Art and Design

Welcome to the SSHS Art page. We are a multi-discipline department giving as many 2D and 3D opportunities to our students as possible and are always welcome to new ideas. Our aims and ethos is outlined below. You will find department updates on our Facebook page.

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The aim of teaching Art is not exclusively to train specialists but one of which the student shapes their personality and helps them make more sense of their experience, develops initiative, self-discipline and an enquiring mind. Art is a subject that demands active participation and helps fulfil individual potential.

Art and Design offers the opportunity to communicate, to investigate, to experiment and to express ideas and feelings in visual and tactile form. It comprises a language which complements those of numeracy, literacy, scientific and factually-based subjects. It is concerned with the development and exploration of the complexities of visual perception and aesthetic experience. It also allows the development of strategies to solve problems, to discriminate and make informed and considered judgements.

Art and Design are separate, but essentially inter-related, activities with many overlaps. Problem-solving is common to both. Art and Design foster practical, technical, observational, analytical and manipulative skills, as well as being a vehicle for personal expression and imagination, perception and sensitivity, conceptual thinking. Theoretical, spiritual, philosophical and aesthetic consideration and decision-making are based upon direct experience.

“It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world” — John Berger.

KS3 Art and Design

The KS3 course conforms to, and is structured around, the National Curriculum guidelines for Art and Design, the Bailiwick curriculum and the specific aims and objectives of the KS3 course are the same as those for the examination syllabuses.

Additional specific (and broadly equal) aims of the KS3 School course are:-

  1. To enable pupils to experience, and to create work, using a variety of different materials and techniques, and to develop critical judgement. To build upon the practices of drawing, painting, printmaking and three-dimensional work, as a visual language.
  2. To learn and acquire a range of skills – manipulative, technical, analytical and perceptual; to learn to concentrate.
  3. To introduce pupils to basic procedures such as the getting out of equipment, how to care for, and maintain equipment, how to clear away properly and safely and to promote an awareness of health and safety issues as appropriate
  4. To advise pupils on the standard of work, attitude to work and behavior expected and to maintain that high standard.
  5. To explain the use of visual resource, and contextual, material, to encourage co-operation in looking after these and contributing towards them if possible.
  6.  To develop visual awareness through first-hand experience and to develop skills of looking, selection, identification, analysis, comparison and evaluation.
  7. To provide a variety of learning situations.
  8. To enable pupils to make a personal response to their own experiences, environment and culture and to have the opportunity of making an appropriate response according to their own individual levels of ability.
  9. To enable pupils to develop at their own pace, to develop and further their own abilities, interests and talent to full potential.
  10. The key aim which encompasses the above is to develop pupils’ understanding, participation in and enjoyment of the visual language of Art and Design.

The aim of the course during the first three years is to develop a range of basic skills, a relevant vocabulary and fundamental level of visual literacy. These provide a base or foundation from which the student can go on to develop a more personal response to the visual world and explore, examine and communicate ideas or concepts which are concerned with the individual’s relationship with the three-dimensional world in which he/she lives.

This course aims to provide a foundation of skills and practical experience in using materials, techniques and processes from which students are then able to opt for a G.C.S.E. level course in Art, if desired.

Those students who do not elect to follow an examination course will, nevertheless, have had a thorough grounding in the basic skills and approaches to Art that will continue to be of value to them.

As a department, we offer the opportunity to follow a broad -based course in Art and Design. During the first three years we aim to develop a range of basic skills, a vocabulary which is relevant to the subject and a fundamental level of visual literacy.

Pupils will have the opportunity to work in a variety of media, such as paint, collage, pastel, clay, print, textiles as well as exploring line, tone, texture and colour. Class projects will encourage students to look at, discuss and compare works of art from different periods and cultures, in order to foster skills of analysis, comparison and critical judgment.

We aim to make the Art Room exciting, visually. There are also examples of students’ work on the walls, with other pieces on display in the corridors.

GCSE Art and Design

We follow the broad based Art and Design GCSE syllabus, which encompasses work from a wide area of study and gives pupils the opportunity to continue to work in a variety of media.

This GCSE course is very flexible, allowing students increasing opportunities to work independently and to develop their maximum individual potential.

The GCSE course also encourages students to undertake their own research and to develop their own ideas and responses. This is an excellent basis for those wishing to continue to further study at A/S, A2 Level and FE Art courses, where the emphasis is upon the further development of a more personal style.

The Art area is open several times each week, during the lunch-hour and after school. This benefits students by enabling them to undertake extra work or to use processes that they could not use at home.  The availability of the rooms means that students can enrich their folders by spending extra time within a specialist environment, and with access to staff expertise and advice.

There is also a twice weekly “twilight” session from 3.00 to 4.30 pm for those students in year 10 and 11.

The Art Rooms have a set of IPADs, whiteboards, digital cameras and a printer. Pupils are encouraged to integrate the use of the computer into their work. This can be done by using drawings or photographs for example, and then manipulating them digitally in various ways. We encourage students to take their own photographs to record primary source material to support the work they undertake in class.

Computers are very useful for exploring a range of options or ideas, allowing colours, textures and scale to be changed quickly and easily. The facility to manipulate images is exciting and offers opportunities for creativity; these images are often then developed further by reinterpreting them in traditional media.



General Learning Objectives;

  • To develop visual literacy
  • To develop critical judgment: to understand the contribution of contextual studies to enrich and inform personal work.
  • To be able to make informed connections with the work of others from a variety of periods and cultures
  • To make considered, independent decisions/choices/judgments
  • To develop observational and analytical skills; skills in problem-solving
  • To practice and to develop practical skills in using a variety of materials; to develop technical competence
  • To explore and compose the visual elements – form, pattern, tone, texture, line etc.
  • To acquire an understanding of colour – mixing, blending, harmonies, contrasts etc.
  • To acquire, and to understand and to use the specialist vocabulary of Art and Design
  • To develop the ability to concentrate and to persevere
  • To develop the ability to evaluate and to review own work; to forward plan, to develop effective time-management skills
  • To organise own materials / to share resources co-operatively
  • To make considered, independent decisions/choices/judgments
  • To develop self-belief and self-confidence