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In the Art Department we provide a challenging and broad curriculum that stimulates, motivates and inspires our students to achieve the highest standards. Students are guided to develop and achieve their potential as creative learners and individuals. We encourage all students to work in a personal way, develop imaginatively and acquire the appropriate technical skills to communicate their ideas. We foster and develop visual literacy through practical, written and oral work.

We have specialist knowledge covering the full range of approaches in Art and Design – Fine Art (printmaking, painting, sculpture and mixed-media), Textiles, History of Art, Photography (darkroom and digital) and 3D Design. We share expertise to allow all students as full and varied an experience and use of materials, techniques and processes as possible.

We focus on:

  • The acquisition of techniques, skills and vocabulary in order to communicate and express ideas visually
  • Feed the imagination through continuous return to the observation and investigation of the environment and referral to our own culture and that of others both past and present
  • Response in the form of the expression of feeling and solving visual problems, carried out through recording and interpreting information and experiences received and so sharpening critical powers
  • The development of visual literacy and enabling students to evaluate their own work and that of other artists and designers.

Key Stage 3

In KS3 students will build on their previous knowledge and skills of art, design and craft. They will learn to work in a variety of 2D and 3D media and techniques through the visual elements: line, shape, form, tone, texture, shade, light, pattern and colour.

Critical analysis will be an integral way of recording ideas, thoughts and arguments in the study of different historical, cultural and artistic genres throughout the projects set.

Students will learn to draw in a variety of ways and discover that drawing is an important transferrable skill throughout life and takes on many forms, such as: a technical drawing, a thumb nail sketch, a sustained observational drawing and mark making from a variety of sources in a range of media.

In Year 7:  In the first two terms the students develop their mark-making and colour-mixing skills in a Landscape project from first and second-hand experiences/observations. They will look at a range of styles from The Renaissance to contemporary artists, with a particular focus on Van Gogh’s sketches for mark-making techniques; and the study of Hockney, Hundertwasser, the Fauves and the Impressionists for alternative colour palettes. They will experience drawing, printmaking (mono, collograph and reduction prints), painting and mixed-media. Learning how to capture depth through their use of colour, detail of mark-making and use of back/mid/fore-ground layers will be vital to any future composition planned.

After Christmas they will embark on a still life drawing project with a focus on Vanitas symbolic objects and Cubism. This may lead to some extension work on portraiture (facial proportions and distortions). Throughout the project they will be encouraged to personalise their still life work by using symbolic objects from home (photography or actual first-hand object in the classroom).

Later in the year they will get the chance to study famous buildings from around the world and learn about architecture in their local area. This project will enable students to develop their knowledge and understanding of perspective through vanishing points. They will be encouraged to design and make a relief clay tile based on a building of their own choice. This will help them learn about proportion, architectural styles and details. The tile may be used in the school environment as a collaborative mural panel.

In Year 8:  Students will extend their artistic skills to moredetailed and thoughtful work through first and second observational drawing of animals in a variety of media. Cheltenham Art museum often lends taxidermy animals for students to study detail at close hand. These drawings will then be developed into illustrations of fantasy creatures for their own book design. They will write a short story, poem or rhyme and develop graphic page layouts in ICT and other sources.

Their main focus will be learning how to present and arrange visual elements with text in a range of compositions. Contemporary book illustrators will be a huge source of inspiration throughout the design and make process.

Later in the year they will experience 3D and working with clay and recycled materials. Extension activities may range from local Open Studio visits, trips to The Natural History museum, The Pitt Rivers & Nature in Art; research into animal motifs & symbolism from a range of world cultures.

In Year 9:  Students will combine their developing knowledge and understanding of their self and cultural identity through a Citizenship and Art combined project. They will look at relevant popular and street style artists for inspiration.

They will be encouraged to work in pairs to research, design and make an art couture wearable sculpture for the Painswick Festival. This could involve the students to manage not only the making from recycled materials but also the models who will show case the piece to the public.

Later in the year they will return to a drawing based project looking at Natural Forms. This may develop forms into clay and sculpture based on artists, such as: Peter Randall-Page. 

Click on the button below to access Key Stage 3 Art Resources 



Key Stage 4

At GCSE Level:   Students follow the AQA syllabus. The syllabus is based on an externally set controlled examination (40%) starting in the Y11 Spring term. In Y10 and part of Y11 they will build a portfolio of coursework containing at least one sustained project (60%) showing evidence of the four assessment objectives. 

Students are required to develop independently from teacher led starting points/briefs. Then develop ideas, skills and inspiration from a variety of artists, designers and craftsperson and be expected to record ideas in a variety of forms, such as: mind maps, drawings and photography from mainly first-hand sources. Their portfolio work will develop from experimenting with a variety of media and styles directed from their artist’s research into an informed and inventive final piece.

Their use of media, scale, techniques and styles are developed depending on personal choice and relevance to project theme. Most students studying Fine Art will develop skills in drawing, painting, printmaking and mixed-media. Sculpture, assemblage and installations are also encouraged.

Fine Art: candidates should produce practical and critical/contextual work in one or more area(s) including drawing and painting, mixed media, sculpture, land art, installation, printmaking, lens-based and/or light-based media: film, television, animation, video and photography.

Graphic Communication: candidates should produce practical and critical/contextual work in one or more area(s) including illustration, advertising, packaging design, design for print, communication graphics, computer graphics, multimedia, web design, lens-based and/or light-based media: film, animation, video and photography

Photography: lens-based and light-based media Candidates should produce practical and critical/contextual work in one or more area(s) including theme-based photography (portrait, landscape, still-life, and reportage), documentary photography, photo-journalism, narrative photography, experimental imagery, photographic installation, new media practice, video, television and film.

Click on the button below to access GCSE Art Resources 



Key Stage 5

At KS5 the syllabus enables students to extend their knowledge and understanding of art, to create and develop their own artistic ideas and to demonstrate technical, interpretative and communication skills through visual art.

Click on the button below to access KS5 Art Resources 



Year 7 Landscape

Y7 Kandinsky inspired landscape maps

Y7 Landscape Painting

Y7 Seascape Mixed Media

Y7 Still Life Photography

Y8 Animal Illustration

Y8 Book Designs

Y8 Book Illustration Collage

Y8 Citizenship Art Enrichment

Y8 Still Life Vanitas

Y8 Wire Bird

Y8 Zoomorphic Collage

Y9 Citizenship Art map of E1

Y9 Head dress prototype

Y9 Natural Forms Drawings

Y11 CW Interim Piece

Y11 Exhibition

Y11 Final Piece

Y11 Fine Art CW FP

Y12 Collections Natural Form Studies

Y12 Experimental Compositions

Y12 Fine Art Painted Portrait

Y12 Pencil studies

Y12 Photography Final Piece

Y12 Sketchbook

Y13 Coursework Final Piece

Y13 Coursework Mixed Media FP

Y13 Drawing Photography

Y13 Exam Final Piece on Stress

Y13 Final Painting

Y13 Installation based on the sea

Y13 Photography Final Piece