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"Creativity takes courage", Henri Matisse

Art is part of very popular and vibrant faculty at Whitcliffe Mount. Schemes of work are constantly reviewed and developed to ensure our teaching is relevant, exciting and reflective of current practices. We focus on both skills and creativity, looking at historical and contemporary artists to ensure our students have a broad and interesting art education.

The Art department is led by Mrs E Bevan (Deputy Director of Learning for ADT). She is supported by specialist Art and Design teachers, Mrs J Hill, Mrs A Jeffs and Mrs E Collins, alongside technician, Mrs L Lister.

The Curriculum

Key Stage 3

Students receive two 60 minute lessons over the two week timetable. With not a moment to lose, we use starters to create graphic books, art history guides or to supplement objectives. Then we fill our lessons with learning skills, such as printmaking, collage, painting, drawing and 3D work, as well as asking students to explore their creativity by developing their own ideas and final outcomes in diverse areas of art such as Pop Art, Asian Art and Cubism.

In Year 7 we introduce students to the basic concepts of how to create a drawing using shading and how to mix and apply paint. There will be a varied range of experiences from primary school but this course will give them all a basic grounding and allow for progress and for more able students to challenge themselves. Students will be using artists’ work to help develop their own, looking at the work of Georges Seurat, Vincent Van Gogh and Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

Following on from this students learn how to understand a major art style, for example, Asian art, and be able to identify the patterns, motifs and colours that are key to the style. They then look at how they can use Asian Art to develop their own ideas and designs. They produce relief prints and shadow puppets using their learned knowledge of the subject.

In Year 8 students build on their knowledge of observational drawing and understanding of a major art movement by studying Pop Art and the work of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Peter Blake. They produce paintings and relief prints in a Pop Art style.

Year 8 students go on to study ‘Stories in Art’, for example, by exploring Aboriginal Art. During this project students begin to develop their work in 3D. They identify and then create work in clay using the formal elements, such as colour, pattern and line.

In Year 9 students experiment with a diverse range of media to develop their understanding of the formal elements. Students follow the ‘Mini Beasts’ brief to explore line, colour, tone, texture, shape and form using materials such as paint, chalk, charcoal, foil relief, and clay.

The second project in Year 9 develops students’ graphic and illustration skills, and is similar in layout and language to GCSE to prepare those who decide to continue the subject at KS4. For those who don’t, there is also an opportunity to explore mindfulness and the idea that Art can be used to help with stress. Students will understand there are different periods and styles of Art throughout history, be able to identify styles of Art they like and use these to develop their own work combining words and pictures.

Throughout KS3 students are encouraged to be able share resources, to clean up after themselves and others and to be able to respect others’ opinions and act on advice in the Art classroom. 

Key Stage 4

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What is the subject about? 

In Year 10 & 11, students are studying for a GCSE in Art and Design. 

The course content is similar in BTEC (traditionally delivered at WMS); giving learners the opportunity to develop a range of different art and design skills and techniques, such as drawing, painting, textiles, computer work, digital photography, clay and 3D. Students are also encouraged, through their practical participation in a range of disciplines, to develop their people, communication, planning and team working skills. They will also have a wider understanding and appreciation of Art and Design. 

Students will gain a GCSE qualification, which will enable them to progress onto a Level 3 qualification and employment; helping them to develop a range of working skills and techniques, personal  skills and attributes, that are essential for successful performance in working life.  

How am I assessed? 

Students in Year 10 and 11 receive five 60 minute lessons over the two week timetable.

60% of the Art and Design qualification is coursework so students will be continuously assessed. Ways to improve their work will be fed back both written and verbally, enabling them to have a clear understanding of what they need to do in order to achieve their potential. Students are not set, and are able to work independently, working to a brief but encouraged to follow individual pathways throughout the course.  

In April of Year 11, 40% of the course is externally assessed, and this will take the form of a project. Students will have to explore and investigate an externally set brief with their teacher’s support, and then complete a 10 hour exam in which to independently produce a final outcome. 

Don’t worry; students don’t sit the 10 hours all in one chunk!

Where could this subject take me in the future? 

Initially, a GCSE in Art and Design can lead students to Level 3 qualifications, such as a A’ Levels (and not necessarily in Art!). However, if students decide to pursue Art further, they will discover it is one of the largest employment industries in the UK. Everything you live in, wear, drive, sit on, sleep in has been designed by someone!

Careers in Art include animation, graphic design, photography, fashion, textiles, architecture, entertainment, design, product design, craft, ceramics, theatre, illustration and computers.

Course Specification:

 Yr.10 & 11

Eduqas GCSE (9-1) Art and Design.


Extended Curriculum

After School Clubs

Art Club for KS3 runs on Monday from 2.45pm - 3.45pm. Projects are as interesting and individual as the students who attend. A chance for students to explore their creativity by playing Art games, entering competitions and taking part in a variety of exciting projects. 

Revision and support

The Department organises catch-up, intervention and revision classes throughout the year for students studying Art and Design.

KS4 Achieve Sessions - Thursday 2.45-3.45pm


The Art Department runs trips to The Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and often joins forces with the Drama Department for a ‘24 Hour Arty People’ trip to London during the summer term.

Careers in Art

Wondering what career path to take when you leave school?

Luckily at Whitcliffe Mount  we have an extensive Art, Design and Technology Faculty that offers lots of options helping you choose an exciting career. We offer first class careers advice. Incorporating strong links with employers and further education.

There are many different careers in the creative industries for those with a flair for design or artistic talent. To get you thinking, here's a flavour of the creative opportunities that are available - Routes into Art.

Useful Links

Please click the links below to view our curriculum plans.