Staffing of the department

Mrs Irvine – Head of Department
Ms Grogan – Teacher of Art

Educational philosophy/Aims of the curriculum

Children see before they speak, make marks before they write, build before they walk. But their ability to appreciate and interpret what they observe, communicate what they think and feel, or make what they imagine and invent, is influenced by the quality of their art, craft and design education. 

Art education at St Ursula’s encourages pupils to explore visual, tactile and other sensory experiences to communicate ideas and meanings. They work with traditional and new media, developing confidence, competence, imagination and creativity. They learn to appreciate and value images and artefacts across times and cultures, and to understand the contexts in which they were made. In art, craft and design, pupils reflect critically on their own and other people’s work, judging quality, value and meaning. They learn to think and act as artists, craftspeople and designers, working creatively and intelligently. They develop an appreciation of art, craft and design, and its role in the creative and cultural industries that enrich their lives.

Through the teaching of this subject we aim to give children the opportunities and skills to be able to experience and enjoy being creative. To express themselves, and their ideas, in a variety of materials and processes. To build on their skills, knowledge and understanding by improving their control of tools, materials and techniques. Teaching them to develop their ideas from imagination and a variety of starting points, such as images and artefacts. To explore the work of artists, craftspeople and designers and the art and craft of different cultures and ages.

KS3 curriculum

Pupils will study a range of artists’ and craftspeoples’ work  within their projects and understand how to relate their own work to others’.  Our pupils learn to study and observe from images and sources in their drawing and to further experiment with a variety of materials.  They explore ideas and learn to develop their work through analysis and evaluation of their own outcomes and the work of others’.  They are encouraged to express their thoughts and ideas freely to further their experiences of art.

KS3 Programme of study

  • Year 7 – The Formal Elements

The Formal Elements are the building blocks of all art and through the study of these pupils can begin to experience and understand art and design as they begin their journey in art education.  Pupils study the seven elements of art: line, tone, form, texture, colour, shape, space.  They focus on drawing techniques, observation skills, painting and mark making.  The pupils experience many different materials and build their knowledge of artists through analysis of artworks and develop their understanding of art techniques through practical work.  Pupils are encouraged and pushed to experiment with the media they are working with to build confidence in trying new experiences, gaining new skills and expressing their ideas and opinions.

  • Year 8 – Global Pattern

Year 8 studies in art focus on the theme of Global Pattern.  After an emphasis on techniques and key drawing skills in year 7 we show the pupils in Year 8 how the art and craft of different cultures and countries link with one another and into the art practise of contemporary artists all over the world. Pupils focus on work that encompasses pattern colour and design through looking at Talavera ceramic design from Mexico, geometric formations in Islamic art and Polynesian art, organic structures in African design. Patterns and design also form the basis for 2D work looking at symmetry, colour and design whilst 3D work focuses on working with papier mache and clay.  Pupils will learn about art and craft traditions associated with different cultures and will continue to develop both their experience of critical analysis and observational drawing skills.

  • Year 9 – Natural Forms

Year 9s return to improve their fine art skills in drawing, painting and printmaking.  They continue to use the influence of other artists’ work in their own whilst gaining further skills in observation and experimenting.  The formal elements are revisited through a theme of mixed media and pupils learn how to combine and push exploration of a range of materials such as pen and ink, watercolour, collage and wax resist.  Printmaking with lino recalls themes of repetition from Year 8 design and pupils are challenged with more complex designs to include tessellations and geometry. 

Year 9 conclude the year with a Photoshop design project looking closely at art in industry.  Pupils experience the designs of interior design companies and textile designers and produce their own wallpaper.  They gain valuable skills in digital art and photography and understand how to work with a client brief and industry tools.  The range of work produced in Year gives a fantastic foundation of skills ready for GCSE art in Year 10.

Special requirements

KS3 – Pupils must have a 2B pencil for every art lesson.  Colouring pencils will be required for frequent homework so these should be available at home.

Links to useful sites for KS3 students, parents and members of the public