Curriculum Statement

“Purpose of study

Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.”

Dragon water colour art work

UWS embraces the above and fully supports the study of Art in KS3, and a significant number of students continue to study the subject at GCSE (consistently above 50%). The department sees the enjoyment of the subject and the confidence to work independently as being highly valued.


Again from the statutory guidance: 

“At KS3 pupils should be taught:

  • to use a range of techniques to record their observations in sketchbooks, journals and other media as a basis for exploring their ideas
  • to use a range of techniques and media, including painting
  • to increase their proficiency in the handling of different materials
  • to analyse and evaluate their own work, and that of others, in order to strengthen the visual impact or applications of their work
  • about the history of art, craft, design and architecture, including periods, styles and major movements from ancient times up to the present day”

At UWS we plan the Art schemes of work to address the above. An important part of this is to have shorter teacher directed projects in year 7 and 8 which concentrate on the formal elements (line, shape, form, colour, tone, texture, pattern and space). Pupils learn to use a variety of media and techniques. This is intended to build confidence and increasing independence. 

As well as completing pieces common to all, pupils are required to extend and develop ideas of their own. By the time they reach year 9 the projects are much more open to individual interpretation – e.g. Pop Art and Mental Health & Wellbeing. From the same starting point pupils develop their own project, choosing materials, scale of work and desired outcomes with increasing independence. All are encouraged to annotate work appropriately, to explain their ideas and insights. 

Students focus on ...

At first we concentrate on drawing skills – line drawing and tonal drawings of a range of everyday objects, drawn from life. We then look at working from photographs and introducing colour. Later in the year we look at art from ancient times and other cultures – Egyptian, Aboriginal, and Native American. This is used as stimulus for creative development, including responses to studying Olympic Pictograms. 

During the first part of the year we look at the work of other artists including Velazquez (17 century), Picasso and Martin Craig Martin (current day). This is largely sketchbook based but also includes a larger painting in response to Martin Craig Martin. Later in the year we concentrate on line, shape and form whilst learning about perspective drawing techniques, and then apply these skills to drawing vernacular buildings. 

We complete two larger projects. The first takes ‘Mental Health and Wellbeing’ as its theme – after studying the work of Bob and Roberta Smith we work on large paintings. Later the study of American Pop Art allows pupils to work with a large variety of self-chosen images whilst developing a personal response in a variety of media. 

KS4 (GCSE Art)

Art is a popular choice at GCSE. Candidates are entered for the AQA GCSE – Art and Design: Fine Art.

Why “Fine Art”?

The choice of specification reflects the resources available in staffing, equipment and accommodation. Candidates can still submit work in any media as part of their portfolio, but drawing and painting will be common to all. 

A strong feature of the AQA Specification is that it gives Centres a lot of flexibility to plan and structure a course in a way that suits them, so long as it covers the assessment objectives. The portfolio must include a sustained project that has a clear starting point or theme, and a journey to realise final intentions. 

At UWS all candidates complete first the Op Art project and then choose a second project from a list of themes and starting points. The element of choice is to encourage a personal response and greater engagement. This work should be completed in the main by the end of Autumn Term in year 11 (but the AQA requirements are still met by partial completion). There will also be a selection of further work which will vary from Centre to Centre. As part of their course year 10 pupils usually meet and work with visiting artists from the local area (e.g. Grassington Festival). 

The second component is the ‘Externally Set Assignment’ – seven starting points provided by AQA. These are made available at the first timetabled Year 11 lesson in January and pupils choose one starting point. After unlimited preparation time they complete the work during a 10 hour supervised period (usually two days in April). 


Overview of Op Art, study two named artists, present work creatively. 

Work presented in sketchbook. 

Overview of Op Art, study two named artists, present work creatively. 

Work presented in sketchbook 

Final outcome – Painted canvas, painting, drawing, mixed media, collage. 

Choice of materials and scale. 




Choice of themes – for example: 

  • Flora/Fauna 
  • Music in Art 
  • Sport. 

Choose one. Research artists who have been inspired by the above. 

Continue to develop your chosen theme. Use a wide variety of materials – experiment and vary the scale of your studies. 

Introduce drawings and photographs that you have taken that support your project. Write careful notes and annotations explaining your ideas. 




Given to all candidates on the first week back in Spring Term of year 11 

Unlimited preparatory time leading up to the 10 hours Examination in May 2015 


Year 10: Summary of work completed, including time scales. 

Complete OP ART and start the MAJOR PROJECT 

Year 11: Summary of work completed, including time scales. 

Complete MAJOR PROJECT before Christmas Holiday, then concentrate on EXTERNALLY SET TASK 


KS3: Summary how units/work is marked etc 

All work is marked and reported on at least once each term. Further to this, pupils are given written feedback and marks at other points during projects as appropriate. 

KS4: Summary how units/work is marked etc 

All work is marked and reported on at least once each term. Pupils are given individual marks and written feedback at regular intervals where appropriate. 

At the end of the Course work is marked and reviewed internally before being marked  by the AQA Moderator. 



KS4: It is essential the GCSE students regularly take their sketchbooks home to extend their work, especially during holidays and weekends. 

Support at Home

Pupils can freely access resources and materials to take home to support their work. Included in sketchbooks are descriptions of units of work and guidance about materials and techniques to be used. 

Additional Support in school and/or resources

The Art Room is available to all pupils at break and lunchtime (although on some occasions priority is given to KS4 students). Resources are freely available upon request. 


The Art Department provides regular activities on Deep Learning days – these are sometimes a full day project (for example, this year a small group worked on canvas paintings after meeting a group of refugees/asylum seekers), on other occasions the work is themed with colleagues from other subject areas (such as a recent project on Global warming). These days provide an essential opportunity for pupils to work for a more sustained period, often with others, and using a greater variety of media. 

We have strong links too with the annual Grassington Festival, working with visiting artists to produce art installations for display during the Festival.