"Every child is an artist.  The problem is staying an artist when you grow up!”  - Pablo Picasso



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. Students will experience a plethora of artistic opportunities ranging from drawing and painting through to collage and sculpture.  Students are assessed in all GCSE assessment criteria throughout Key Stage 3, with projects engineered around specific objectives.   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

Key Stage 4 students have access to both GCSE and approved technical awards in Year 9, 10 and 11.  The GCSE provision follows the AQA Craft, Art and Design directive and students are encouraged to explore briefs and titles under Graphic Design, 3D Design and Fine Art. Students are also given the opportunity to undertake a technical award, with the Creative Media (Art specialism) popular amongst some Year 10 already and Year 9 students from September 2018. Students are well drilled in the process of accessing the holistic assessment objectives and this is evident in the development work across early Key Stage 4, before embarking upon a final major project and their examination pieces.  Some truly stunning work has been created by our Key Stage 4 and many of our students move on to study Art and Design at post 16 level.


The technical awards approach art and design from a much more vocational route and our current Eduqas endorsed specification offers fantastic links to industry and other creative departments at Smithills including Music, Dance and Drama.  Students focus on more task driven work, applying their artistic flair and design to a practical brief or solution, rather than an expression or creative realisation that the GCSE demands.


All students in Year 9 will be entered into a Technical Award from 2018, with a view to completing before commencing Year 10. This additioanl stretch, challenge and demand will provide much more robust and inspired learners when they progress into further awards or a GCSE equivalent.  Art and Design contributes to many student options with this regard.

Students in Year 9 will have 6 teaching hours across the fortnightly cycle and will be expected to complete directed work alongside this through homework.  This is a substantial commitment to the school curriculum for this cohort, and the time, experience and energy is expected to produce outstanding outcomes both initially at the end of the Year, but terminally when our learners progress in Year 11.

In Year 10 and 11 students enjoy 5 hours across the fortnightly cycle, usually dispersed over alternate weeks.  Homework, self-direction, visits and an interest in the Arts beyond the classroom is not only advised, but deemed essential to be successful in both forms of study.

Work from across all Key Stages is exhibited around the school campus and our current Year 11 will exhibit their final pieces and examination portfolio in the end of year exhibition. 

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