Art & Design

Art and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. We aim to provide a high-quality art and design education which engages, inspires and challenges students, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art and design. As students’ progress, they should encounter more opportunity to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation. Students will be taught to develop their creativity and ideas, and increase proficiency in their execution. They will also develop a critical understanding of artists, architects and designers, expressing reasoned judgements that can inform their own work.

The subject initially builds on students’ Primary school experience and is designed as a sequential, age and skill related curriculum based around the key concepts of building student’s proficiency in drawing, painting, ceramics and print making. The curriculum is structured to allow students to see, understand, revisit and explore the underpinning ideas from the subject, and is therefore thematically linked through a process of interweaving topics and self-testing and re-testing to aid the development of long term memory and mastery of both the skills and the knowledge required. Running alongside, and with our curriculum are a series of enrichment projects to allow further application and development of the skills covered thus leading to retention of knowledge. Extended homework projects develop links with artists and provide opportunities for students to deepen their study of photography, sculpture and mixed media techniques. When students’ progress in their study, the above skills are further developed with more advanced techniques and materials being introduced while students work on a series of linear projects. Ideas are developed, materials explored and refined, recording skills are demonstrated both visually and in written form and all work is then presented appropriately to demonstrate that students have realised their intentions. The Art curriculum will equip students with a range of skills necessary to pursue Art at University, whilst also providing a pathway to a successful career in a creative field.

Curriculum Intention:

  1. To produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences. Clear refinement of ideas working with a range of materials and processes.
  2. To become proficient in drawing, painting, print making, ceramics, sculpture and other art and design techniques
  3. To evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art and design
  4. To have a good understanding about great artists and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms


The Art curriculum is built around overarching ideas and concepts with the content structured as a narrative overtime making the next learning stage possible and ensuring invaluable skill are gained, applied and accessible for the ages and aptitudes of all students including those with special educational needs; enabling all students to have the opportunity to learn and make progress.

In order to provide our students with a broad skill set and allow them to experience a range of materials and techniques we have designed our curriculum to cover the main areas within Art and Design. Drawing, Painting, Print Making, 3D and Ceramics work along with Photography and Art History act as the foundation which will allow our students to progress into a range of creative career paths through further study. The success of our intent is measured as per the Academy’s ‘Monitoring, Reporting, Recording and Assessment’ policy.

Students are assessed focusing upon four assessment objectives which are in line with exam board requirements at GCSE.

  • AO1 Develop – Researching relevant artists, art movements and sources in order to develop their work.
  • AO2 Explore & Refine – Experimenting with a range of materials and techniques and refining their work as they progress.
  • AO3 Record – Recording ideas visually using appropriate media and through written annotations.
  • AO4 Present – Presenting a personal and meaningful response which realise intentions.


St Aidan’s Catholic Academy considers the greatest impact of the curriculum to be high rates of student progress

Progress in:

  1. The development of skills which allow them to use a range of techniques to record their observations in sketchbooks, journals and other media as a basis for exploring their ideas.
  2. The ability to use a range of techniques and media, including painting and ceramics.
  3. Proficiency in the handling of different materials.
  4. Analytical skills allowing them to analyse and evaluate their own work, and that of others, in order to strengthen the visual impact or applications of their work.
  5. Knowledge about the history of art, craft, design and architecture, including periods, styles and major movements from ancient times up to the present day.
  6. Creativity and ideas, and an increase in proficiency in their execution.
  7. Critical understanding of artists, architects and designers, expressing reasoned judgements that can inform their own work.

Curriculum Map

Course Information

GCSE Course Information ART & DT

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