Curriculum Vision

‘Creativity takes courage.’
- Henri Matisse -

Art is a place for students to learn to trust their ideas, believe in themselves and to explore possibilities. Our aim is to provide a safe and respectful environment where creativity can flourish and students can experiment with materials and techniques without the fear of making mistakes. Students are encouraged to think and act as artists, craftspeople and designers by working creatively and intelligently. We place the greatest value on the process of creating through exploring, discovering and experimenting. We pride ourselves on working with students on an individual level to nurture the special skills and qualities that each student holds.

Skills and knowledge

Our inclusive curriculum covers a wide range of traditional and new media designed to foster individual development skills, including confidence, perseverance, competence, imagination and creativity. Schemes of work are thoughtfully designed to excite, engage, challenge, and develop students’ technical abilities.

Through discussion and responding practically to the work of others, students develop an appreciation of art, craft and design and its role in the creative and cultural industries that enrich their lives. This knowledge and understanding informs and influences their own practical artwork. In key stage 3 students experience this in the form of a series of projects. Beginning in year 7 with The Formal Elements, Natural Forms and India and progressing to Creepy Crawlies and Masks in year 8. The sequential development of skills, techniques and processes continues in year 9 with Quirky Characters, Local landmarks and Custom Converse.

We offer Fine Art, Three-Dimensional Design and Photography at GCSE. Each course provides students the opportunity to develop a portfolio that explores themes, concepts and issues that are of personal interest. As their ideas develop and they take ownership over the direction of their work, students research relevant artists, experiment with a range of media, and learn new techniques and processes. They present and discuss their own work and the work of others, using critical thinking to develop their ability to reason, debate and challenge.


Art, craft and design surrounds us. It reflects and shapes our history and contributes to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation. Students are exposed to local, national and international artists’ from different time periods and cultures to develop their knowledge and understanding of creative human endeavour and the world around us. Upcoming artists and collectives are introduced through the Turner Prize and each year the department organises trips for GCSE students to view either local or national exhibitions. Recent trips include visits to Chatsworth Gardens and Yorkshire Sculpture Park to explore large-scale sculpture, Manchester City Gallery, The National Gallery, Tate Modern, and Gladstone Pottery. Photography students also undertake trips to Manchester and London to photograph urban life and cityscapes as well as visiting local areas to record the natural environment.

Curriculum Content

You can find our year 7 to 9 curriculum here.

You can find our year 10 and 11 Fine Art and 3D Art curriculum here and our Photography Curriculum here.

GCSE Art and Design

Subjects available as GCSE options are: Fine Art and Three-Dimensional Design and Photography.

Examination Information


GCSE (9-1) Fine Art
GCSE (9-1) Three- Dimensional Design
GCSE (9-1) Photography

Board AQA
Syllabus number 8202/8205/8206
Website link
Assessment detail Component 1: Portfolio 60%
Component 2: Externally set assignment 40%
Coursework details All work completed in class or in extra-curricular time forms part of the portfolio submitted. For the externally set task, students are given 9-11 weeks preparation time and then complete the task under controlled conditions over two days in school. This takes place at the end of year 11. Students then mount an exhibition of their work ready for moderation.

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