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Art and Design



''In art and design our vision is to engage students through creativity and invention, inspiring them to think critically and understand how art contributes to the culture and wealth of our nation''.



Key Stage 3

Throughout Years 7 and 8 pupils will complete six projects. Each project is designed to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary for a solid foundation in art and design, as well as being given the opportunity to reflect critically on their own work and the work of others. To support this, pupils will explore four different areas of art and design; graphic art; 3D, fine art and textile art over the two years - all taught by our specialist staff. Pupils will create work from observation and imagination, using a range of media to explore key art skills including colour theory. Knowledge and learning is under-pinned through discussion of both historical and contemporary artists and designers; allowing pupils to develop an appreciation of art and its role in the creative industries.


Key Stage 4

The syllabus followed for Art and Design GCSE is AQA Art and Design - Unendorsed in particular fine art, and/or Art Textiles. These syllabuses are offered to reflect the diversity of teaching specialisms and allow for a holistic, multi media approach to the subject. The range of art materials has increased in recent years, affording pupils the opportunity to work in a variety of different media including ceramics and printmaking.


This specification provides students with a range of creative, exciting and stimulating opportunities to explore their interests in Art and Design in ways that are relevant and developmental. The weighting of the subject is currently 60% coursework, 40% terminal examination.


In Years 9-11 pupils will complete up to four projects including substantial development work and practical outcomes. These are designed to give students the opportunity to select work from their course which best supports the assessment objectives for their final portfolio. The terminal exam is 10 hours in duration, with one term preparation time beforehand. There are two periods per cycle devoted to the subject for Years 9,10 and 11; each period lasts 60 minutes.


In addition it provides a strong and appropriate foundation for further progression to Art and Design related courses with our students being successful in gaining entry to a variety of further education courses such as A Level and enhanced vocational (BTEC) and career pathways.

Skills students develop:

  • creativity
  • imagination
  • research
  • investigation and experimentation


Safe working practice, careful preparation and personal research are important aspects of the teaching across Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. Homework is an integral part of the programme of study; emphasising its positive and supportive effects on the quality of class work produced. Projects undertaken within the curriculum and extra curricular activities include many opportunities to investigate practicing artists, to work with clients and live competitions. Our own successful summer exhibitions give students a genuine experience of showcasing their artwork to the public here at Smithills School and in the community.


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