Our aim at Walton-le-Dale is to give each student as wide and as varied an experience of art and design as possible, and to enable each individual to fulfil his or her potential.
Art is an opportunity to observe life more closely. It offers unique and essential contributions to a well-rounded curriculum by supporting cultural, social, and creative developments in young people. It provides students with transferable skills, an awareness that problems can be solved in more than one way, and the ability to think creatively.
At Walton-le-Dale we have designed a curriculum which aims to develop:
- Visual literacy by encouraging imaginative and perceptual abilities and developing skills in a variety of media
- Visual awareness by developing an understanding of the role of art in the world at large
- Understanding, communication and appreciation
- Promotion and support of the arts in society, both at school and beyond by exploring the work of both the old masters and our immediate contemporaries, entering local and national competitions and offering opportunities to experience art first hand with gallery and university visits.
“Drawing helps us to understand the world, think, feel, shape and communicate ideas. It is fun, accessible and invaluable - in education and everyday life.” – campaignfordrawing.org
Programmes of Study
Key Stage Three
At Key Stage Three, students will study two projects per year. The projects are in-depth, wide-ranging and intended to cultivate a wholesome knowledge of artistic techniques, movements, and cultures, which will give students a strong foundation to build upon should they wish to choose GCSE Fine Art or study art-related subjects in the future.
The projects are as follows:
Project 1. Core Skills – This introductory project enables students to acquire the knowledge and techniques they will need in order to make progress in Art. The project focuses on the core skills of tonal shading, mark-making, the colour wheel, colour mixing, and colour shading.
Project 2. Portraiture – An exciting project in which students will explore a variety of ways of creating portraits and studying the human figure. Artist research is a key element of art and design and students will need to show their understanding of at least one artist through their research and artist-inspired artwork. The core skills of observational drawing and proportions are the main focus of this project.
Project 1. Islamic Art – This project gives students the opportunity to explore the culture and designs of Islamic art. Students will focus on the history of Islamic artwork and show their understanding of this through research and their own intricate 2D design work.
Project 2. Pop Art – Students are provided with an opportunity to learn about an important 20th century cultural movement and how it affected the art world. They will be given the choice of studying one of three pop art artists and experiment with working in their chosen artist’s style.
Project 1. Entomology – This project has a strong focus on observational drawing in order to prepare students for GCSE Fine Art, should they wish to choose it. Students explore a variety of media and experiment in producing detailed studies of insects. Artist research is also crucial to this project and students will be given a choice of artists to base their research on.
Project 2. Graffiti – A great opportunity for students to study a modern and unconventional art movement. Students will focus on lettering, developing their own graffiti style, and artist research into at least one prominent graffiti artist. They will learn how to design tags, throw-ups and stencils. There will be plenty of opportunity for discussion and students will be encouraged to voice their opinion in relation to graffiti in an ethical sense and be asked the question – ‘Is it really art?’
Key Stage Three Homework
Alongside their classwork, students are issued with weekly drawing challenges for the independent element of their courses. Each week students are set a new object, which they need to find and draw from observation – drawing from real objects, rather than photographs, is much more challenging and improves students’ drawing skills in ways that copying a 2D cannot.
We believe there is no such thing as “I can’t draw” because drawing is a skill which can be learnt. So with practice and persistence we believe that weekly drawing challenges will not only support classroom learning but they will allow our students to build in confidence and strengthen their visual literacy across the curriculum.
Students will be provided with an A5 Art homework sketchbook at the start of the academic year and are expected to spend a minimum of 20 minutes on their drawing challenge each week.
AQA GCSE Fine Art
GCSE Fine Art is about having an adventurous and enquiring approach to the provided starting points and developing the skills to express yourself creatively. Through class and independent research, you will explore the work of both contemporary and historical artists, forming an independent opinion that will support the production of a personal response to the set brief.
The course will allow you to explore two coursework projects and an externally set assignment. Your portfolio will include research, observational drawing and painting, photography, compositional design, and work showing the development of your ideas, leading to 2D and 3D outcomes. You will work in a variety of different media i.e. pencil, pastel, paint, ink, clay and fabric, and engage with different techniques such as printing, drawing, painting, sculpture and collage. The majority of your work will be documented in your sketchbooks, which will form a visual diary of your ideas and inspirations, drawings, critical studies, photographs and media experimentations.
For more information regarding AQA GCSE Fine Art please visit:
GCSE Fine Art Homework
Students are expected to be committed to the subject and to want to work in their sketchbook outside of class time. We expect students to complete a minimum of two hours’ independent work each week. Homework tasks will be issued weekly and students will be expected to catch up with any unfinished work alongside their set homework.
The Art Department staff are dedicated to ensuring every student fulfils their potential and we offer additional time for students to come back and complete extra work or receive support such as lunch time drop-in sessions and Period 6 lessons.
Marking and Assessment
AQA GCSE Fine Art consists of two components: one portfolio of work (Component 1) and one externally set assignment (Component 2) – the timed examination.
The portfolio is worth 60% of the final grade and is completed both during lesson time and as homework. It is internally set, internally marked and externally moderated and must show evidence of all assessment objectives.
The externally set assignment is worth 40% of the final grade. Students have around 12 weeks’ preparation time with a 10-hour timed examination in which a final outcome must be produced under exam conditions (usually split over the course of two school days). It is externally set, internally marked and externally moderated and must show evidence of all assessment objectives.
The 10-hour timed examination, as detailed above, is the practical exam part of AQA GCSE Fine Art Component 2 and is usually held in March or April of Year 11. It is usually split across two school days with break times and lunch times as normal. The exam takes place in the Art classroom and, although practical, is the same as any other and must be held in exam conditions.
It is vital that students use the 12-week preparation time effectively and are fully prepared for their exam, as the teacher(s) and invigilator(s) present will not be able to offer any advice or help. Students are allowed to take preparatory work and plans with them into the exam for reference. All students are advised to create a ‘prototype’ of their final outcome in the weeks prior to the exam in order to have practised and perfected their idea.
Revision Guides/Supporting Resources
Key Stage Three Art & Design
All equipment and resources are provided for students by the Art Department. They will receive an A5 Art Homework Sketchbook at the start of the year. This is intended to last for the entire school year and students will need to complete a drawing homework in the sketchbook every week. It is important students take responsibility to keep this sketchbook safe. Lost or damaged Art Homework Sketchbooks will need to be replaced and can be purchased via ParentPay.
GCSE Fine Art
All basic equipment and resources are provided for students by the Art Department. However, as independent study is such an important part of the GCSE Fine Art course, it is highly recommended that students keep a set of their own equipment if possible. The Art Department offers an Art Pack which can be purchased via ParentPay. This includes:
- A range of drawing pencils including HB, 2B, 4B, and 6B
- A watercolour paint set
- A set of detail paint brushes (acrylic)
- 3 black fine liner pens
- Artist quality colouring pencils
- Artist rubber, pencil sharpener & 30cm ruler
- A2+ poly-folder
Mr D Sharples – Head of Art
Mrs S Miller – Teacher of Art
Careers and Progression
A GCSE in Fine Art can initially offer a balance to your subject choices at GCSE but beyond school it can lead to an apprenticeship, further and higher education in art, 3D design, web design, photography or animation for example.
If Art is a subject choice for Further Education at level 2 or 3, GCSE Fine Art must be taken at GCSE in order to progress on to the course. Portfolios will be requested by colleges and training providers.
If you are interested in a vocational route, Art links to the creative requirements of many level 2 and 3 qualifications such, for example: joinery, make-up, hairdressing, design engineering, painting & decorating
Art not only requires creativity, but the skill to analyse too – a transferable skill to any other subject of study at GCSE and post 16.