the A-level Art and Design specification.  

Students will be encouraged to be ambitious with their portfolio projects and assignments by exploring design briefs that are meaningful to them. There is no restriction on the choice of media, scale or format that students use to reflect and evidence their work. Projects will be delivered using a skills-based approach to allow students to develop knowledge and understanding during the course through a variety of learning experiences and approaches, including engagement with sources. This will allow them to develop the skills to explore, create and communicate their own ideas before developing, refining, recording, realising and presenting of their final ideas.  

The key concepts of the course centre around four main areas of development:

· Record Ideas – students should be able to research concepts, produce mood-boards, collect first hand inspiration and explore the work of other artists and designers. Initial ideas should be observed using quality photography and skillful observational drawing

· Develop Ideas – students should investigate creative design ideas using mixed media and demonstrate critical understanding of the sources they have chosen.

· Refine Ideas – students should explore their ideas further and experiment with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.

· Present a personal response – students should produce a final piece/pieces that reflects their intention and shows understanding of the design process.  

The course is based on three main areas of skill:

1. Developing design ideas through investigations informed by selecting and critically analysing sources. Experimenting with media, materials, techniques and processes. Recording ideas, observations, insights and independent judgements using visual art and through written annotation as the work progresses.

2. Drawing skills for different needs and purposes that show development from an initial idea through to the final intention in a sustained process. 

3. Written annotation to record ideas, observations and insights using appropriate specialist vocabulary.

The curriculum is designed to provide all students with the building blocks in each year so they can progress through to GCSE, A-level and beyond. It is our aim to produce motivated creative designers who can work independently on individual design concepts to fully realise their design potential in their chosen area of specialism: Art, Craft & Design or Graphic Communication or Textile Design  

Year 7 to Year 9 - Art 

The Art department offers an exciting, creative environment where students explore art across time and cultures and learn about the contexts in which they were made. Students are encouraged to strive for excellence and take risks in their work. Our students develop an appreciation of art, craft and design, and its role in the creative and cultural industries that will enrich their lives. 

We have fully equipped specialist Art rooms where all pupils have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of media and techniques, including drawing, painting, printing, textiles, relief, mixed media and sculpture.  

All students study Art and Design throughout Key Stage 3 according to the National Curriculum. Art is offered at Key stage 4 and 5 as an option subject. Students are able to explore a variety of techniques and specialisms in the Art, Craft & Design course we offer. Students who are seriously considering a career in Art and Design are encouraged to take the option at both GCSE and A Level. However, the creative arts engage all students in abstract and analytical thinking, moulding them into creative, ‘out of the box’ thinkers, a skill that is desirable across different industries.  

Key Stage 3 students are assessed during their project work and at the end of each project. Current projects for the year are as follows: 

Year 7 

  • Formal Elements - an exciting introduction to art and the formal elements. Students will explore the formal elements through the unique painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser  
  • Botanicals - students explore new techniques such as felting and printing alongside the traditional skills of drawing and painting 
  • Landscapes - In the final unit of year 7 students explore Landscapes from the Impressionism movement to David Hockney. Students will apply the skills they have learnt over the year to produce a layered landscape scene 

Year 8  

  • Identity - students will explore how artists explore the theme of identity through portraiture. Students will study both traditional and contemporary artists and create a self-portrait exploring their own identity 
  • Culture - students will explore a range of cultural art from across the world. Students will experiment with drawing into and embossing metal sheets to create patterns from their chosen culture 
  • Under the Sea - students will continue to explore new techniques such as batik and marbling alongside the techniques they have learnt over the year to create an exciting mixed media outcome  

Year 9  

  • Food Illustration - students will explore how arts place in the creative industry through food illustration. Students will explore a range of contemporary artists and create their own mixed media illustrations 
  • Architecture - students will continue to refine and develop their analytical drawing skills, a key skill for architectural drawing. Students will also explore lino printing amongst other techniques 
  • Natural Forms - our final unit of KS3 prepares students who are intending to pursue Art at KS4. Students will be introduced to new techniques whilst continuing to refine and develop key core skills 

Assessment at Key Stage 3: Within a unit of work a minimum of two pieces of students’ work receives a written comment and two pieces receive a written comment and a curriculum level. At the end of the unit the students’ work receives a summative curriculum level and a written comment. The written comments reflect the strengths of the work and identify areas where students can improve further. Students are responsible for setting personal targets every term, relating to the assessment criteria in the unit of work.     

Year 7 to Year 9 - Graphics, Textiles & Food  

Within Art & Design students gain the opportunity to develop their skills by designing and making products for themselves and target markets within 3 subject areas: Graphics, Textiles and Food. The department prides itself on developing the use of new technologies; smart materials, laser cutting, 3-D printing and the latest Adobe Photoshop software. Computer aided design and manufacture are central to activities the students participate in. 

The aim is to develop individuals who can solve problems, think independently and create products that are well designed and beautifully made. Students are taught in groups of approximately 24; they work both individually and co-operatively. 

Key Stage 3 students are assessed during their project work and at the end of each project. Each rotation has a set of subject specific objectives and assessment criteria. Students are given an assessment booklet and are made fully aware of the assessment criteria at the start of each module. This information is then recorded and used for periodic reporting of progress via grade cards. Current projects for the year are as follows: 

Year 7 

  • Graphics: Book Cover – Students get to grips with some of the design basics such as typography and colour theory. They will then develop and design a book cover using their own photos and Adobe Photoshop software. 
  • Textiles: Cultural Cushion – students explore decorative techniques of resist dyeing, fabric painting, applique and stencilling and are introduced to the sewing machine. 
  • Food:  Variety & the Seasons – students plan and make a range of dishes with seasonal ingredients that contribute to a healthy diet. 

Year 8  

  • Graphics: Artist’s Alphabet – Students will gain a deeper understanding of the principals of typography. They will research the work of existing typographers and artists before creating their own alphabet inspired by their chosen artist using Adobe Illustrator. 
  • Textiles: Fabric Roll-up - students explore develop pattern making skills to produce a functional yet decorative fabric roll designed for a particular customer and use more complex construction techniques on the sewing machine. 
  • Food: Hygiene & Risk - students plan and make a range of dishes that include high-risk foods.  

Year 9  

  • Graphics: Packaging – Students will learn about the purpose of packaging. The project will culminate in the development and production of their own piece of 3D packaging, featuring their own logo and character design, created on Adobe Design software. 
  • Textiles: Adorn, Decorate & Embellish – students investigate fashion designers, develop fashion-drawing skills and apply decorative and embellishing techniques to existing garments.
  • Food: Strategy & Time - students plan and make a range of dishes that include multiple components and combinations of ingredients and complex techniques.   

Year 10 and Year 11 - GCSE Art, Craft & Design

AQA Art & Design: Art, Craft & Design 

All students are entered for the AQA Art, Craft and Design examination and are assessed according to the exam board assessment matrix. 

Art, Craft and design promotes creativity and learning across a variety of experiences and through various processes, tools, techniques, materials and resources. Our specialist classrooms provide students with the opportunity to explore a wide range of exciting techniques and materials. 

The course is comprised of two components. Component 1 is the Portfolio (coursework) and is worth 60% of the overall grade. This component explores the theme of ‘Natural Forms’. 

Component 2 is the Externally Set Assignment and is worth 40% of the overall grade. This component is set by the exam board and consists of a 10 hour examination set over 2 days.  

Year 10 and Year 11  - GCSE Graphic Communication 

AQA Art & Design: Graphic Communication 

GCSE Graphic Communication enables students to design and make products with creativity and originality, using a range of graphic and modelling materials. 

Students will be enthused and challenged by the range of practical activities possible. They will be encouraged to learn to use, understand and apply colour and design through images, to develop spatial concepts, and to understand graphic materials and their manipulation. They will design and make products using graphic media and new technologies to prepare them for the world of work. 


  • 60% portfolio assessment:?Consists of at least one extended collection of work, which demonstrates that students can sustain work from initial starting points to the realisation of intentions. 
  • 40% externally set assignment (includes 10 hours of focused study): Students are required to produce a personal response and will be given a choice of 7 different starting points.?They must select and respond to one starting point from their chosen title and show evidence of all four assessment objectives. 

Year 10 and Year 11 - GCSE Food  Preparation & Nutrition 

AQA Food  Preparation & Nutrition 

The new Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE will help students to develop a greater understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials. They’ll also learn about food from around the world, through the study of British and international culinary traditions as well as developing an understanding of where food comes from (food provenance) and the challenges surrounding food security. They’ll master culinary skills and appreciate the science behind food and cooking. This is an exciting and creative course, which will allow students to demonstrate practical skills and make connections between theory and practice. 

The course has five topics: 

  • Food, nutrition and health 
  • Food science 
  • Food safety 
  • Food choice 
  • Food provenance 


  • 50% final written exam- 1hr 45 mins 

Section A : multiple choice 

Section B: five longer answer questions 

  • 50% non-exam assessment (NEA) 

Food Investigation - 15% 

Food Preparation Assessment – 35% 

Transferrable skills students will learn: 

  • Analysis and evaluation 
  • Communication 
  • Working independently 
  • Time management 
  • Organisation