Art

Education in the arts is essential to students’ intellectual, social, physical and emotional growth and well-being. Experiences in the arts – in dance, drama, music, and visual arts – play a valuable role in helping students to achieve their potential as learners and to participate fully in their community and in society as a whole.

Key Stage 3

In art, craft and design, students explore visual, tactile and other sensory experiences to describe the formal elements of tone, line, form, composition, pattern and colour. They work with traditional and new media, developing confidence, competence, technical skill and creativity. They learn to appreciate and value images and artefacts across times and cultures and to understand the contexts in which they were made.

Students will be taught to reflect critically on their own and other people’s work, discussing quality, and meaning fluently. They learn to think and act as artists, craftspeople and designers, working creatively and intelligently. They develop an appreciation of art, craft and design and its role in the creative and cultural industries that enrich their lives. Students will begin by developing key skills in art and design practise, working from life to develop their drawing skills, their work with colour and colour theory.​ By the end of Key Stage 3 students will be adept with all practical materials and will be able to record ideas and intentions with confidence.

Key Stage 4

The GCSE course has two parts; the coursework produced over two years, and the Externally Set Assignment performed at the end of the two years.

The coursework material, in the form of sketchbooks, work sheets and finished pieces of work, are produced in school, supported by substantial homework’s. The coursework is arranged into themes and projects undertaken across the two years. Each project is a response to a specific theme and it is hoped that students learn to develop their own ideas, practical skills and outcomes during the course.

The main focus throughout the course is drawing from observation which usually leads to a variety of developments in two and three dimensional work accompanied by references to artists, art movements and cultures. Students are encouraged to use what is at hand to develop their knowledge and understanding of, and practical ability with, the formal elements of composition, tone, form, line and colour. Landscapes, buildings, natural forms and people are typical subjects on which the pupil is instructed to apply the appropriate use of proportion, composition, perspective, tone, texture and colour.

The Externally Set Assignment takes place during the Spring Term in Year 11. After a preparatory time of approximately eight weeks students take a 10 hour exam in which a finished piece of work, either 2D or 3D, is produced. The exam is a response to an externally set theme and is marked internally, together with the coursework. Work is then moderated by an examiner from AQA.

Any student who is considering taking Art at A level must have studied Art to GCSE level.

Key Stage 5

At this stage we offer, Fine Art, Graphics and Photography both at AS and A Level. Sixth Form Art study follows a traditional path. Emphasis is placed on the ability to draw well from life, in order to realise complex and extraordinary ideas. Without well-developed skills in the formal elements fantastic ideas cannot come to fruition.

Similarly to Key Stage 4 the course consists of two parts; coursework and an externally set assignment.

Coursework during the AS year is intended to form the basis on which students develop their knowledge, skill and understanding in creating a rich visual language within the context of selected ideas. Ideas provide the starting point for art and design practice, forming an integral part of the creative process and lie at the heart of the assessment for Art A level.

Students will be expected to build on and develop their recording skills and demonstrate skilful use of the formal elements. In developing these skills students will experiment with a wide range of media and methods, learning how to transform and manipulate materials in order to reflect the different qualities of their observed forms and images.

There are Externally Set Assignments. The students will receive the ESA in the Spring Term  After a preparatory time students take a 10 hour exam in which a finished piece of work, either 2D or 3D, is produced. Students work through ideas for the timed test with guidance from the teaching staff. The exam is a response to the externally set theme and is marked internally, together with the coursework. Work is then moderated by an examiner from AQA.

The full A Level incorporates two elements; practical work and a personal study. Practical investigation and application forms the basis and foundation of this Unit. Students will identify an area for study and will pursue their own creative and visual ideas in their chosen area of art, craft and design. Students will demonstrate the ability to resolve issues and ideas that emerge as an inevitable part of the process of creating art work.

Alongside this students will be researching, evaluating and analysing the work of others’ art, craft and design practise. The choice of artist will depend on the nature of the practical study, and both will inform the other. The Personal Study should have as part of its outcome a written assignment between 1000-3000 words, as well as other practical and visual images.

There is also an Externally Set Assignment. As the same as the AS Level; the students will receive the ESA in the Spring Term  After a preparatory time students take a 15 hour exam in which a finished piece of work, either 2D or 3D, is produced. Again , students work through ideas for the timed test with guidance from the teaching staff. The exam is a response to the externally set theme and is marked internally, together with the coursework. Work is then moderated by an examiner from AQA.

We begin Art education in Year 7 with a very practical course, intended to teach students how to use the many materials available to artists in a competent and confident way. We hope the skills embedded at Key Stage 3 will inform the work of students who take Art to A Level. Assessment objectives introduced at Key Stage 3 are still used at GCSE and A Level; the expectations are obviously higher the further through the school a student goes. Skills, projects and themes are revisited at various points throughout compulsory Art education, and this informs the Art practice should students choose to take Art further for GCSE and A Level. We endeavour to make Art exciting, interesting, challenging and surprising. Our teachers are very experienced, well-informed and practitioners in their own right. Their many and varied experiences are often used as starting points for projects; pottery, sculpture and photography projects have benefited from the highly skilled teaching staff.

How this subject promotes British Values:

The Art curriculum at Sandown Bay Academy delivers British values through having a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about the world around them and participating students actively in artistic and creative activities.


We promote tolerance through different people’s ideas, creative responses and

understanding of different cultures and styles within art.
Students are encouraged to question and explore sensitive and controversial issues,

whilst maintaining tolerance and respect for the views and beliefs of others.  
Discussing and working in the style and using the techniques of a wide variety of artists

and designers. British art is promoted in all year groups.
Pupils have the opportunity to work independently and as a team to build resilience

and self-esteem through tasks, sharing ideas and resources, peer-assessment and

encouraging students to support each other.


The Art department works hard to enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. In all year groups, student’s gain self-confidence by being taught a range of key skills and techniques which then allow them to produce work in which they can express themselves emotionally and creatively. Students’ hard work is displayed in the department. Students’ confidence and self-esteem is always increased when their work is celebrated and visually displayed and this actively promotes students to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely.


The Art and Photography courses lend themselves to a wide range of Spiritual, Moral, Cultural and Social studies. Within the classroom we teach pupils to respect the values and opinions of others by way of being able to express themselves and listen to other’s thoughts and opinions without prejudice. Students are encouraged to critique each other’s work and respect the opinions of others; taking both the positive (WWW) and the areas of improvement (EBI) feedback in order to enhance and make further progress. This supports the values of honesty, integrity, respect and tolerance, and is also supporting the students to respect democracy and willingly participate in the democratic process. Students are encouraged to express themselves through their art and photography, which is supported by strong research into the wider world around them.


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