Art at KS3

We see it as our responsibility to improve students’ skills and confidence and to open their eyes generally to the wider world of art. This is achieved through building up a framework of the formal elements of art; line, tone, form, colour and perspective, from which students start to express themselves visually. In Year 8 we are able to build upon the foundation skills acquired in Year 7. Students continue to develop technical key skills whilst exploring a major art movement. In Year 9 we feel that students’ technical knowledge and understanding are developed enough to tackle one of Fine Arts’ more difficult disciplines, the human form. Students study this theme by working in 2D and 3D materials. By the time our students reach the end of KS3 we hope to have provided them with the skills, knowledge and understanding to be able to confidently begin a GCSE Art and Design course.

For those students that don’t choose to pursue Art and design at KS4 we feel positive that the students that have come though our art department are better creative thinkers and that, through the arts, they have learned to observe, interpret, see different perspectives, analyse, and synthesise. We also hope that through art education, they have developed a culture of innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit showing greater flexibility and adaptability in thinking.

Key topics covered in Year 7

Students in Year 7 are introduced to key formal elements and techniques through a range of projects. Each project is designed to build a foundation of skills that could be transferred to future projects to aid them in continued progress. Students are also introduced to Art of other cultures and can begin to compare and combine western with non-western art.

  • Tone and form
  • Perspective
  • Colour and shape
  • Art of other cultures
  • Portraiture

Key topics covered in Year 8

Art in Year 8 builds further on what the students have learnt in Year 7. Students explore, in more depth, the work of key Artists from two major Art movements. Students use skills, knowledge and understanding to work through processes that encourage creative thinking, risk-taking and build confidence. They work in two and three dimensions and produce analytical, semi-abstract and abstract work with a wide range of materials and techniques.

  • The Cubist Art movement
  • Still life
  • Pop Art sculpture
  • Mark making

Key topics covered in Year 9

In Year 9 students study the figure in motion. This combines the discipline of figure drawing with the conceptual elements of movement. Students further their exploration of materials and techniques, two and three dimensions and contemporary and historical Artists. Students are taken through the processes of recording from observation, developing their work in response to other artists, refining their ideas through exploration of materials and presenting their ideas as a final outcome.

  • The human form
GCSE in Art & Design

Why study this subject?

Art enhances fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, problem solving skills, lateral thinking, complex analysis and critical thinking skills. No matter what career you choose, those who can arrange, present and display material in a way that is aesthetically pleasing have an advantage.

What will I learn?

Throughout the course you will learn how to develop and improve your skills of recording from ‘direct observation’; this means producing good quality sketches, paintings, photographs etc. from things that are directly in front of you. You will develop control of a wide range of materials and techniques and be encouraged to explore interesting combinations of processes including collage, printing, ‘mixed-media’ and sculpture. Investigating the work of other artists is also a key element of the course and you will use what you learn to inspire your own practical work. The skills of researching and developing ideas underpin learning throughout the course and you will work independently to explore and develop creative outcomes.

How will I be assessed?

There are 4 Assessment Objectives to be met through your Portfolio, which carries 60% of your final mark and an Externally Set Task which carries 40%. The Externally Set Task consists of a period of preparation time followed by the opportunity to produce a ‘final piece’ over a 2 day period. You will receive regular feedback so that you always know exactly what grade you are working at.

What qualifications will I get at the end of the course?

GCSE in Art & Design at a grade that reflects your work ethic and commitment.

What can this qualification lead to afterwards?

While you might have heard that becoming an architect, fine artist, sculptor, gallery assistant, graphic designer, photographer, fashion designer, industrial designer or worker in media or theatre is an option for those who study Art or Design, there are many other careers available for those who are able to envision, design and create beautiful things. Whether you love photography, sculpture, digital art, painting or any other art-related speciality, career options are limited only by your imagination. Art education propels people towards creative and unexpected destinations – many of which have not even been discovered yet.

Post-16 Progression

A-Level Art is an exciting and challenging course open to students who have achieved well at GCSE. Students are supported to explore and develop their ideas independently to produce a strong portfolio of work which will support applications to number of degree courses in areas such as Fine Art, Photography and Architecture. For students that are less sure about their chosen field, the pre- degree foundation in Art & Design is also a popular option.

Where can I find out more about this qualification?

Mr Jessett or Mrs Benson will be happy to tell you all about the course and what it entails in more detail so feel free to pop in and see them in rooms 204/205. Alternatively, you can have a look at the Art and Design specification at:

Some students have opted to continue with clay work that they started in our Impossible Friday Art Club. For this we took inspiration from the arrival of Bear078 and worked from imagery of Sun bears. As well as that we have had a session where we produced self-portraits, but as is the nature of Impossible Friday, we drew our reflections whilst looking into spoons. We have also had a session where we had the challenge of sitting at a table, placing paper in front of us and then drawing our legs as though we could see through the table. If any students or staff are interested in attending either of our Art Clubs on Thursdays or Fridays then please pop into room 204 and speak to Mr Jessett, we’d be happy to have you.

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    Our Art Clubs are enormous fun at the moment with students working on a few different projects simultaneously. Numbers are growing every week with our Thursday Young KESH Artists Club in excess of seventeen students in recent weeks. The main project that the students have been working on is a precursor to us working on our large House Sculptures. They have created small wire figure sculptures that the young artists have then covered with plaster bandage and are at the stage of painting designs on their work.

    The Great KESH House Sculpture Challenge is at a very exciting stage. In case you don’t know, this is an ambitious project led by the Art department where students have created four life sized figure sculptures using wire, plaster bandage and papier mache. The figures have then been offered up to the students at KESH Academy who have voted for which sculpture they would like to represent their House. The votes are in and now the next stage will be for students to create fantastic designs for their own House Sculpture using a design template. Our own Young KESH Artists’ Club will choose winning designs for each House. They will then transfer the designs onto the large figures. Once completed, the sculptures will be varnished and installed around the Academy grounds.

    Year 8 have recently completed a project named Objects and viewpoints. For this they learnt about Cubism and worked towards producing a piece inspired by this movement. The students used mixed media in their creations. This included paint, collage and pen. The work shows the concepts, angles, edges and shapes that made Cubism one of the most important Art movements in history. We were so impressed by the outcomes they produced that we wanted to share them with you. I would anticipate some very successful GCSE Art students appearing in the near future.

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