Art and Design is about creativity and self expression.

Art education is a balance between the development of practical skills and the encouragement of innovation and imagination.

In the Art department we offer opportunities in which creativity and imagination are nurtured.

We teach a wide range of inspiring and exciting projects where pupils are encouraged to develop and use a variety of media and techniques. Pupils are taught to use materials appropriately, safely and sensitively.

The department endeavours to promote self esteem and build confidence through achievement. Our aim is for all pupils to experience using a technique in which they can work confidently this could be clay, collage, drawing or painting.

Lessons provide a stimulating, safe environment where pupils are encouraged to experiment with and explore materials, formulate ideas and opinions.

Equal opportunities are promoted through balanced schemes of work including studying art/design from contemporary and local artists and the art work of other cultures.

We strive to develop an awareness of the impact art and design has on our lives and society. Our young people are living in times of rapid change. The ever changing cultural and economic world demands creative thinking and ideas.

Year 7

We start off the year with the project “Food Glorious Food”. Pupils produce a range of drawings of food from photos using pencil and coloured pencil. They create their own alphabet using detailed illustrations of food. To develop drawing from direct observation, pupils look at food packaging and produce work in the style of Andy Warhol. The project concludes with the production of fabric painting of their favourite food, decorated and embellished with beads and 3D fabric paint.

Collage skills are developed in our “Recycled Animals” project. Pupils study the work of British artist Peter Clark to produce collages using recycled papers such as maps, old books, envelopes and music scores. All pupils produce a collage of a British animal.

Drawing skills are developed further in the “Robots” project. Pupils draw from a collection of 50s/60s style tin toy robots and motherboards from computers. We study the work of Eduardo Paolozzi and pupils produce relief-printed clay tiles of robots using mechanical objects (screws, keys, nuts and bolts etc.) to press into the clay to create their image.

We finish the year producing mixed media portraits where we study the work of Pablo Picasso/Audrey Walker (British textile artist) and Roy Lichtenstein.

Pupils all have a sketchbook which is used for homework and research to support all projects.

Year 8

We start off the year with a Cultural Study. Pupils look at artwork produced by Native Australian Aborigines. Pupils produce “x-ray” style drawings of their hands which they decorate with aboriginal symbols and dot painting. We use cotton buds and poster paint to create a dot effect. They all produce an aboriginal style painting of a native Australian animal.

In the second project, “Urban Landscape”, pupils draw from photographs of buildings. Pencil drawing, shading, hatching and cross-hatching are used to produce detailed drawings. We then look at the paintings and building designs of the Austrian artist, Hundertwasser. Pupils produce a Hundertwasser-style landscape in wax resist, building designs and a stained glass window using PVA and tissue paper.

We conclude the year with another Cultural Study. This time we look at artwork produced to celebrate the “Mexican Day of the Dead”. Pupils work in sketchbooks and use a wide range of materials and techniques to produce work based on skulls, skeletons and traditional Mexican patterns. They develop their clay skills further with decorated skull tiles using both acrylic paint and oxides to colour their fired work.

Year 9

In Year 9, pupils start off by having one 50 minute art lesson for 10 weeks. In this time, we look at “Urban Arty”. Pupils develop lettering and drawing skills as they recreate “graffiti” lettering. They use a wide range of techniques to try to create a “spray” effect using ink, chalk pastel, diffusers and felt tip pens. We study the work of Banksy, Shepard Fairey and other graffiti artists. We use a website called “graffiti creator” to design name signs which the pupils recreate, A3 size, using a mixture of the techniques and effects they have learnt.

In the Autumn term, pupils start their modules of Art, Music and Drama. They have a 5 week block of each subject where they have 3 lessons (a double and a single) a week.

The first module is “The Big Draw”. This project is designed to prepare pupils for GCSE Art. The focus is “drawing from direct observation” using a range of materials and techniques. Pupils start off by studying natural forms (a pepper), then man-made (shoes), then a self-portrait, then food packaging and concluding the 5 weeks with an artist study - Georgia O’Keeffe,  shoe designer Manolo Blahnik, Vincent Van Gogh and Andy Warhol. Pupils make their option choices for GCSE Art in March. The Big Draw project prepares students by developing their observation drawing skills (essential for GCSE Art) and introducing them to the type and standard of work expected. We finish off with a new project “Art Heroes”.

This year, we are piloting “Arts Award”, a nationally recognised qualification which aims to support pupils to grow as artists and art leaders. Pupils have to produce an in-depth study of an artist or craftsperson of their choice.