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Blackfen School for Girls

Blackfen School for Girls

Raising aspirations - releasing potential

Art and Design

Welcome to the Art  Department

Art Vision

The Art department aims to create independent creative individuals, not just students who study Art.

The Art department intension is to enthuse students in the subject and build a scaffolding of Formal Element knowledge through physical and analytical practise. Whilst actively encourage lessons which place pupils in the pit, as this challenge enables them to experiment and experience art, providing positive inclusion through visual, auditory, reading/writing and kinaesthetic learning.  The curriculum aims to provide students with transferable, cross curricular inquiry and analytical skills, while providing students with the knowledge and a skill base. Continuous development of literacy and numeracy skills which are integrated into the curriculum to enable students to be able to applying these in their learning through to KS4 and KS5.

Year 7

Term Unit of Work Summary

Autumn term

1 and 2

Assessment 1. Baseline test: Observational drawing and introducing Formal Elements

Investigating Contextual Study – M. C. Escher


Formal elements
Line, shape and form, Colour and tone

Colour Wheel and theory

By the end of this unit students will: develop an understanding of the formal elements and specific art terminology. They will develop skills in observational drawing studies and learn about composition, scale, proportion, shape, form and tone.


Transition work from KS2 to inform their understanding of emotion through Paul Klee and colour.


Students will build their knowledge of colour theory and be able to apply these skills to their observational drawing. Learn how to research the work of artists and be able to apply these to their outcomes.

Spring term

1 and 2

Combining mixed media like Watercolour and oil pastel Harmonious, contrast, tint and shades.


March: Assessment 2. Closing the Gap
Observation Still Life ‘Biscuits’ study focusing on colour, shape, form, composition and blending.


Investigating Contextual Study – Joel Penkman

Continuing with the colour wheel and experimentation with mixed media.


Create tint and shade studies to build skills.


Exploring artists' work and music within the theme of colour and cross-curricular referencing. Using harmonious and contrasting colours.


By the end of this unit, students will: continue to develop a basic understanding of how to respond to artist work through critical and visual studies. They will use specific art terminology when analysing artists' images, enabling critical thinking.

Summer term

1 and 2

Assessment 3. Final outcomes
Observation Still Life Study using colour, shape and form.


Grid referencing technique


Investigating Contextual Study – Hundertwasser


Clay and 3D sculptures

By the end of this unit students will: experiment and develop skills with a variety of materials.


Student within this project will create their own painting showing their understanding of colour, mixing and blending incorporating mixed media.


To create a clay and 3D structure in response to the artist Hundertwasser.   

Year 8

Term Unit of Work Summary

Autumn term

1 and 2

Learning the theory of 2d to 3d shape and form.


Understanding one and two points perspective and horizon line.


Assessment 1. Observation study ‘Bottles’ and Formal Elements.


Investigating Contextual Study –

Artist: Cath Riley


Investigating objects through Still Life Observation studies. Understanding Chiaroscuro through the application of light and dark.

By the end of this unit, students will: develop an understanding of positive and negative space, tone, shape and form.


2d to 3d, developing an understanding of tonal skills and form so the images appear 3D.  Pupils will be introduced to varied mixed media like oil and chalk pastels to create and recall shapes, whilst understanding the chiaroscuro technique to achieve form.


Students will be encouraged to question drawing and investigate its potential.


They will apply their knowledge and skills through observational studies.


They will build on specific vocabulary in art to respond to their work and to the works of others.

Spring term

1 and 2

Learning upscaling techniques Composition and Viewpoints


Focusing on Formal elements: colour, shape, form, composition, scale, blending and viewpoints


March: Assessment 2. Closing the gap
Observation Still Life ‘Liquorice Allsorts’ observation drawing.


Investigating Contextual Study –


Artist: Sarah Graham

By the end of this unit students will: develop upscaling skills and blending in the media of oil pastels.


Building on watercolour skills and introducing a photography taster.


They will learn how to analyse and critique artists' work, using keywords when writing and relating to the theme of tone, shape and form. Developing their subject specific language and feel increasingly more confident using these terms

Summer term

1 and 2

Assessment 3. Final outcomes: Formal Elements.


Developing texture and mark making skills


Investigating Contextual Study – Vincent Van Gogh


Observation studies using mark making skills


Colour in cultural


Investigating Contextual study-


Artist: Albert Lizah


Pattern using oil pastel and watercolour, collage and layering

By the end of this unit students will: develop mark making and texture skills through ink and sticks.


They will use analytical language to develop narratives within the theme of Tone, shape and form looking at the works of the artist to develop wider understanding.


Create Observation studies showing skills developed over the term.

They will develop mixed media skills through researching African Culture. Focusing on clothing patterns to inform their design choice. Enabling students to create a selection of designs that will be collaged together to produce a final outcome. Focusing on background and painting to capture natural inhabitants.

Year 9

Term Unit of Work Summary

Autumn term

1 and 2

Investigating objects through Still Life Observation studies and introducing photography shoots.


Understanding and applying the Grid method from analysing artists work.


Assessment 1. Observation study ‘Everyday objects’


Investigating Contextual Study – Marcello Barenghi

Experiment with the grid method, layering application of media and explore creating varied outcomes.


Photo shoot focusing on a selection of compositions, view point, angles, zoom and perspective, whilst using specific photography terminology to analyse outcomes.


Developing upscaled outcome in response to photo shoot.


By the end of this unit students will: continue to develop research and critical analysis through artist Marcello Barenghi and focusing on Hyperrealism.

Spring term

1 and 2

January: Assessment 2. Closing the Gap.


Formal Elements. Observational study ‘Vanitas’,


Investigating Contextual Study –

Audrey Flack Observation study


Taster lessons:


ART: Watercolour painting


Photography: Photo shoot

By the end of this unit students will: further develop observational drawing skills and focus on how to transfer visual knowledge onto paper.


Visual analysis and researching still life artist Audrey Flack focusing on Hyperrealism in her work.


The year 9 Tasters in February further develops photography and water colour in art, in light of their subject selection as this will provide them with understanding of the GCSE subjects and the demands required from them to succeed.


Pupils will further develop the work started in the taster sessions.

Summer term

1 and 2

Assessment 3. Final outcomes


Introducing Scale, balance and texture through Clay


Focusing on Pattern and design concepts


Investigating Contextual Study –


Artist: Yinka Shonibare


Clay sculptures

By the end of this unit students will: develop their own understanding of cultural identity and create a sculpture to reflect own culture, focusing on pattern, balance proportion and scale.


Continuing to use analytical and research skills focusing on varied artists like Linder Sterling and Hannah Hoch – to encourage students to actively find their own voice through expression and collage.


KS3 Art projects

Our budding Artists follow a curriculum that will challenge and promote an enquiring mind. Year 7 study Colour, Year 8 - Shape, Form and Tone, Year 9 - Still Life. During these lessons they will experience varied media and we introduce photography tasters.

Welcome to the Art & Photography Department

The Art & Design department endeavours to equip students with ability to question, analyse and experiment, as well as enabling them to achieve the ability to develop creative thinking skills, confidence in challenging their own perception of Art and Photography in a wider social content. The department endeavours to provide each student with individual pathways in order develop personal inquiries and challenges.

At KS4 students will underpin their art discipline from KS3. Students will work to the AQA new specification and develop a portfolio of work. Coursework will equate to 60% of their overall grade and will complete an external set examination project worth 40%. Students will be expected to challenge their own perceptions of Art and photography and improve their contextual understanding of Art and Photography. The work is internally moderated with an external moderator checking the rigour of the marking.


Year 10 Fine Art

Fine Art complies of drawing, painting, sculpture, print, mix media, film, photography and installation. Students develop their knowledge and understanding throughout year 10 through practical workshops and contextual studies.

Term Unit(s) of Work Summary

Autumn term

1 and 2

Component 1. Portfolio.


Project 1: Natural forms


Formal elements


Observation drawing, printing, photography using mixed media and developing skills.                                                                                


By the end of this unit students will: develop their understanding of drawing practice; focus on improving their confidence and standards of the formal elements in art, students will experiment and develop their drawing and painting skills with observation studies, insights into other artists styles and techniques as a form of communication. They will learn to record and analyse with written annotation contextualising their work and the works of others, as well as understanding how to develop a project to the AQA Assessment Objectives.


The students will learn a range of skills that will include observational drawing, pastel, chalk and charcoal, oil pastel, ink, photography and painting. All these skills will enable the pupils to create an informed outcome A04 that realises their intension. 

Spring term

1 and 2 

 Natural forms.

 Printing and clay



Acrylic painting.


By the end of this unit students will: explore and develop an understanding of the printing processes. Students will be introduced to a variety of techniques used in printing with skill-based workshops. Mono-print and stencil printing. Being able to transfer Artist research and own skills through clay manipulation and glazing. Learn how to apply acrylic paint and understanding its properties.

Summer term

1 and 2

Project 2: Independent Choice


Self-Portraiture, Still life or Landscape

June: Pre-public exam. PPE


Investigating Contextual Study –


Personal response to theme



By the end of this unit students will: Recapping and developing drawing skills focusing on facial features, proportion and scale.


Creating a self-portrait using the grid method.


Researching and analysing from own choice of Artist and creating a personal response using the media and techniques studied.


Learning to upscale and they will sit a PPE whereby students will choose their own ‘media, and content’ -  A3 size.


Year 10 PPE GCSE - 10-hour PPE exam outcomes

Here is a selection of our pupils work that was completed in a 10 hour session, these finalise their portrait section of Component 1.


Year 11 Fine Art

Term Unit(s) of work Summary

Autumn term

1 and 2


Component 1. Portfolio.


Project 2.  Portraiture
Personalised, independent studies to inform outcomes

Term 2: PPE


December: Pre public exam.
Personal response to theme project 2.

By the end of this unit students will: develop their understanding of the power of a portrait using different techniques. Encouraged to work independently and take ownership of their ideas and outcomes. Continue to use their analytical skills as well as understanding how to develop a project to the Assessment Objectives.


Students will investigate the title, experiment with materials and develop a piece of work that reflects their understanding of the theme.


Students will undertake a mock exam this will prepare students to understand how to work for a sustained period of time in a controlled environment, under the standards and conditions set by the exam board AQA. 5 Hours.

Spring Term

1 and 2


Component 2.
AQA Exam board


Externally set paper.

By the end of this unit students will: be developing preparatory work for their final exam over a 12-week period. The Exam is issued in January nationally.


Pupils will demonstrate their skills providing evidence of:

A01: Research, analyse and artists critique, A02: Experiment with varied media, including photography, A03: Record their work in their sketchbooks with evaluations and annotation showing understanding of the process.


Students will undertake a 10-hour exam in a controlled environment, under the standards and conditions set by the AQA exam board.

A04 Final outcomes – pupils will complete a piece that realises their intentions.

Autumn Term:

GCSE EXAM OUTCOMES will be exhibited in the gallery space by the reception area.  


Year 11 GCSE EXAM - 10-hour exam outcome

GCSE Photography

The Photography syllabus encourages students to actively engage with the creative processes of Photography and helps students to become reflective thinkers with enquiring minds who are independent learners. The course develops creative, imaginative and intuitive capabilities when exploring, creating and producing imagery.

Photography aims to develop student’s practical skills both in terms of taking and editing photographs. It also aims to allow the student to explore a range of ideas and approaches of media and techniques.

We use DSLR cameras, with the focus on developing manual settings and post production in Photoshop. Students will develop digital coursework portfolios through investigation briefs on Microsoft PowerPoints.

Students work through purposeful engagement to build their own body of work. They also look at other contextual references to develop knowledge and understanding of Photography in historical and contemporary contexts and in societies and cultures appropriate to their chosen area(s) of study.  They use this to inform and influence their own work and to reflect upon their own artistic journey and process.

The course will suit you if you are creative, enthusiastic and imaginative and want to communicate your ideas and opinions through different styles and forms of photography. You should enjoy learning how to use different processes to develop your visual skills, and be willing to experiment and take risks with your ideas.

Students are expected to purchase a starting pack in order to access this course.

  1. SD card (36GB minimum)
  2. SD card reader
  3. Small LED lamp for independent study

Further advise and details of these items will be communicated with you if you decide to choose this course.


Year 10

Term Unit(s) of work Summary
Autumn Term 1

Investigation 1



Students will develop knowledge of composition, transitioning from KS3 art and design.


They will learn to record and analyse with written analytical skills, contextualising their work, and the works of others, as well as the understanding of how to develop a project to the AQA assessment objectives.


Students explore the composition techniques of rule of thirds and leading lines to help construct and compose photographs using the formal elements.


We start with automatic settings and develop skills to eventually control manual exposure settings on the DSLR cameras.


Students will develop IT skills in this project in order to successfully record ideas and intentions.

Autumn Term 2   We finish the first part of the Environment project by experimenting with Photoshop to create final outcome magazine covers. 
Spring   Term 1  

Students develop the ability to work independently and work through purposeful investigations.


Pupils will develop their understanding of how to contextualise their outcomes by developing the Environment project in their own direction to create personal and meaningful responses.


By the end of this term students will develop their understanding of how to use manual  DSLR exposure settings with the focus apertures and ISO.

Spring Term 2

Light drawing

Light drawings will be captured by experimenting with light in a low lighting conditions and slow shutter speeds to create long exposure light drawings.


Students are required to bring in lighting props for this project.
Summer Term 1 Portraits

Students will further develop independent and creative skills by exploring this theme independently away from teachers’ instructions. Students will develop their own personal ideas from initial starting point to a realised outcome or series of outcomes.


The nature of this project allows students to be creative both conceptually and physically away from creative restraints.


Independent study is required, whereby students will select how their projects evolves and create Photoshoots following from contextual inspiration. Students must explore their own ideas and imagination in order to personalise their response.


Students will choose what to investigate and relate to contextual photographers and sources, experiment with materials and develop post production techniques using Photoshop or hand manipulation.

Summer Term 2

Portraits Independent study


Pre-public exam

(PPE / 5hours)

Students will continue to develop the portrait project and plan to create a body of work and final outcomes in their first GCSE PPE.


Students will undertake a mock exam that will consolidate and conclude their independent ideas. This will prepare students to understand how to work for a sustained period of time in a controlled environment, under the standards and conditions set by the exam board AQA. (5 Hours)


Work created in the PPE must be done so unaided.


Year 11

Term Unit(s) of work Summary
Autumn Term 1

Personal Investigation

Students will be given a selection of thematic titles. They will select one theme to explore independently. Students will choose how to contextualise their ideas and develop and refine skills with purposeful intent.

Autumn Term 2

Personal Investigation


Pre-public exam

(PPE / 5hours)

Students finish component 1 with a controlled assessment.


This will prepare students to understand how to work for a sustained period of time in a controlled environment, under the standards and conditions set by the exam board AQA. (5 Hours)


The PPE will assess students purposeful independent and creative skills.
Spring Term    
Component 2 - 40%
Spring Term 1  

Externally set paper.

AQA Exam

AQA will provide a separate externally set assignment with seven different starting points. Students must select and respond to one starting point from their chosen title.


The extended creative response must explicitly evidence students’ ability to draw together different areas of knowledge, skill and/or understanding from initial engagement with their selected starting point through to their realisation of intentions in the 10 hours of supervised time.


Year 11 PPE GCSE Photography- 5-hour PPE exam outcomes