Curriculum Rationale - Art



What do we aim to achieve through the teaching of our subject?

•       For pupils to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present visual communication and cultures, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world.

•       The rationale behind our curriculum design aims to embrace not only the personal interests, local contexts but also place the value of visual arts in the world of potential career pathways

•       We aim to embrace National competitions and arts events exposing learners to these, to a global world where the arts thrive

•       Our curriculum design is aimed to be broadly balanced across the visual arts, driven by a desire to increase learners understanding and application of visual literacy, the empowerment of increased confidence in their own creativity and understanding of the universal language of Art, Craft and Design.

•       To revisit and refine knowledge and skills whilst introducing new concepts which embrace cross curricular elements and subjects

•       To extend critical thinking and personal confidence in the delivery of STRIPE principals 

What are our learners entitled to?

•       A broad and varied Visual Art, Craft and Design Curriculum. Art is generally delivered through the Fine Arts (painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking), and the Applied Arts (ceramics, textiles, photography, graphics and IT). It can be addressed through the broad title of Craft and Design study and methodology.

•       For pupils to understand that in the world today they earn as much through visual images as they do through words. The understanding and use of visually communicated information, gathered from as wide range of sources, has become a basic skill.

•       Pupils need to appreciate that pictures and symbols can have several meanings, and that different interpretations of them are possible and valid in a modern industrial society and multi-cultural world.

•       Understanding art is the path towards the visual literacy, which every citizen needs in order to maximise awareness and appreciation of the world we inhabit in order to live effectively and productively.

•       To be successful learners.  Art offers equal opportunity to pupils of both sexes, of all abilities through a range of appropriate two and three-dimensional experiences. The stimulus for developing images is invariably neutral in origin and mainly pupil centred. It offers opportunity to achieve success at every intellectual level through a wide variety of materials and processes.

•       Art and design offers pupils the opportunity to develop their creativity by using a range of skills in a wide variety of contexts. Pupils are entitled to communicate and to express their ideas and feelings through visual and other forms. Through exploring and sharing these ideas, pupils develop confidence and independence in learning. This is essential to becoming a successful learner who enjoys learning, makes progress and achieves.

•       To become confident individuals. Through working in art, craft and design pupils become open to the excitement and inspiration offered by both the natural and made worlds. By engaging in purposeful, imaginative and creative activities pupils learn to take managed risks, trying out new ideas and new ways of working without fear of failure. Through a range of processes, including drawing perceptively and creatively, pupils observe and investigate the world around them, inventing and visualising with increasing independence and ambition. Through allowing their work to be driven by imagination, experience and issues in the real world they learn to explore and interpret ideas and emotions, and develop understanding of others. By developing and using sets of values to evaluate their own and others’ work, pupils are able to increase confidence in their own opinions, in their feelings of self-worth and in their ability to relate to others.

•       To become responsible citizens. The investigations in art, craft and design help pupils to appreciate the diversity of ideas and approaches to conveying meaning. They learn to understand, respect, value and engage with their own and other cultures and traditions. They learn that through their creative contributions it is possible to change things for the better. Working in the areas of art, craft and design, and in applied practices, promotes an enterprising culture and develops pupils’ ability to work collaboratively with others by taking different roles in teams. Pupils’ understanding and appreciation of fine art, design and craft will enrich their lives now and in the future.

What building blocks are we trying to establish in preparation for further study?

•       To realise learning and problem solving can be fun!

•       To develop lifelong interests and a passion for Art and Design

•       To extend an appreciation for the diverse world we live in

•       Reflective & Resilience, to understand that making mistakes is part of the process.

•       Enthusiasm, Innovation & creativity developing personal confidence and self-management skills

•       Ability to work independently and as part of a team

•       Knowledge of future pathways within the creative industry

•       A strong foundation of the technical competencies and critical knowledge required to be a strong future learner.

How does the curriculum we teach reference our local contexts?

•       We select projects and problems that are relevant to the children in our community

•       We review the school’s development plan and design projects that address areas of need

•       We ensure that our curriculum is ‘scaffold’ to celebrate the diverse cultures within our locality and the wider world from year 7 all the way through to year 13

•       We allow flexibility within our delivery for students to take creative ownership of their projects, working as individuals and taking risks

•       We work on external local and national briefs to ensure that learners appreciate potential pathways and the value of art outside their learning environment

•       Learners are actively encouraged to engage in local, National and International projects these include the Big Draw project in year 8 using historical and contemporary practitioners. A real emphasis is given to the diverse methods and purposes and values to drawing, allowing access for all and establishing value in future CEIAG pathways

What skills do we seek to develop in our learners?

Art delivers both a practical and an academic element to the curriculum through the processes of development towards the making of objects and artefacts, which have within them strong aesthetic qualities. There is also a critical, historical and contextual element to the work that should be fully integrated into the practical delivery of the subject.

The study not only offers a technical and aesthetic element to the whole curriculum, but also opportunity for pupils to respond in a personal and unique way to the natural and manufactured environment. It creates opportunity for expression and imagination in the handling of images and artefacts from different historical periods and cultures; art encourages awareness beyond a Western Dimension.


•       Technical skills across a broad range of media, techniques and processes

•       Subject specific language supporting the English curriculum

•       Assisting in embedding cross curricular knowledge by ensuring our curriculum is mapped with other subjects within the school including STEM

•       To develop lifelong interests and a passion for Art, Craft and Design

•       vocal skills

•       To develop softer skills (STRIPE) and how these are essential for future pathways

•       To develop knowledge and critical understanding of the subject

•       Awareness of the importance of Health & Safety within the practical environments

Extra-Curricular Activities

•       Various competitions and entrants to throughout the year including: Saatchi, Natre Spirited Arts, Rotary photography competitions local exhibitions

•       We host an annual programme of exhibiting our learners work, KS3 and a separate KS4/5

•       Creative opportunities and experiences. We have organised visits to external speakers from the world of Art, Craft and Design Creature Futures, Derby university and attend taster days at KS5

•       Life drawing

•        Enrichment opportunities in Art clubs and an open studio policy

Staffordshire Research School