Art & Design education provides and inspires personal expression, personal understanding, creative and practical responses, promotes imaginative risk taking to provide solutions to our material, emotional, social and virtual worlds.

Art & Design at KS3

Art & Design at Northfield School for Girls is a valued subject.  It engages, inspires and challenges our learners, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to participate in, experiment with, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.

All pupils study Art & Design at KS3. We believe that our curriculum offers variety, breadth and challenge and is fully compliant with the expectations of the national Curriculum.  At KS3 we learn through practical projects themed to explore the world of Art, Craft & Design within a wide variety of different contexts and genres.

Each project is designed to develop both skills and knowledge with a focus on:

  • Generating ideas: skills of designing and developing ideas
    Pupils learn to research, observe, imagine, explore, experiment, select, organise, plan, design, problem-solve, think and act creatively.
  • Making: skills of making Art, Craft & Design
    Pupils learn to control, explore & use qualities of materials, media, techniques and processes, think and act creatively.
  • Evaluating: skills of judgement and evaluation
    Pupils learn to understand, interpret, analyse, explain, make connections, respond, make meaning, allowing them to go onto strengthen the visual impact of their work.
  • Knowledge: knowledge of art processes and context
    Pupils learn about medium and media, meaning, purpose, art, artists, periods, genres, styles, movements, craft, design, architecture.

Art & Design at KS4

At KS4 we offer three courses through the exam board OCR; GCSE Fine Art, GCSE Applied Art, and where appropriate, Entry Level Art & Design in order to enable as many pupils as possible to have access.

Both GCSE courses are comprised of 60% controlled assessment in which the theme or project brief is set by the department, and 40% set task (exam project) with a wide choice of briefs set by the exam board.

Learning for both the controlled assessment and the set task is designed to meet the four assessment objectives:

AO1 – Develop: Developing a range of ideas from a given starting point that show understanding of your source material and that are informed by the work of artists & designers. 
AO2 – Experiment: Refining your ideas by exploring and making appropriate and thoughtful choices from a range of media, techniques and processes. 
AO3 – Record: Recording observations and insights relevant to your intentions, for example by, drawing, taking photographs, making notes. 
AO4 – Present: Presenting personal, informed and meaningful work that shows critical and analytical understanding. Realising your intentions (in a final piece).

The Entry Level Certificate (ELC) follows a similar course and assessment structure, making it very easy for students to study alongside each other, and also for decisions to be made quite late into the course about whether an individual is more suited to the ELC or to GCSE. 

GCSE Fine Art

All students begin their studies with projects aimed at introducing GCSE working practices, learning about assessment objectives and developing confidence and independence with a range of media and processes. These may include: Natural Forms, Structures, and Human. In year 11, pupils work towards their mock exam, and from January commence work on their Set Task Project, culminating in a 10 hour examination in April. 

GCSE Applied Art

Although the structure of the course is very similar and the assessment objectives are identical, Applied Art allows for a much more vocational approach to the subject. Rather than exploring open ended themes, students respond to client led project briefs. These have included designing and producing ceramic items for the Botanical Gardens gift shop, designing and printing wallpaper for a Shoe Boutique, and designing promotional items for museums such as banners, posters and murals.  For Applied Art, the Set Task (examination) will also be in the form of a project brief. ​

2-Year KS4

TermYr 10Yr 11
AutumnNatural FormsMock Exam, Gallery visit, Portfolio consolidation
SpringNatural Forms, Human. Gallery visitExam
SummerHuman, Mock Exam

3-Year KS4

TermYr 9Yr 10Yr 11
AutumnFoundation skillsHuman, Gallery visitMock Exam, Portfolio consolidation
SpringFoundation skills, Self Image / IdentityHumanExam
SummerSelf-Image / IdentityMock Exam, Gallery visit

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