Skip to content ↓
Higham Lane School

Higham Lane School

Art & Design

The Art Department comprises of six purpose built rooms; each includes imaginative display, which share past and current pupils' projects creating a dynamic and stimulating learning environment. In main school, we are lucky enough to have our own ICT suite; this is predominately used for GCSE Photography. We expect all students to try their best as they explore a range of experiences from two-dimensional techniques to three-dimensional craft. The knowledge and skills learn in our department will be built upon and refined throughout the key stages. The curriculum has been designed to cover all four Assessment Objectives (AOs) that are covered at GCSE and A-Level to allow a smooth transition to these pathways should students want to continue with us. We intend to motivate, inspire and challenge pupils in all areas of art, craft and design.

Year 7 Curriculum

Autumn Term – Formal Elements

Students will explore the seven formal elements in art: Tone, Line, Colour, Pattern, Texture, Shape and Form. Students will learn how to use the elements within their artwork through experimenting with a range of different materials and techniques. These elements will underpin their future projects and will be built on over time as students work through the curriculum.

Spring Term – Jon Burgerman

Students will be able to recognise the style of Jon Burgerman’s artwork (AO1) and learn how he creates his work. Students will develop their imagination skills and use of humour when creating their own character designs inspire by Burgerman (AO2 and AO3). Students will learn how to mould clay into a 3D sculpture based on their design (AO4).

Summer Term – Brief based project

Starting with a specific brief, students will explore artists, designers and crafts people (AO1).  Using this research as inspiration, they will develop their ideas through observation drawing (AO3) and material experimentation (AO2), ending with an outcome (AO4) that reflects their journey and crucially fits the issued brief.  This project is to give students a taste of working artist’s processes and understand what a commission may involve in the working world.

Year 8 Curriculum

Autumn Term – Pop Art

Students will learn the main characteristics within pop art. They will focus on creating both 2D drawings (AO3) and paintings as well as 3D sculptures (AO2) inspired by the work of Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg (AO1). Students will understand the importance of accuracy and creative risk to complete a successful sculpture using plaster of Paris (AO4).

Spring Term – Portraiture

Students will improve their observational drawing skills (AO3) by learning the correct proportions of the face and how to use guidelines to structure a portrait. Students will also apply tone and detail to make their drawing skills look realistic, while learning why portraiture is such a popular genre of art. They will analyse and interpret traditional artist and contemporary artist during the project (AO1 and AO2).

Summer Term – Issues based project

Students will have the choice of a range of themes in which to express themselves. They will look at artists, designers and crafts people (AO1) who have tackles topics from poverty, identity, mental wellness, animal rights, political issues and current affairs. Through drawing (AO3) and material experimentation (AO2), students will be guided to create a personal response to their chosen theme (AO4).

Year 9 Curriculum

Art – In Year 9, students continue to build on the formal skills from Key Stage 3 with independence and understanding of the complete creative process. Students will learn how to cover the GCSE marking objectives through looking at different artists, developing observational drawing skills and experimenting with a variety of materials.

Photography – In Year 9, students will learn about technical and creative aspects of photography and taking a photograph. We encourage students to begin to explore different ways of seeing and representing the world around them. Through exploring different photographers and their styles of captivating images. Students will learn how to take photographs accurately and build up skills using Photoshop to develop their own photographs in a creative setting.

Year 10 Curriculum

Art – Students will use their knowledge and skills from Year 9 when starting their coursework project (60% of their overall grade). Throughout Year 10, students will build up a portfolio of work focussing on marking objective A01, A02 and A03. They have a choice of themes to work from so every project is personal to each student.

Photography – Students will use their knowledge and skills from Year 9 when starting their coursework project (60% of their overall grade). Throughout Year 10, students will build up a portfolio of work focussing on marking objectives A01, A02 and A03. They will have a choice of themes and photographers to influence their project, making every project personal.

Year 11 Curriculum

Art – The Autumn term will be used to complete and refine their coursework. Students will then create a final piece using inspiration from their artist styles and own ideas. This will cover the final marking objective A04. All coursework must be completed by Christmas.

In the Spring term of Year 11, students are issued with the GCSE Art exam paper where they have a practical exam project build up over 10 weeks, followed by a 10-hour exam (split over two days). This will make up the remaining 40% of their overall grade.

Photography – The Autumn term will be used to complete and refine their coursework. Students will then create a final piece using inspiration from their photographer’s techniques and their own ideas. This will cover the final marking objective A04. All coursework must be completed by Christmas.

In the Spring term of Year 11, students are issued with the GCSE Photography exam paper where they have a practical exam project build up over 10 weeks, followed by a 10-hour exam (split over two days). This will make up the remaining 40% of their overall grade.

Year 12 Curriculum

A-Level Fine Art is a bridge to further education in the creative sector. The course is structured in a similar way to the GCSE course allowing students to consistently build their skills in a range of areas. Students will initially be expected to explore a range of processes before research into their chosen theme. They will gain experience of working with a range of materials such as; drawing, painting, printing, 3D work as well as digital processes and photography during the induction phase in term one. When choosing their theme, they will be guided by subject staff to work within their strengths and interests. Students will then focus to refine their skills and deepen their understanding of the creative processes desired by many industries. In turn, students will build their transferable skills, creative thinking and ability to independently build a portfolio to be proud of but more importantly open doors. 

Year 13 Curriculum

At the start of Year 13, students will have A01, A02 and most of A03 completed. This Autumn term will be spent planning and creating their show stopping final piece. Students will be working on their final outcome, but also considering how to display it. Related studies must also be completed during the Autumn term, showing that students can confidently write about a particular artist, photographer, movement or theme.

February 1st sees the A-Level exam project, this is approached similar to the personal investigation. The only difference is that the final outcome is created during a 15-hour supervised, practical exam.

Extra-curricular Activities

GCSE drop-in sessions are available to help support students with their coursework and exam projects. This may be to use specialist materials and equipment or seek one-to-one support with the teacher.

SARAH BEAUMONT, Subject Leader for Art & Design