Art, Design and Photography

Learning in Art and Design

The aim of the Art and Design department is to individually nurture creativity in our students so that they can produce their own varied, sensitive and personal work, dealing with the many issues that our students are fascinated by. The teaching and learning in the department is based on teaching the individual, individually.

The joy of learning creative arts, crafts and design processes is a strength of our subject as it allows our students to engage in the multi-sensory approach that the many disciplines have to offer, creating a bespoke curriculum for each student, based on their ability.

The role of the staff within the department is to facilitate student ideas and not to prescribe their learning but offer each individual student the opportunity to develop their work, wherever possible in their choice of materials and based on their ideas. Artists and designers are constantly creating work and it is our commitment to our students that we are constantly reflective in our own creative practices. By constantly developing our contemporary subject knowledge, we aspire to brilliance in both teaching and student learning.

Students who have difficulties accessing content due to ability can be differentiated for through materials. For example: in drawing, students who need support with drawing have access to tracing paper, crayon printing and other forms of guidance processes. More able students have a variety of in-class support and extra-curricular support available to them. Extension tasks and 1:1 support within lesson are examples of this. Focus workshops in Year 9 offer students the ability to study at a higher level and engage with GCSE style workshops before they embark on the course. All learning schemes provide students with the knowledge of how to study artists and processes they will learn and need to use in KS4 and 5.

Infinite themes can be addressed through Art and Design and this allows our students to connect and relate to other cultural, social, environmental, economical, historical and contemporary issues in a way that is personal to them.

Curriculum Intent

The Art and Design department transforms students’ lives by enabling them to develop a deeper cultural understanding through learning about art and visual language and by doing so, becoming more aware about the world around them by questioning all that they see. The rise of technology and social media has resulted in a wealth of images available at an instant. Equipping our students with the tools needed to make sense of the many images they see, and mastering their visual literacy, are essential to their growth as members of society and will inform the decisions that they make in their lives. The role art plays in the development of an individual’s understanding of empathy and emotional awareness is critical to the teaching of our students, educating our students to become emotionally intelligent people.  Our cultural capital promotes equality within our teaching of Art and Design, ensuring that diversity is represented in their education to develop their individuality, and be caring and sensitive towards others, as well as develop our students to become independent thinkers.

The individual nature of teaching Art and Design informs ‘how we feedback to our students’. Through 1:1 and group conversations, students can identify their own strengths and areas for improvement in their work and they can engage in conversation about their own development. They are leading their learning; we are developing independence in our students. Our assessment processes aim to install confidence and to avoid ambiguity for our students. Written/verbal feedback will provide clarity on their ideas and their chosen technique by creating a tailored plan for them, spanning over a series of lessons. The Goodwin Gateway tools are critical in providing this clarity and broadening their thinking and comparisons.

The many clubs and enrichment sessions that we run for all groups are designed to aid and support students to achieve outcomes that may not have been possible during the confines of normal lessons. For KS3, we offer a wide variety of different clubs and activities that aim to encourage and promote creativity in all its forms. Year 9 have an “open studio” focused club that runs after school demonstrating KS4 style workshops to students to provide a taste of what it is like to be an exam student and to promote the more advanced techniques that the department has to offer.

KS3, Years 7, 8 & 9 Art and Design

The Art and Design curriculum in Year 7, 8 and 9 introduces students to a wide variety of artists and techniques to build their subject knowledge in preparation for Year 10 and 11. With all studied artists and designers, the department focuses on guiding students on how to use research purposefully. Students are taught particular skills that the artists have used whilst they understand the critical and contextual background to the artist’s work. Learning the “hows and whys” behind an artist’s work gives our students the relevance and purpose of the work of others and an understanding of how they can apply these ideas to their own work. Understanding the intentions of artists’ work and developing original, personal thought is at the core of our teaching as it embeds long term knowledge and skills in order to access the higher criteria in Key Stage 4 qualifications.

Units frequently begin with transcriptions of an artist’s work as lessons focus on learning the mechanics of a technique. This practice is also required of students in Key Stage 4 qualifications and we aim to teach students how to purposefully use artists and designers and develop ‘mastery’ in a specialism. The staff within the department share their creative processes as part of their teaching to demonstrate skills and to show the joys of creating art work. These methods are embedded within the lessons that we teach and, as staff, we also utilise the many mediums that the department offers such as: drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, cameraless photography, Photoshop, textiles, printmaking, 3D design and many more. The use of contemporary and local art is of importance to the teaching our students so that students can access work that is relevant to them in their location and context and why they study our subject. The themes, materials and references in our learning schemes diversify between classes and staff as we differentiate by the individual nature of each group that we teach and by staff specialism. Our Key Stage 3 curriculum overview lists the themes of each unit as starting points and a suggestion of media that a member of staff may work in to develop student skills, such as in in 2D and 3D media, so that each group has the correct and deserved differentiation.

All students of all abilities can access the many different materials within the Art and Design department. Different materials have different multi-sensory qualities to them, enabling students to access content through process. There is not a singular approach when differentiating for students, their own individual needs are taken into account before differentiation is put in to place, consulting relevant support staff to create individual learning plans.

Schemes of work can be adapted by differentiating with materials enabling content to be accessed for students including: larger paper/sketchbooks, larger pens, crayons, charcoal, colour backdrops, magnifiers and many other materials to differentiate on an individual basis. Students who have a greater impairment can access the content through materials that have a more multi-sensory quality. These materials could be: plaster casting, fabric and other textures, wire, clay, stickle bricks, 3D resources like: shells, mannequins and many other multi-sensory approaches.

KS4, Year 10 & 11 GCSE Art, Craft and Design

The GCSE qualification is designed to give students specialist knowledge and skills to explore art and design in a way that they decide.

The GCSE course covers a range of activities and in-depth assignments. Students will have the opportunity to experiment with a variety of media in order to explore their strengths and preferences. Whatever they choose, the main aim of the course is for students to develop their visual language skills a personal portfolio of work to progress to further courses or employment. They will have the opportunity to specialise in one discipline of their preference after being introduced to many processes and approaches through workshops or work in a variety of art practices such as fine art painting, sculpture, textiles, photography, drawing, collage and many more processes and materials that are on offer to them.

Teachers within the department lead workshops to empower the students with many skills. As students develop towards their own self initiated bodies of work in Year 11, they will be guided to enabling entry to an Apprenticeship, employment or progression to related higher education courses.

The qualification provides opportunities for learners to develop communication skills needed for working in the art and design sector as they progress through the course. This can be achieved through presentations and in discussions where they have the opportunity to express their opinions. It brings together learning.

Frequent, internal standardisation meetings between all staff and student books offer the chance for every student to have targets created by more than one member of staff, utilising more subject specialisms and knowledge of the art world and providing our students with an ever broader curriculum.


What is assessed?

  • GCSE students entered for 2021 will submit 100% course work to obtain a GCSE certificate for this academic year.

How it’s assessed: Internally standardised by staff within the department across both components and then externally moderated by Pearsons our exam board.

KS5, A level Photography and A Level Art and Design

Our Year 12 and 13 students are our showcase of quality and talent. As students who will have risen through the department, they will be successful and motivated, an example to the younger students of Goodwin Academy. As a department, we will seek to establish a role for them as mentors and guides to Key Stage 3 and 4, assisting in lessons, extra-curricular activities and having a presence that models brilliance.

This qualification will give students specialist knowledge and skills, enabling entry to an Apprenticeship or other employment, or progression to related higher education courses. Students will develop art and design projects and gain an understanding of the creative process. They will study visual recording and communication, critical analysis and production skills to produce art and design outcomes. The qualification is designed for Post-16 learners who aim to progress to higher education and ultimately to employment, possibly in the creative industries, as part of a programme of study alongside other BTEC Nationals or A Levels.

Frequent, internal standardisation meetings between all staff and student books offer the chance for every student to have targets created by more than one member of staff, utilising more subject specialisms and knowledge of the art world and providing our students with an ever broader curriculum and feedback.


What’s assessed:

Component 1: Personal Portfolio including a 1500 written personal investigation (60%)

  • This involves three units of work internally devised independently led by students.
  • Outcomes will be in a variety media and could be comprised or work books, photographs, larger outcomes outside of their books, supporting portfolio of best outcomes and final pieces.

Component 2: Externally Set assignment (Jan2022 – May2022)

  • This is a unit set by Pearsons exam board.
  • Outcomes will be in a variety of different media and could be comprised of work books, photographs, larger outcomes outside of their books, supporting portfolio of best outcomes and final pieces.

How it’s assessed: Internally standardised by staff within the department across both components and then externally moderated by Pearsons exam board.


The creative industries in the UK contribute more than £76 billion to the UK economy and employ more than 1.7 million (1 in 20 UK jobs)  and our curriculum develops awareness of the career opportunities for students.  They will develop cultural capital by having the opportunity to engage in activities that prepare them for the world of work and further education,  informing their decisions when choosing whether to study art further and giving them the confidence to work within the creative sectors. The main purpose in providing these opportunities is to motivate students to understand why they create art work and to provide them with a clear pathway to the next steps. This gifts students a platform on which they can build a network with universities, lecturers, galleries, arts councils and professionals in the creative industries.

The courses require students to develop and refine their work over sustained periods of time to produce individual work, with fixed deadlines. These are skills that are essential to life after their education, so the skills and practices they gain from the course are explicitly linked to skills that will serve them well in work-related environments. There is a high demand for creative thinkers in all sectors. These skills go beyond what is needed to achieve at exam level and focus on equipping our students with the ability to be to be creative, to organise, to reflect and to self-improve.

The many enrichment opportunities the department offers, including trips, external shows and competitions, introduce students to professionals who work within the creative sectors. This could be meeting gallery advisors and other professionals and utilising their communication/presentations skills through discussions, seeing how a gallery/exhibition is curated for a public audience and developing their personal organisation in following itineraries/locations/timings.


Fundamental British Values

Fundamental British Values are taught explicitly through the teaching of critical and contextual studies in Art and Design which is vital to all of the teaching within the department. Students discuss, question and interpret many themes throughout KS3 and throughout their own individual bodies of work in KS4 and 5.

  • Democracy features in a number of schemes of work as students are taught the historical and cultural aspects of the artist who has created the piece of work, taking in to account the dates and location of the piece of work. An example of this is in: Pop Art: Consumerism and/or Individualism where Year 8 students learn about the work of artist like Renate Mayer a German Jewish artist who fled Nazi persecution in 1938 to seek British citizenship.
  • Rule of Law is taught across a number of schemes of work including: Street Art: Personal Spaces and/or Public Places, where Year 9 students learn about street art, graffiti, censorship and ownership. This is also be taught throughout student investigations on their own chosen art works by the use of questioning and artist analysis.
  • Tolerance of different cultures and religions is a vital part to all teaching of art work throughout all schemes of work within the Art and Design department. Throughout the 9 themes in KS3, in KS4 and KS5 multiple artists are taught per scheme of work, giving students a comparison to artwork created by historical and contemporary artists, enabling students to be taught about artists of different cultures, race, gender, faith and sexuality.
  • Individual liberty and mutual respect can be seen through the analysis of all art and design work. Students question and interpret work to formulate their own opinions resulting in their verbal and in written outcomes. Through questioning and in their own reflections, students are taught to empathise with others’ intentions and circumstances. This is evident in the teaching of student responses amongst peers, allowing student discussion to take place and to appreciate each others’ opinions.
  • Equality and Diversity is taught throughout all of the 9 themes in KS3 and in KS4 and 5. Multiple artists are taught in every scheme of work, giving students a comparison to artwork created by artists of both historical and/or contemporary significance. Enabling students to learn about artists of different cultures, gender, faith, sexuality, race celebrates the diversity in different cultures and teaches students about equality.

Further Reading

  • The Art Book for Children, White Book, Phaidon, Amanda Renshaw, Gilda Williams Ruggi
  • Art A Children’s Encyclopedia –David Taylor, Susie Hodge

Knowledge Banks