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Art and Photography

In Art, students learn to explore their creativity and expression. Cultural and contextual understanding is promoted through creative and practical responses. Imaginative risk taking is encouraged to assist in providing solutions to our material, emotional, social and virtual worlds.

The Art curriculum allows students to explore visual, tactile and other sensory experiences and to communicate ideas and meanings. They will be engaged, inspired and challenged to equip them with knowledge and skills to participate in, experiment with, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. Students are encouraged to think creatively and critically and they reflect on their own as well as other people’s work.

They investigate and evaluate a wide range of creative outcomes from the past and present to develop an understanding of the many disciplines within art, craft and design and how they shape our history and future.

They will work with traditional and new media, developing confidence, imagination and creativity.

Beyond the curriculum students have a wealth of opportunities to develop their creative minds. There is a key stage 3 art club, art competitions, artist led workshops, City of Lights workshops and parade, joint school projects and a range of gallery trips within Cornwall and to London.

Art Key Stage 3

During Key Stage 3 we ensure students are always learning something new and developing new skills. They will work on several projects each year, from a range of inspirational starting points.

The national curriculum for art and design aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences
  • become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques
  • 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.

The curriculum encourages students to explore, experiment, develop ideas and produce final outcomes, working both independently and with others. Our excellent facilities enable us to offer a broad curriculum, developing a wide range of skills. These facilities include: specialist art studios, a kiln room, dark room and multi-media digital room.

In Year 7 students focus on the formal elements of line, tone, colour and markmaking. They also develop their skills in colour mixing, shading and how to use tools to create marks.

Students then go on to apply these skills in a project inspired by the architect Gaudi or the artist Rex Ray, focussing on how their works have been informed by natural forms. 2D skills are further developed and the project culminates in a final outcome that students design and create themselves.

The first task in Year 8 is the African Mask project where students develop their drawing skills and explore a variety of drawing methods to record masks. They then focus on African patterns and explore processes such as collage and printing to develop their own patterns. This project further allows students to develop their 3D skills and gain experience in working with clay or card to produce a final mask.

Later in the year students work on a project about everyday objects with an emphasis on looking at the way the artist Michael Craig Martin works and understanding his style. Students develop their observation skills and work in a variety of 2D media. This project moves into Pop Art where students focus on developing 2D work based around onomatopoeia words and matching objects. Students complete the project by using their own ideas to design and make a comic strip painting.

Across the course of KS3 students learn about how to use professional artists to inform their own work, how to mix and apply colour and how to develop their observational skills. They improved their art vocabulary, learn how to use and apply 2D and 3D materials and how to talk about their own and other artist’s work.


A curriculum overview calendar for Years 7-11 Art is available here 

Further enquiries should be sent to

Ms N Dalby – Head of Art

Art Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, students can choose to study GCSE Fine Art or GCSE Photography

Students are encouraged to develop creative skills, learning to use their imagination and gaining confidence in taking risks. Students develop competence, with increasing independence, in refining and developing ideas and proposals, personal outcomes or solutions. Additionally, they develop cultural knowledge, understanding and application of art, craft, design, photography in historical and contemporary contexts, societies and cultures.

In Year 10 students follow a structured course which allows them to develop a wide range of skills in using a variety of materials and techniques. Students study and respond to the work of selected artists and photographers and analyse the work of other artists, photographers, designers and craftspeople. Students then go on to develop their own ideas, completing each project with a final piece of work which shows the skills that they have accumulated.

In Year 11 techniques and processes are further developed and, as the course progresses, students develop more independent ways of working. They sit a mock exam and this allows them the experience of working in a sustained manner.

We follow the AQA GCSE specification. Students produce a portfolio of work which accounts for 60% of the overall marks. This work is handed in after Christmas in Year 11 and students then work on the externally set assignment which is set by the exam board. This accounts for 40% of the marks. Work is marked by the centre (Richard Lander School) and moderated by AQA. There is no written exam for this subject.

Both courses are very popular and our results reflect the success and outstanding quality of work produced. At GCSE individuality is always encouraged and as a consequence the range of work tends to be diverse in its originality. We welcome friends and family to our outstanding GCSE Art and GCSE Photography exhibitions at the end of the course to recognise our students’ success.


A curriculum overview calendar for Years 7-11 Art is available here 

Please address any further enquiries to

Ms N Dalby – Head of Art

Key Stage 4 Art and Photography Exhibition

Over 100 KS4 students exhibited at our 2022 Art and Photography exhibition. The standard of work was excellent. Many students, parents and carers and staff came to our private view in May. Here is a selection of the work exhibited.