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ART, DESIGN and photography

“Art is our one true global language.  It knows no nation, it favours no race and acknowledges no class.  It speaks to our need to reveal, heal and transform.  It transcends our ordinary lives and lets us imagine what is possible.”


Richard Kamler




Subject Intent:


Our curriculum is about engaging, inspiring and challenging students.  It is fully inclusive, supporting all students to access the knowledge and skills regardless of their starting points and barriers to learning, enabling them to participate in, experiment with, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.  Learning will enable students to realise that everything they encounter has been designed by someone, whose ideas began with a pencil and paper.  Seeing the differences between art, craft and design is paramount to their understanding of the subject.  Art is creating for personal enjoyment and wellbeing, craft is making using traditional making techniques and design is created to fulfil a purpose in any form.  All of these are still in high demand today, resulting in the creative industry being the second largest in the UK.


We built the curriculum with the intent that students will:


  • Experience a broad, deep and knowledge rich curriculum by making art and creativity accessible for all and to encourage students to extend, explore and expand their creative thinking and problem solving skills.  To inspire students by introducing them to artists, craftspeople, designers, photographers and movements in art, alongside a variety of art made across different time periods, cultures and countries; to expand student knowledge and understanding by putting into context different periods of art history.

  • Be literate and numerate to develop a critical and technical vocabulary relevant to art, craft and design and to creative, media and design industries.  Students will develop and apply their reading and writing skills alongside their speaking and listening skills as they research, communicate, analyse, critically evaluate and review the work of significant artists, craftspeople, architects, film makers, photographers and designers.

  • Have opportunities to work in a range of scales (from small size to large scale works) in 2 and 3 dimensions and in virtual and time based media, becoming visually perceptive and visually literate through looking, thinking, recognising, interpreting and understanding art, craft and design as a medium of communication and meaning which uses visual symbols and icons.

  • Have high expectations for their behaviour and achievement through engaging experiences within the subject.  Students will develop creative confidence and learn how to make individual choices, improve their creative and technical skills and gain mastery as they increase proficiency in their execution.

  • Develop their cultural, moral, social, mental and physical development through reflection and response to the work of artists, craftspeople and designers, and to the social and historical context in which they worked.  Pupils develop their spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding, empathising with others and learning more about world cultures.  They develop awareness of the place of art, craft and design in the world to comment on and change opinion, or transform life experiences.

  • Be prepared for life beyond the school by providing opportunities to investigate a wide range of creative outcomes from past and present and how they shape our history and future; enabling students to contribute as confident citizens and future professionals to the culture, creativity, economic success, leisure, material and emotional well-being of our society within both national and global contexts.


Subject Implementation:


  • In art, design and photography we implement our curriculum through teaching methods that promote an understanding of not simply what, but why we are learning and how this learning might impact and enhance a student’s overall learning experience. 

  • Our curriculum is focussed on embedding challenge, metacognition, memory techniques and literacy, whilst providing contexts that are relevant to enhance their experience of the subject and deepen their understanding and ability to apply key concepts and ideas to a multitude of everyday situations.

  • In years 7 and 8, skills-based lessons allow students to express their creative imagination as well as providing them with opportunities to practice and develop mastery in the key processes of art.  This is supported through the studying of a chronological art timeline in KS3, looking at key art movements and featured artists and the development of a knowledge of their work ranging from pre-historic cave painting through to contemporary art.  We believe that this provides a sound platform of knowledge and skills for pupils who wish to further their studies into GCSE art or photography.

  • Schemes of learning at KS3 allow students to look at a range of different techniques and skills-based activities, introducing them to all areas within art, craft and design.  Drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, collage, textiles, graphics, photography are studied to further develop, broaden and extend their skills knowledge and understanding of materials and processes through the key concepts of art, craft and design.

  • In years 9, 10 and 11, students work towards a GCSE in either art or photography.  Broader concepts are revisited, however, knowledge is built upon foundations from previous study, enabling students to make individual choices, improve their creative and technical skills and gain mastery of specific techniques as they increase proficiency in their execution. This allows for progression from KS3 whilst providing a strong foundation for further study at AS and A-level as well as vocational pathways.

  • Schemes of learning at KS4 have been designed to allow students a variety of learning experiences and approaches, including engagement with sources and develop the skills to explore, create and communicate their own ideas.  Students will demonstrate these skills through the development, refinement, recording, realisation and presentation of their ideas through a portfolio and by responding to an externally set assignment.

  • Rigorous, reliable and accessible assessment tracks understanding and allows bespoke planning to occur as a result.  The GCSE Assessment Objectives and Key Stage 3 Progress Objectives are not interchangeable, but there is a strong line of development from KS3 into GCSE coursework programmes through characteristics developed within each of the Assessment Objectives; generating, making, evaluating and knowledge.  On-going assessment occurs through teacher monitoring of classwork and discussions with students. Outcomes of these are analysed and discussed within the department and interventions and extra support implemented where appropriate. Assessment outcomes are compared to targets to monitor progress. Specific groups such as SEN, DP, MA are closely monitored and intervention, where necessary, is planned in order to reduce gaps and allow students to meet their targets.

  • A blended learning approach is used to promote and develop students’ independent learning through the medium of Microsoft TEAM.  Tasks are set in lessons and at home and supported by knowledge organisers,  which are linked to schemes of learning.  Lesson PowerPoints and resources, including home learning booklets linked to each theme, are available to support learning. Teachers will engage with students through feedback on progress which will enable them to improve and extend their learning.

Subject Enrichment:


Enrichment opportunities ensure students get the broad, balanced curriculum they deserve, as well as equipping them with the knowledge, skills and abilities to thrive in the modern world.  In the art and photography department, we believe that enrichment opportunities allow students to explore the arts in a different environment to the curriculum with the hope to engage students who may think that art is not for them.  Enrichment opportunities are important to help develop skills; having structured, additional time to focus on the art subjects will lead to skills development which can be translated back in the classroom.  This is especially important for students looking to take art at GCSE, but also gives students more freedom to try out new things – to fail without negative implications.

Enrichment includes:

  • Proposed visit to an art gallery (KS4) (Manchester or Tate Liverpool)

  • Proposed visit to Salford Quays to photograph the urban landscape (KS4)

  • Proposed visit to Bolton sixth form and/or sixth form students to visit school to run a series of skills-based workshops (KS4 Art and Photography)

  • Online workshops with artists/craftspeople/designers – small workshop based activities for KS3/KS4

  • KS4 coursework catch-up sessions/skills booster sessions – by invitation to target specific needs of individuals to boost skills, techniques and understanding.

  • KS3 art/photography club – weekly lunchtime art club to look at different techniques and materials not used during class time – to encourage and enhance interest and appreciation for the subject.


Subject Impact:


  • The Art and Design curriculum is designed to be challenging and appropriate to each students stage of development by re-visiting, embedding, extending so that students become proficient in all Art and Design disciplines.

  • Develop and expand student thinking and challenge preconceived ideas, encouraging them to develop their own opinions, be able to justify these and broaden their own cultural capital.

  • Enhance and enrich students’ educational experience by encouraging them to express themselves creatively, to feel confident exploring media and to be able to express their own feelings and opinions fluently, whether in the written or visual form.

  • Inspire students by introducing them to artists, craftspeople, designers and movements in art, alongside a variety of art made across different time periods, cultures and countries; allowing them to critically think about the modern world.

  • Develop independent thinking skills through the promotion of self-directed study, developing transferrable skills suitable for post-16 study.

  • Through the study of art and photography our students increase the range and accuracy of skills and techniques, advancing their ability to apply these with increasing independence to the creative and arts industries.

Art and Design curriculum Map 2023.jpg

Knowledge and Skills


Year 7:


Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • How to recognise and name different art forms including pre-historic art, Greek art, Roman art, Egyptian art, Medieval art, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism and Expressionism.

  • Codes and conventions that define the different creative forms in art, craft and design so they can research, plan and develop several interpretations and designs.

  • The ways in which signs and symbols are designed or used by artists in their work to convey messages.

  •  The importance of mark making – that particular kinds of marks can be made with different materials or controlled using suitable tools.

  • How to apply their experiences of drawing, painting, printing, tactile and constructed processes/techniques, selecting suitable tools to enable them to design and make artworks.

  • That particular painting, craft and construction tools can be used to exploit and control properties and surface characteristics of materials to convey meaning.

  • How to research the work of artists, craftspeople and designers, selecting important visual and text based information to help them resolve creative problems to inform their own work.

  • How particular periods, genres, styles or aspects of design contain visual and expressive characteristics that convey meaning in ways which can be appropriated in their work.


Pupils will develop their skills in:

  • How to recognise and name different art forms including pre-historic art, Greek art, Roman art, Egyptian art, Medieval art, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism and Expressionism.

  • Completing design studies for 2D, 3D and craft outcomes

  • Using thumbnail studies, annotation, multi-views, different combinations, maquette’s or prototypes to explore a sequence of design steps to develop and improve ideas.

  • Using a camera, varied drawing approaches, collage and digital media to record from life and secondary sources.

  • Investigation and experimentation using a range of materials and techniques with increasing control and purpose.

  • Exploring the characteristics of each of the artistic elements with control to express personal intentions when making painted, printed, constructed or virtual artworks.

  • Using subject appropriate critical and technical language to express views and interpretations.


Year 8: Builds on the foundation laid in year 7


Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • The difference between drawing, collage, painting, print and something constructed, modelled or digital.

  • How to mix and apply colour so they can convey concepts such as warm, cool or express meanings and emotions.

  • How colour, surface, form, mark making and techniques used by creative practitioners can convey emotions and subtle moods.

  • Which tools are the best/suitable to select for controlling their mark making, painting and surface decoration.

  • Understanding wet and dry techniques, colour theory, structure and surface qualities to create and communicate moods and meaning using suitable tools.

  • How to exploit the appearance of modelled and painted surface characteristics including wet, dry or wet on wet techniques, applying knowledge of colour or 3D media techniques to express intentions.

  • How to interpret and respond to different creative forms from diverse historical periods, cultures and times including; Cubism, Art Deco, Surrealism and Pop Art.

  • How individual experience and cultural contexts shape what artists and designers make, using this to critically inform improvements in their own work.


Pupils will develop their skills in:

  • Effective web and book based research to inform their own experience of how artists develop ideas to create outcomes in 2D and 3D.

  • Accuracy when recording from observation, memory and imagination to develop ideas towards an outcome.

  • Using thumbnail studies, annotation, multi-views, compositions and maquette’s to develop ideas and plan intentions following a sequence of design steps.

  • Independently improving practical skills or understanding of the qualities of different materials and processes as they investigate and experiment.

  • Exploration of the expressive characteristics of different media, processes and techniques to express personal ideas, communicate meaning and intentions.

  • Effectively improve skills with various tools to explore the characteristics of different 2D and 3D media.

  • Using subject appropriate critical and technical language to compare, analyse and describe different ideas and approaches used by artists and designers, recognising the influence of contexts, cultures and times on their work.


Year 9


Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • The history of art, craft, design and architecture, including periods, styles and major movements from ancient times up to the present day.

  • How individual experience and cultural contexts shape what artists and designers make, using this to critically inform improvements in their own work.

  • Exploring the techniques used by major contemporary or historic artists, craftspeople and designers, as well as other cultures, so as to inform their creative interpretations.

  • How to interpret the ideas of artists and designers from other cultures and why there are different social, cultural, political, spiritual or moral contexts.

  • Increasing their proficiency in the handling of different materials and purposefully use the tools and techniques they have chosen to work with.

  • How to apply their technical and expressive knowledge of the properties and characteristics of materials and processes to select techniques and control outcomes.


Pupils will develop their skills in:

  • Independently plan and model  ideas and intentions in 3D and 3D (including photography, digital processes and 3D modelling/maquettes) to sequentially explore ideas, thinking visually and creatively.

  • Effectively controlling the use of a range of drawing and designing techniques when recording several observations, planning for further investigations of ideas towards an outcome.

  • Understanding how to cut, shape, mould, cast, construct and work a range of art, craft and design materials in 2D and 3D, exploiting their properties to create work.

  • Experimenting, exploring, investigating, testing, adapting and safely using a variety of materials, processes and techniques, imaginatively, expressively and creatively.

  • Applying the principles of perspective to create images that effectively represent the real world and visually illustrate their ideas.


Year 10


Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • The way sources inspire the development of ideas relevant to fine art, graphic communication, textile design, three-dimensional design and photography.

  • How ideas, themes, forms, feelings and concerns can inspire personally determined responses that are primarily aesthetic, intellectual or conceptual.

  • How sources relate to a given or self-defined brief which might, for example, have a commercial, social or environmental focus or be concerned with other aspects specific to the creative industries.

  • How sources relate to cultural, social, historical, contemporary, environmental and creative contexts which might be determined or influenced by functional or non-functional considerations.

  • How ideas, feelings, forms and purposes can generate responses that address specific needs be those personal or determined by external factors such as the requirements of an individual client’s expectations, needs of an intended audience or details of a specific commission.

  • How ideas, themes, subjects and feelings can inspire creative responses informed by different styles, genres and aesthetic considerations and/or an individual’s distinctive view of the world.

  • The ways in which meanings, ideas and intentions relevant to each area of study can be communicated including the use of;

    • Figurative representation, abstraction, stylisation, simplification, expression, exaggeration and imaginative interception.

    • Visual and tactile elements such as; colour, line, form, tone, texture, shape, composition, rhythm, scale, structure, surface, pattern, stylisation, simplification, decoration, repetition, space, proportion, sequence, contrast.

    • Different forms of representation, brand identity, intended message, target audience and working within parameters determined by client and/or audience expectations and requirements.

    • Figurative and non-figurative representations, stylisation, simplification, the relationship between form and surface embellishment, constructional considerations and imaginative interpretation.

    • Image manipulation, close up and imaginative interpretation.


Pupils will develop their skills in:

  • Using fine art techniques and processes such as; mark making, printmaking, assemblage, construction, carving, film and video, digital working methods.

  • Using graphic communication techniques and processes such as; typography, illustration, digital photography, digital working methods.

  • Using textile design techniques and processes such as; weaving, felting, stitching, applique, construction methods, batik, machine stitching, hand/machine embroidery.

  • Using three-dimensional techniques and processes such as; model making, constructing, surface treatment, assembling, modelling.

  • Using photographic techniques and processes such as; lighting, viewpoint, aperture, depth of field, shutter speed and movement, use of enlarger, digital processes

  • Using media and materials such as; charcoal, pastels, pen, ink, crayons, pencils, watercolour, acrylic, found materials, clay, digital imagery, different papers and surfaces, pen & ink, pen & wash, layout materials, mixed media, yarns, threads, fibres, fabrics, textile materials, digital imagery, wood, plaster, plastic, film, digital media, programmes and related photographic technologies, graphic media for purposes such as storyboarding, planning and constructing shoots.

Year 11


Pupils will develop their knowledge of:

  • A variety of learning experiences, which encourage the development of skills through the use of appropriate media, processes, techniques and technologies relevant to their chosen title(s) and related area(s) of study.

  • Understanding and skills in the development of their personal work informed by first-hand experiences and appropriate secondary sources.

  • How to progressively develop their own strengths and interests in the subject and, increasingly, follow their line of enquiry.

  • Sustained practical application of skills to realise personal intentions.

  • How sources inspire the development of ideas,  drawing on:

    • The work and approaches of artists, craftspeople or designers from contemporary and/or historical contexts, periods, societies and cultures.

    • Contemporary and/or historical environments, situations and issues.

    • Other relevant sources researched by the student in the chosen qualification title and area(s) of study.

    • The ways in which meanings, ideas and intentions can be communicated through visual and tactile language, using formal elements including; colour, line, form, shape, tone and texture.

    • The characteristics, properties and effects of using different media, materials, techniques and processes, and the ways in which they can be used in relation to students’ own creative intentions and chosen area(s) of study.

    • The different purposes, intentions and functions of art, craft and design in a variety of contexts and as appropriate to students own work.


Pupils will develop their skills in:

  • Developing their ideas through investigations informed by selecting and critically analysing sources.

  • Applying an understanding of relevant practices in the creative and cultural industries to their work.

  • Refining their ideas as work progresses through experimenting with media, materials, techniques and processes.

  • Recording their ideas, observations, insights and independent judgements, visually and through written annotation, using appropriate specialist vocabulary as work progresses.

  • Using visual language critically as appropriate to their own creative intentions and chosen area(s) of study through effective use of; media, materials, techniques, processes and technologies.

  • Using drawing skills for different needs and purposes, appropriate to context.

  • Realise personal intentions through sustained application of the creative process.

Contact Head of Department:

Mrs Louis -

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