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Est. 1921

Art and Design


What is the curriculum aim / vision for this subject?

This department seeks to encourage all of our students to believe in themselves by achieving and enjoying success. We will foster in our learners an appreciation and ownership of our visual culture. We will inspire our learners to develop and hone their own creativity using the process of understanding, making and investigation.

The Art & Design Department have always strived to provide the students with a broad curriculum that enables all students to discover their strengths.

Our aim is to make sure that all students have the opportunity to experiment with a wide range of materials and techniques to record their observations in sketchbooks, journals and on larger scale in 2D and 3D media, allowing them to explore their own ideas.

What do we expect students to get from our subject?

Students are encouraged to:

  • Work independently in exploring their own ideas and use their creativity to produce a range of outcomes.
  • Be able to evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design
  • Know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.
  • Explore different techniques and processes and find something they are good at and can enjoy within the area of art, craft and design.
  • Have a greater visual awareness and appreciation of aesthetics that they can apply to everyday life.
  • Know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.
  • Be able to critically problem solve and make adjustments accordingly.


How does learning develop over the five years?

On entering Calderstones, student’s prior knowledge and understanding is tested and the basic principles of colour theory and formal elements are taught.

For the foundation years students cover 3 projects per year. Each project has:

  • A contextual influence (artist, designer, culture etc).
  • Analytical studies
  • A key skill e.g. drawing, painting, ceramics etc
  • Preparatory studies (drawings and designs)
  • A Final Outcome (2D or 3D)

For the examination courses the coursework follows a similar formula as the foundation only this time the key skills are at a higher level and the preparatory studies are more in depth. Outcomes are chosen by the individual student based on individual strengths.

As the students progress through the programme of study they develop their skills, knowledge and understanding.

What principles have guided our decision making in developing this curriculum? What is distinctive about our curriculum?

The curriculum provides students with a broad experience. Students get to experiment with a wide range of materials, techniques and process which in turn allows them to find something that they are good at and can enjoy. The projects allow for a good percentage of students to become proficient in drawing, painting and sculpture.

Students are taught about a wide range of not only traditional but contemporary artists, some of which they can relate to e.g. Graffiti art, Manga etc. A great emphasis has been put on improving students’ evaluation and analytical skills so that they are comfortable using subject specific words and terminology.

Many extra-curricular sessions provide students with the opportunity to enhance their skills and aid their classwork.

How is the timetabled curriculum supplemented or enriched by other approaches to learning?

  • Many extra-curricular sessions provide students with the opportunity to enhance their skills and aid their classwork.

  • Students get the opportunity to take part in workshops, cross-curricular art based activities and competitions.

  • Photography students take part in location photo shoots.

  • A Level Art and Design students take part in gallery and museum visits as well as HE visits.

In what ways does our curriculum help to develop?

  • Cultural diversity and identity: Students cover many different cultures within their projects. They learn not only about the art practices but the lifestyle and cultural factors that influence the work. Students are taught how background and ethnicity does not impair a person’s creativity and artistic talent.

  • Physically and mentally healthy lifestyles: Art is portrayed as a way of people relaxing and staff aim to create a non-threatening pleasant atmosphere within the art rooms so that all students can feel comfortable.

  • Community participation: Competitions, gallery visits, end of year art exhibitions.

  • Careers and enterprise: Practicing artists are used to help students have a greater understanding of the world of work. Visits to HE establishments take place and students are taught about pathways to a career in the arts.

  • Technology and the media: New technologies are used within the art, craft and design programme of study. Students use ICT to not only research topics but to manipulate and edit art work.

Creativity and critical thinking: Students are taught how to problem solve, analyse work and think in a critical way.



Click here for the Art Key Stage 3 Curriculum Map for 2022-23


Click here for the Art Key Stage 4 Curriculum Map for 2022/23

Click here for the Photography Key Stage 4 Curriculum Map for 2022/23

For more information, click here to visit the Key Stage 4 courses page.


Year 12

Click here for the Year 12 Curriculum Map (Foundation Subjects) for 2021/22 Academic Year

Year 13

Click here for the Year 13 Curriculum Map (Foundation Subjects) for 2021/22 Academic Year

For more information, click here to visit the Key Stage 5 courses page.