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Art Key Stage 3


Engaging students to become visually literate independent lifelong learners. To enable them to seek, make, and explore the habits of creativity by understanding the visual senses, thoughts, and actions of the world around us through the disciplines of art.

Curriculum Overview

The Art Department is a dynamic part of the school that offers excellent teaching and specialist knowledge. We aim to provide a structured, cumulative, forward-looking curriculum for all our students at KS3, drawing on the specialisms of the staff within the department. We aim to nurture students’ creativity, technical and problem-solving skills through enabling them to value themselves and the work they produce. We teach heuristically and continuously reflect and evolve our practise to respond to the fluctuations and changes within each year in response to our ever-changing world.

Art and Design makes a vital contribution to student's education in:

  • developing students as independent and lifelong learners
  • developing the ability for creative thought and action through Habits of Mind
  • the education of feeling and sensibility
  • the exploration of Alive and British values
  • the understanding of cultural change and differences
  • developing physical and perceptual skills
  • developing spiritual, moral and aesthetic awareness

In our teaching we aim to promote an atmosphere of purposeful study, which will enable each student to develop to their fullest potential. All teachers contribute to teaching across the key stages in Art & Design. The Art and Photography department has a long tradition of quality and expertise. We wish to build on this and to continue to provide a department known for its excellence and innovation.

Click to view the Curriculum Overview

Sequencing, Setting and Support

We aim to engage students in questioning ‘What is Art and Design’: What is it, who makes it, where, how, why, when, and who uses it?

Thematic units are designed to explore students' creativity and to develop their visual language to communicate their responses to key questions and threshold concepts. In Y7, Y8 and Y9 students will work on a range of investigations into specific historical and contemporary approaches and disciplines within Art and Design (developing a larger interconnected picture of what Art and Design is), uses of media and formal elements, key artists involved in these practices and, crucially, how the resulting outcomes are displayed and received by audiences.

Art encompasses 2D and 3D making, and in Y7, they lay a foundation skill with key concepts and practices developed and extended through Y8 and Y9. The projects develop student’s skills for learning; recording, developing and refining ideas using media and sources, contextualising, making, and presenting their own work – skills that prepare for success at GCSE. Each project provides key skills aiming to build students' ability to use and apply formal elements within a range of historical, modern and contemporary contexts. Students are exposed to a range of artists from different backgrounds and disciplines to develop and inform practical, theoretical and disciplinary knowledge.

At KS3 there is one hour of Art per week. Students are taught in mixed ability groups and students have two lessons per 2-week cycle with the same teacher for the duration of the year.

Support across all key stages is bespoke to the needs of the student. We work closely with Learning Support, adapting resources, creating additional scaffolding resources and providing additional equipment and planning when needed for each lesson.

Alive Themes in Art

Art education at SMRT celebrates the vibrant essence of being fully ‘Alive’. Through our curriculum we nurture our innate creativity, fostering resilience and forgiveness. Art instils the value of organisation and interdependence in the process of making and exploring disciplinary knowledge. The artists and art movements we explore teach us to embrace the diversity and choice we are presented with. Through art, we explore concepts of justice, trust and truth through conceptual and contemporary artists, fostering a deep appreciation for ourselves and others. Art empowers us to review, question, research and contribute as a method and habit of learning, thus enriching our educational journey.

Click to view the Alive Values Overview

Assessment in Art

Formative assessment each lesson is assessment for learning which takes place within the classroom between student and teacher to assess the progression of practical knowledge. This dialogue is important as it creates feedback that can focus on immediate changes for the students to make during the lesson. This allows the teacher to modify and refine student targets. Other examples of formative assessments are using low stake quizzes, questioning and flipped learning. We construct our summative assessments based on a mixture of assessment techniques over the course of each project to allow for students to repeat and refine their work and embed their working knowledge. These are input according to the whole school assessment schedule.

Click to view the Assessment Overview

Homework and how Parents/Carers Support Learning

All homework is set on Bromcom which is an app and website available to students and parents/carers. Further information is available on our Homework page.

These are the principles which underpin our homework.

Homework overview graphic

Homework is an integral part of all projects. Students are expected to complete their work on the worksheets given in the lessons, on Bromcom or through the online tasks also set on Bromcom. They are expected to collect ideas from magazines, books, galleries, museums, libraries and online. Homework projects are set relating to artists, techniques, testing knowledge and to classwork. We expect students to follow the homework schedule, however teachers may set additional work if they feel it will improve students' learning, or it is needed to contribute towards the next lesson.  Students are encouraged to pursue their own interests and develop their own work accordingly.

Parents and carers can help to support students with Art, photography and Design by engaging with the homeworks and extended activities offered through online learning and practically by having basic materials available for students to use watercolours, colour pencils, biro, pens, pencil sharpener, glue stick, scissors, pencil.  Visits to galleries, exhibitions, talks, cinema, reading, music events feed into the student's cultural capitol, adding experiential learning for students to bring into the classroom.  It's recommended that all students practice observational drawing by drawing from real life for a minimum of 3 times a week in 15 minutes slots to improve and increase their observational drawing skills, increasing hand-eye coordination to improve independently.

Useful Art Resources

Tate - Create like an Artist

Tate - Create your own Art

Saturday Club

NPG Schools Hub

Extended Learning: Sketchbook Generator (Click ‘SPIN ALL’ to be given: Subject, Medium, Technique, Colours.

Contact us

St. Mary Redcliffe and Temple School
Somerset Square, Bristol, BS1 6RT

0117 3772100