St Ursula’s School

Art Curriculum Intent

“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. “

Ofsted “Making a Mark report”

Art & Design 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, products 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.

The curriculum has been carefully designed and planned by subject experts to provide a comprehensive and rigorous journey enabling students to develop mastery in art and design whilst enjoying the creativity and value of these subjects.  It builds an awareness of the world beyond the students’ frame of reference, helping them to understand new viewpoints and cultural contexts.  The Art and Design curriculum recognises the diversity of our school community and enables students to develop the knowledge and skills to respect opinions and views alternative to their own

Through the teaching of these subjects we aim to give our students the opportunities and skills to be able to:

  •  Experience and enjoy being creative.
  • To express themselves, and their ideas, through a variety of materials and processes.
  • To have the confidence to experiment and have resilience to failure. 
  • To build on their skills, knowledge and understanding by improving their control of tools, materials and techniques.
  • To understand how their studies connect to industry and the world around them
  • Develop their ideas from a variety of starting points, such as images, artefacts and design briefs.
  • To explore the work of artists, craftspeople and designers and the art/craft/design of different cultures and ages.
  • Use their hands to build, explore, test and create.  Developing the ability to visually communicate.
  • To broaden their expressive vocabulary and articulate their observations and thoughts through written, verbal and visual communication.
  • To understand the difference between art as a visual language or expression and design as a process or plan for a product
  • Use the design process to problem solve and produce products/ideas for the real world

Our curriculum provides students of differing ability, need and talent access to broad, rich and varied knowledge and skills.  It is designed to be appropriately ambitious for all our students, from the highest attaining to those who require special consideration, whether that be SEND or a disadvantaged context

Key Stage 4

At KS4 pupils continue their art and design education through structured and self-led projects.  Two GCSEs on offer extend their 2D and 3D knowledge and skills.  They are encouraged to take risks with their work and to further develop a range of skills through investigation and experimentation during their projects.  Pupils will study various themes enabling them to respond with personal ideas whilst using the work of others’ to guide and inspire their work’s journey.  An emphasis of self led work and independent thought allows pupils to challenge themselves during the creative design process. 

Links to curriculum maps:

Year 10

Year 11

Links to useful sites for KS4 students, parents and members of the public