Art & Design
Sexey’s Art Department is a thriving and highly creative environment where all students regardless of ability are encouraged and fully supported to achieve their potential. Our ethos is that every child can achieve regardless of prior attainment and that creativity and success should be celebrated at every opportunity. We strive within the department to provide students with a diverse experience to help them develop a broad understanding and appreciation of Art and Design. Students are taught in mixed-ability groups and we use individual target setting to aid progress.
Alongside key skills we also focus on a rich knowledge-based curriculum which helps to support student’s contextual and historical background. The department also uses current research to inform practice and believes in fostering student’s imagination and inquisitiveness, their ability to be persistent and disciplined with creative ideas and also works to promote the skills of collaboration.
Resources and Clubs
The Art Department is well equipped and is housed in two specialist rooms offering expertise in a wide range of areas including drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media, sculpture and photography. The department is also enhanced by fostering good relationships with other subject areas which has resulted in numerous successful cross-curricular projects.
There are weekly after-school Art clubs for students to engage in various practical activities and workshops to complement, enhance and extend the curriculum.
Key Stage Three
In line with the new National Curriculum, students are taught to develop their creativity and ideas, and increase proficiency in a range of media. In addition they are taught to develop a critical understanding of artists, architects, and designers, and express reasoned judgments that can inform their own work. We approach this through a series of projects focusing on line, tone, shape, colour, texture and pattern. Each project aims to build upon the experience of the previous one by expanding the range of materials, processes and techniques used and introducing contextual investigations into different practitioners, cultures and Art movements. Students are involved in the summative evaluation of their work and receive individual targets for improvement.
Students will explore ‘What is Art?’. Students explore different materials and how to record what they see. From this they will start to develop an understanding of the formal elements in Art though a range of short workshops that explore key skill areas – drawing, painting, printing, sculpture, collage, and textiles. Students also begin to write about and analyse art works and learn how to evaluate and assess their own and others work. ]
As the course develops students will explore the theme of ‘popular culture’. Students will be introduced to the four assessment objectives in Art and Design and complete a full project that explores each of them. During this project students will explore key skill areas – drawing, graphic design, textiles, sculpture and typology. They will explore the Art movements and gain understanding about the historical and contextual issue behind these movements. Students will then be asked to respond to the brief by creating a final piece.
Students will build upon their drawing skills developing ways to improve drawing from observation. From this, students take on project work which follows a thematic approach. Students will be introduced to the four assessment objectives in Art and Design and complete a full project that explores each of them. During this project students will explore key skill areas – drawing, painting, printing, textiles and sculpture. Students will begin to explore large scale collaborative pieces of work.
They will review a range of artist work to explore their styles, approaches and techniques. Students will also understand about the historical and contextual issues behind each artist. Students will then be asked to respond to the brief by creating a final piece.
Later in the school year students will explore the theme of ‘patterns’. Students will be introduced to the four assessment objectives in Art and Design and complete a full project that explores each of them. During this project students will explore key skill areas – drawing, collage, decoupage, photography, Photoshop and relief sculpture.
Students will explore the theme of ‘the self. Students will be introduced to the four assessment objectives in Art and Design and complete a full project that explores each of them. During this project students will explore key skill areas in greater depth – drawing, textiles and sculpture. Students will begin to explore working on a larger scale. They will investigate a range of artist work and use these to inform their own work. Students will also understand about the historical and contextual issues behind each artist. Students will then be asked to respond to the brief by creating a final piece.
Later in the year students will be introduced to the four assessment objectives in Art and Design and complete a full project that explores each of them. During this project students will explore key skill areas – drawing, collage, painting, screen printing and fashion design. The project will explore the ideas of art and power and will look at historical and contextual issues behind the theme. Students will be asked to work collaboratively to come up with issues that they feel passionate about. They will create work which responds to their individual ideas. Much of the work at this point will be putting into practice skills and ideas developed in years 7, 8 and 9 which is a culmination of acquired skills and concepts.
Key Stage Four
Art and Design at Sexey’s is a popular option. Students follow the revised AQA Fine Art two year course (with a grading scheme of 9-1), which is concerned with the exploration of ideas and materials. The course offers students the means to develop knowledge, skills and understanding learnt at Key Stage 3, whilst laying the foundations for post-16 students. Students continue to work with the four assessment objectives.
Syllabus and examination
The first year will give a foundation in various skills and place emphasis on Investigation, Analysis, and Experimentation. The syllabus gives a weighting of 60% to coursework and 40% to the exam unit. The coursework is made up of a series of themed projects such as ‘Portraits’ and ‘Illustrating stories’ but students are encouraged to strengthen skills with ideas development and when ready are expected to come up with their own ideas for themes and projects. All students have to submit evidence of using drawing to support the development process in both coursework and exam and will have to use written annotation and appropriate specialist terminology to record their ideas, observations, insights and independent judgments. They are graded from 9–1 rather than A*–G, where 9 is the top grade. All coursework projects are structured to help students feel supported and extra sessions are available between 4-5pm. Students will explore in more depth the formal elements in Art and design.
The exam unit is undertaken at the end of Year 11 and is a project set by the examination board taking the form of a broad theme such as ‘Journeys ’or ‘Surfaces’. The externally set paper will also contain some suggestions for possible starting points, direction and areas of study. Students will have twelve weeks in which to prepare for the timed test. During this period students should explore the theme by looking at a range of starting points, recording all research, development and experimentation in a sketch book which focuses on their chosen specialism. At the end of this preparatory period students will sit a ten hour timed examination to create a final piece.
Artists and designers have a huge impact on the way people think, feel and live. Whilst studying this course you will have the opportunity to work and develop skills in a multi-disciplinary way, exploring the connections between areas of art, craft and design and gaining knowledge of the scope and variety of disciplines and approaches. With the emphasis on exploration and experimentation, students will use a wide variety of materials and processes including drawing, painting, print making, mixed-media, sculpture, photography and textiles, building on existing strengths and artistic ability. Creativity is key in all that we do and critical reference to artists and designers underpins and enriches all of the students’ work.
Previous students who studied Art & Design went on to Foundation Art Courses and to degrees in Graphic Design, Film Making, Photography, Printing, Fashion, Textiles, 3D and 2D Art & Design.
Updated November 2023