The Art Department

Key Stage 3 overview

As a department we aim to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. At Key Stage 3, pupils will be taught to develop their creativity and ideas, and increase proficiency in their execution.

They will also be encouraged to develop a critical understanding of artists, architects and designers, expressing reasoned judgements that can inform their own work.

Pupils will be taught:

  • to use a range of techniques to record their observations in sketchbooks and other media as a basis for exploring their ideas
  • to use a range of techniques and media, including painting
  • to increase their proficiency in the handling of different materials
  • to analyse and evaluate their own work, and that of others, in order to strengthen the visual impact or applications of their work
  • about the history of art, craft, design and architecture, including periods, styles and major movements from ancient times up to the present day.

Pupils who opt for Fine Art or Art, Craft and Design in year 9 will be helped to make the transition from Key stage 3 to 4. During year 9, pupils will learn about what is required at GCSE level. They will continue to further develop their drawing and painting skills, and also their critical understanding of artists, architects and designers. Pupils will also be encouraged explore a broader variety of art techniques and processes in preparation for years 10 and 11.

Key Stage 4 overview

There are two courses are available at Key Stage 4:

1. Fine Art

Fine art practice is defined here as the need to explore an idea, convey an experience or respond to a theme or issue of personal significance.

Areas of study:

In Component 1 and Component 2 students are required to work in one or more area(s) of fine art, such as those listed below:

  • drawing
  • painting
  • sculpture
  • printmaking
  • mixed media

They may explore overlapping areas and combinations of areas.

Knowledge, understanding and skills

Students must develop and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills specified in the Subject content within the context of fine art practice and their selected area(s) of study.

The following aspects of the knowledge, understanding and skills are defined in further detail to ensure students’ work is clearly focused and relevant to fine art.

Knowledge and understanding

The way sources inspire the development of ideas, relevant to fine art including:

  • how sources relate to individual, social, historical, environmental, cultural, ethical and/or issues-based contexts
  • how ideas, themes, forms, feelings and concerns can inspire personally determined responses that are primarily aesthetic, intellectual or conceptual.

The ways in which meanings, ideas and intentions relevant to fine art can be communicated including the use of:

  • figurative representation, abstraction, stylisation, simplification, expression, exaggeration and imaginative interpretation
  • visual and tactile elements, such as:
    • colour
    • line
    • form
    • tone
    • texture
    • shape
    • composition
    • rhythm
    • scale
    • structure
    • surface.


Within the context of fine art, students must demonstrate the ability to:

  • use fine art techniques and processes, appropriate to students’ personal intentions, for example:
    • mark-making
    • monoprint, collagraph and block printing
    • assemblage
    • construction
    • digital working methods
    • use media and materials, as appropriate to students’ personal intentions, for example charcoal, pastels, pen and ink, crayons and pencil
    • watercolour, gouache, acrylic and oil paint
    • found materials
    • clay and papier mache
    • digital imagery
    • different papers and surfaces on which to work.

2. Art, Craft and Design

This title promotes learning across a variety of experiences and through various processes, tools, techniques, materials and resources to generate different kinds of evidence of working and outcomes.

Knowledge, understanding and skills

Students must explore and create work associated with areas of study from at least two titles listed below:

  • Fine art: for example drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, lens-/light-based media, photography, printmaking, mixed media and land art.
  • Three-dimensional design: for example sculpture or ceramics.
  • Photography: for example portraiture, location photography, studio photography, experimental imagery.

Component 1: must show evidence of working in areas of study drawn from two or more of the titles taking into account the distinguishing characteristics of art, craft and design.

Component 2: must show evidence of areas of study drawn from one or more of the titles.

The areas of study selected for Component 1 can be the same as, or different from, those selected for Component 2.

Students must explore, through a range of two-dimensional and/or three-dimensional processes and media, practical application of skills and relevant critical and contextual sources such as the work of contemporary artists, craftspeople and designers and the different purposes, intentions and functions of art, craft and design as appropriate to their own work.

Qualification assessment overview

Both the Fine Art course and the Art, Craft and Design course are weighted as 60% controlled assessment and 40% externally set task.

When do internal assessments take place?

Internal assessments are completed by May of the examination year.

When do external assessments take place?

External assessments are completed by an AQA moderator after internal assessments have taken place.

Curriculum map

Please click below to view the 2019/20 curriculum maps for all year groups:

How can parents support their child and Sir Thomas Boughey Academy with Art and Design?

  • Visit museum and art galleries whenever possible in order to stimulate your child’s imagination, open their eyes to different ideas and encourage critical thinking. The Potteries Museum and Art gallery is an excellent place to see a diverse mix of contemporary and traditional art, craft and design:
  • Encourage and support your child with homework tasks.
  • Encourage your child to draw and paint at home in order to further develop their art skills.
  • At Key Stage 4, ensure that your child attends lunchtime and after school sessions on a regular basis.

Teaching staff

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