The teaching of Art & Design at St Antony’s Roman Catholic School is intended to explore some of the highest forms of creativity. Learners are engaged, inspired and challenged through a range of skills and knowledge-based projects that span a breadth of media. Experimentation with mark-making, painting, drawing and mixed-media allows pupils to create their own works of art through a series of projects. Each project explores a new theme and range of artists including world famous greats, to modern day craftspeople. Critical analysis of artists’ works and their techniques informs and inspires responses, and gives pupils a more rigorous understanding of art and design, including its impact on shaping our national history, culture and creativity. The main features of the Art & Design curriculum are as follows:
- The Art & Design curriculum has been constructed in the light of the impact Art & Design has on the shaping of our local, national and global communities. Subsequently, pupils at St Antony’s are equipped with skills which encompass the use of media, the ability to apply techniques creatively and can express ideas and thoughts visually.
- By the end of KS3 students will have a range of skills and knowledge that are demonstrated through a wide variety of practical work that addresses each of the National Curriculum statements. Learning is delivered through units that explore specific artists, media and themes. Two units are delivered each year at KS3. This leads to proficiency in drawing a range of 2D and 3D forms, applying tone, texture and value through a variety of media and an understanding of a range of techniques and practices of a variety of artists and craftspeople.
- Lessons are sequenced to enable skills to be refined and allow time for reflection and progress, whilst maintaining purposeful pace. The formal elements of Art are introduced at the beginning of KS3 as the foundation for learning. Following this, formal elements are then applied via bi-annual projects. New skills are then introduced and pupils create a range of responses that are designed to show technical skill and creative flair.
- We offer a bespoke curriculum that is designed specifically for St Antony’s students and one which is designed for pupils to know more and remember more. Pupils leave KS2 with a broad spectrum of starting points, so this is accounted for by breaking down the formal elements into suitable chunks. This phased approach maximises the potential of all groups including disadvantaged and SEND pupils. Some flexibility has been adopted for 2021-22 curriculum in response to the delays in learning presented by the pandemic. Learning is consolidated into A3 design sheets that chunk learning into short segments. This has helped to limit disruption to learning as work can be provided for pupils working outside of the classroom, and ensure that those that have missed learning time can quickly phase back in.
- Two units are delivered annually to each year group. Skills are contrasting in each pairing but share the commonality of the underpinning elements which thread through the curriculum at KS3. The units covered range from Y7; formal elements & portraits, Y8; natural forms & still life and Y9; abstract & architecture. Between each project, a mid-year focus for ‘history of art & culture’ has been introduced to expand on the National Curriculum offering. Here, great artists and themes such as Frida Kahlo and Rousseau’s ‘tiger in a tropical storm’ are taught to develop knowledge and understanding of a range of cultural and historical sources.
- Contextual studies within the arts support academic study. Cross-curricular links are common and independent study is strongly encouraged at KS4. Our broad curriculum offering promotes vocational and technical ambition, and offers a range of routes at KS4 within the Art, Craft & Design suite of subjects.
Art is taught within the Art, Design & Technology department. There is one full time Art teacher who works alongside the D&T teachers, who also deliver some of the Art curriculum at KS4. The art room is vast, and offers space for practical work and a suite of computers. The subject is well resourced and offers a range of experiences for students at both key stages.
At KS3 students are introduced to a range of skills-based activities that are designed to open their minds to the creative practises of a range of contemporary and historical artists. Work is completed in bespoke work booklets and often, each unit results in a final response.
At KS4 we offer a suite of Art-based subjects under the umbrella of Art, Craft & Design. Students are able to opt for Fine Art, Graphic Communication or Textiles. These are very creative courses that allow students to explore a range of artists as inspiration for their own work in response to a set brief. All work is submitted as a portfolio made up of class and homework, which constitutes a large proportion of their GCSE grade. We recognise the importance of practical skills and have designed our curriculum to best meet the needs of our students and to maximise on the facilities we have available. As ever, we are planning ahead and are currently looking to extend our provision to be able to offer Photography in future.
- Extra-Curricular Activities:
Regular booster sessions are run after school for GCSE students to continue with their portfolio and allow additional use of specialist equipment and materials.
The Art, Design & Technology Department organises trips for students at KS4 relating to specific projects. We have introduced a day trip to London, visiting the V&A museum and the Tate Modern.
- Links with Universities:
Each year GCSE students visit the Art & Design Degree Show of Manchester Metropolitan University to gain an insight into the opportunities in our locality to enable them to pursue Design & Technology further.
- Academic Reading with links to this curriculum area's learning can be found here.