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Why choose this subject?  

Key stage three art develops visual literacy, communication skills, imagination and personal expression. Pupils are encouraged to develop critical and analytical thinking skills and engage in a wide range of cultural experiences. This can include engaging in projects about famous artists, projects about other cultures, artist visits and gallery visits including multi-sensory visits to experiences such as ‘Van Gogh Alive’. 

The GCSE in Fine Art takes these skills and processes and develops the students’ ability to actively engage in the creative process of art and design in order to develop as effective and independent learners with critical thinking skills.  This is done through an extended project on the theme of architecture which builds up towards pupils developing a meaningful and personal response.  They are taught to become confident in taking risks and learn from experience when exploring and experimenting with ideas, processes, media, materials and techniques, therefore building strength of character. 

Pupils also learn the skills necessary to develop and refine ideas and techniques with increasing independence. Pupils have the opportunity to partake in processes usually only reserved for pupils above GCSE stage such as copper etching and woodblock print making. 

Pupils also develop knowledge and understanding of art, craft and design in historical and contemporary contexts, societies and cultures. Through working on the extended GCSE topic pupils develop self-confidence, resilience, perseverance, self-discipline and commitment. 

Pupils have visits throughout each year from well known artists such as Adebanji Alade (Vice President,The Royal Institute Of Oil Painters) and internationally renowned artist Ian Murphy. 




What will your child will learn?  

Pupils in year 7 explore media & mark making. They spend the first part of year 7 working on tone, shape and form. They begin exploring dry & wet media. Later they explore colour mixing and colour meaning. Pupils also begin a printmaking introduction. 

Pupils in year 8, study many different artists such as Franz Marc, Sonia Delaunay, Chagall and Picasso. There is an overarching theme of emotions and mood in art. They use line and colour to describe emotions. Pupils also study the art of other cultures such as Japanese printmaking using traditional wood block. 


Pupils in year 9 complete a project on ‘Architecture.’ This theme allows many different interpretations and allows pupils to work independently on projects that encompass their own interests.  

Pupils in year 10 will use the theme ‘Animals’ and they will later complete a self-directed project of their own choosing from January. 


As previously mentioned, there are several visits from working artists across all year groups, this includes several workshops with Ian Murphy some of which are on the theme of architecture and workshops on perspective and animals with Adebanji Alade.  


What your child will gain from this subject 

Art is a valuable subject within a 21st century curriculum as it is the only subject whereby creativity is taught explicitly. The teaching of creativity within art is linked to assessment objectives and subject-based strands and is measured by the two main processes within creativity which are thinking of ideas and realising outcomes.  

The impact of the learning within art can be seen through the ideas, observations and experiments the pupils produce within their sketch books which later develop into final outcomes. 

When a pupil is creating art and design they are building the following transferable skills that prepare pupils for adulthood and working life; 

  • Making connections. 

  • Using intuition. 

  • Exploring and investigating. 

  • Giving and receiving feedback. 

  • Working co-operatively. 

  • Reflecting critically. 

  • Refining and improving work. 

  • Self-awareness and time management. 

  • Following general safety regulations when working with tools. 


By the end of year 10 it is expected that all pupils will be entered for a GCSE full course. 

Cloughwood is to offer a range of post 16 art courses from 2022/23. 




Case Study 

GCSE points scored were the highest in the academy once again in 2021. All entered achieved FFT estimates or above. It is well known that nationally boys underperform in GCSE Art and are disengaged with the subject. In schools where there are options it is known that most boys do not choose art options. However, in art at Cloughwood we have managed to engage most boys and there are many boys who enjoy and achieve within  the subject and it has been the highest scoring subject within the academy for 8 years running. 

In the academy we have had many boys who have been excluded from art in previous setting and have been very worried about creating art. In Cloughwood we create a nurturing environment that enables pupils to produce art using their individual strengths and talents; whether that be in drawing accuracy, experimentation or annotation. There are so many examples of pupils who now fully engage and achieve in line with their ability despite significantly depressed starting points. 

Within Cloughwood Art Department there is an ethos that anyone can achieve with practice and hard work. Art has been mentioned in many OFSTED inspections at Cloughwood. In one report it highlighted that “They (pupils) respond very well to targets set by adults, this was observed during an outstanding art lesson, in which each student was clear about what was expected, how to succeed and how to progress even further.”