St Michael's
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The Art curriculum delivered focuses on introducing pupils in Year 7 to the fundamental skills of Art and Design and builds upon this through Years 8 and 9 with the exploration of artists and design movements. Students are encouraged to develop their two-dimensional and three-dimensional skills by responding to ideas and themes.

What skills will pupils develop?

In the projects covered, all pupils will:

  • Develop their drawing and observing skills.
  • Investigate their ability to research and analyse artists and their techniques critically.
  • Explore the qualities and constraints of a variety of media through experimentation.
  • Craft outcomes that reflect the skills, knowledge and understanding developed throughout the projects.

What will help pupils to learn?

  • Well organised and self-motivated.
  • Good drawing, observational and creative skills.
  • Willingness to experiment with materials and have a hands on approach.
  • Determination and commitment.
  • Confidence in all that you do.
  • Resilience.
  • Being fully equipped for the subject.

KS3 Course Structure

At KS3 the students take part in three projects, one per term:

Year 7

Autumn 1&2Formal Elements Project

Students investigate the formal elements of art looking closely at tone, shape, colour, pattern, texture and form. Developing their realisation and drawing skills by producing a range of observational studies and beautiful Mandala designs.

Spring 1&2 Confectionary Project

Developing on from the Autumn terms the students explore their painting and printing skills looking closely at confectionary. Students are expected to produce paintings of cupcakes exploring tone and a range of prints.

Summer 1&2Unlock your potential

Students investigate a range of materials exploring more specific techniques and terms such as collage, monochromatic scales and sgraffito pieces of work based on a variety of themes.

Year 8

Autumn 1&2Portrait Project

Students are introduced to portraiture during the first term of study. They investigate the lines of proportion to create their first portrait. Then to reinforce this new knowledge they produce a celebrity portrait in pencil.

Spring 1&2Portrait Project

During the spring terms, the students explore portraits, this time they are looking at more abstract portraits and are asked to produce a portrait based on the artists Pablo Picasso and Illustrator Jon Burgerman.

Summer 1&2Portrait Project

Students investigate other cultures during the third term and produce a range of studies and low relief pieces of work such as masks related back to the chosen culture.

Year 9

Students work throughout the year on a foundation GCSE based project. During this time, they will reinforce skills they have gained in previous years and continue to develop their interests in the subject. Students will research, draw from observation, experiment and develop with a range of techniques resulting in a final piece of work produced.

KS3 Assessment

Students portfolios will be marked twice each half term based on work produced during lesson time and they will undertake three formal assessments. Students will also have the opportunity to embed their knowledge and understanding of the subject by taking part in a wide range of homework activities.

KS4 Course Structure

OCR GCSE Art and Design which is split between coursework and a practical examination. Unit 1 is a portfolio piece of coursework which accounts for 60% of the overall GCSE. Unit 2 is an externally set task and accounts for the remaining 40% of the Grade. (10 hour examination, plus preparation time.)

KS4 Assessment

OCR GCSE Art and Design which is split between coursework and a practical examination. All assessment follows the specific exam board guidelines. Unit 1 is a portfolio piece of coursework which accounts for 60% of the overall GCSE. Unit 2 is an externally set task and accounts for the remaining 40% of the Grade. (10 hour examination, plus preparation time.)


Mr C Murphy

Head of Department

Mr A Malone

Teacher of Art

Opportunities out of lessons

Pupils should be encouraged to gain an understanding of both practicing and historical artists and art movements through visits to galleries and other such cultural experiences where possible.  This supports our students to gain an understanding of the context in which art has been produced and gain inspiration to inform their own outcomes. Pupils are also encouraged to attend our extra-curricular clubs to develop their understanding of techniques and processes and to refine their classwork and home learning.  Presently these are the ‘Coursework Club’.

Career Pathways in this subject

There are many possible education and career progression pathways within the field of Art and Design.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Fine art practitioner      
  • Painter
  • Print maker                     
  • Sculptor
  • Advertising
  • Web design
  • Illustration
  • Fashion design
  • Textile design
  • Jewellery and other metal work
  • Product design
  • Art and artefact restoration
  • Art historian
  • Gallery and museum curatorship
  • Architecture
  • Art therapy
  • Teaching and lecturing
  • Graphic design

The skills learnt through the courses offered will equip our students for future creative careers such as artist, architect, product designer, graphic designer, fashion designer, photographer or stage set designer to name but a few, but they also provide a sound background for other less obvious careers where the ability to think differently and creatively gives an individual the edge on the competition. Self-expression is actively encouraged through the artwork, the written word and discussion. These are valuable tools for all aspects of future life. The Art Department is committed to providing diverse, innovative courses which will provide a rewarding and exciting element to your education.