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Curriculum Intent Statement for the Arts


The arts curriculum aims at GM school is designed to enrich the quality of our student’s experiences, providing rewarding activities that inspire, inform, stimulate, challenge and engage.

Arts activities help develop the capacity to formulate and communicate ideas and feelings; they enhance perceptual skills through responding, developing and evaluating, and physical skills through control and use of movement. Consistent progress in these areas will lead to a secure knowledge rich understanding and exceptional outcomes.


The arts curriculum is delivered using a combination of skills-based lessons and a thematic approach to expanding the cultural knowledge and experience of our students. Introducing students to a wide breadth of artists, musical styles and practitioners. We aim to broaden and develop our student’s cultural capital through a range of enrichment activities both inside and outside of school. These include gallery visits, theatre performances and experiencing or participating in concerts.

These opportunities give our students the chance to experience the arts in a way that they may not otherwise have been accessible to them.

We aim to deliver coherently planned and sequenced projects that cross over the arts subject areas to create a deeper knowledge of the cultural context in which different styles and movements originated.

Involvement in the arts helps to foster a positive attitude among students by developing a wide range of qualities such as cooperation, enthusiasm, passion, inspiration, tenacity and ambition.

Our students come from diverse backgrounds with often challenging and difficult situations and with a wide range of abilities. The arts subjects take an inclusive approach to help all students acquire an important sense of belonging as well as building the self-confidence they need to progress and make their first steps towards higher education and employment

Curriculum at KS3

Art is studied in Years 7-9 for one hour a week. The following paragraphs outline the topics students’ study.

Resources for homework can be found on the Art Homework Site.

Year 7

Students will start the term with an Introduction to Art where they begin to build up basic skills in drawing and the use of colour and tone. They then explore perspective and how to create depth in two-dimensional images and finish the year working on on Portraiture; drawing themselves in relation to artists that they have researched.

Year 8

Students work on a graphic design project in which they research, plan, develop and refine their ideas for a CD cover, moving on to developing their skills in Photoshop and re-interpret their designs in a digital format. Pupils finish the year by looking at mark-making skills and observational drawing.

Year 9

Students start the year looking at the work of M.C. Escher and learn how to manipulate tessellating shapes and develop their own design for an interlocking tile. They then move on to studying the figure through the medium of a comic book project that ties together previous units of work ranging from portraiture to perspective landscape drawing. Students finish the year developing their Photoshop skills in preparation for GCSE Art, BTEC Art and Design or iMedia.

Curriculum at KS4


GCSE Art is assessed as two units of work; the personal portfolio and the ESA (externally set assignment). The GCSE covers a range of activities and in-depth assignments. Students have the opportunity to experiment with different media in order to explore their strengths and preferences. There are a wide range of approaches within the Fine Art syllabus on which to focus, or students may choose to work in several areas. Whatever students choose, the main aim of the course is to develop their visual language skills and to build a comprehensive portfolio of work to progress to further courses or employment.

GCSE Art and Design (Fine Art)
Unit 1: Portfolio of Work 60%
Unit 2: Externally Set Task 40%

Examination body – AQA GCSE Art and Design (Fine Art)

BTEC First

The BTEC First Award in Art and Design consists of four units of work; three internally set units and an externally set assignment. The BTEC course covers a range of skills based around real world scenarios or project briefs. Students research into art practitioners, develop their practical skills and gain an understanding of the formal elements of art.

Examination body – Pearson BTEC First in Art and Design

Useful resources

Below are some links where you can find further information about Art:

BBC Bitesize 
AQA GCSE Art and Design Specification
Pearson BTEC First in Art and Design Specification