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Key Stage 3 – Years 7, 8, 9


Here at St Mary’s, Art an integral and valuable subject in the balanced curriculum offered to all students at KS3. In Art lessons that are delivered we inspire and challenge students to think creatively and out of the box.

We strive to deliver exciting projects that engage all students and all abilities, covering a vast range of media and processes so that students get a wide range of skill development.
In year seven we teach a colour theory project which explores the fundamentals of colour mixing and how artists apply different elements of colour to their work. Within this project they explore water colour painting, collage, colour pencil blending, free hand sketching, clay designing and clay tile building.
In year eight students learn about the culture of ‘day of the dead’ in Mexico. We discuss the festival and it’s meaning which leads us on to producing exciting vibrant work. Students create detailed observational sketches of skulls, form their own day of the dead inspired skull designs which are then made with clay and painted. As well as this they also explore the work of surreal Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

In year nine pupils are taught about Surrealism. We delve in to how surreal artists found their inspiration and deconstruct their works through class discussion. Students develop their painting skills further in this year focusing on detail, tone and blending as well as collage and ink skills. They also make and create artists pages on surrealists, exploring their way of working and developing GCSE skills of annotation.
The projects we deliver at KS3 are designed to allow pupils to build and develop skills in a range of media and processes so that when they begin GCSE art (if they opt for this) they are confident and have a strong skill base to develop even further.



Years 10 and 11 (GCSE)


Students can opt to take GCSE Art in Years 10 and 11, following the AQA Fine Art specification. This is a popular course and gives students the opportunity to experience a wide range of materials, techniques and processes and develop their own particular style and interests.
In year ten students begin their coursework unit. Their coursework is worth 60% of their final GCSE grade and all of this work is created through lessons and homework tasks with teacher support. The first project students work on is a ‘Expressive landscapes’ project which is worth 30% of their final grade.
Within the first term of year ten we spend a lot of time learning new processes and ways of making. This includes large scale expressive drawing with inks, chalks and charcoals as well as print making and acrylic painting. The landscapes project is designed to broaden students skill base and confidence even further. They look at different artists and make work in response to this completing a final outcome in February.
At the start of spring students move on to their major coursework project which is also worth 30% of their final grade. Students are given a range of starting points to chose from, they then develop their own direction from here exploring a theme they are personally passionate about. This is a much more self directed project where students have regular 1:1 discussions with their teacher about their project direction and how they are progressing. This project runs until Christmas of year eleven and pupils will make a final outcome for it in their mock exam.
In January students will start their exam element of the course. AQA publish a paper with a range of different titles. In lessons teachers discuss these titles with pupils and they make a selection. Students form a body of working a sketchbook on the title they have a chosen and produce a final outcome in a two day exam at the end of April/ early May. This is in a practical room in exam conditions.

Pupils have their work exhibited in the summer of year 11 in school and are invited with families to celebrate their achievements which is always a spectacular night. We also give opportunities for gallery trip visits throughout the course and work with the Art college to provide work shop opportunities which students benefit from hugely. 

Link - AQA GCSE Fine Art