Art curriculum vision

We strive to deliver a highly ambitious and engaging curriculum for all of our students. This will develop students recording skills and ability to communicate their ideas. We will foster their curiosity and ambition to take their skills within our subject area to wider contexts of their life beyond the classroom. Through robust sequencing we strive to support risk taking, problem solving and creative-thinking in all learners.

Art curriculum intent

The purpose of an art education is to provide students with a broad, rich and stimulating experience; a high-quality and ambitious art and design curriculum should inspire, engage and challenge students, we want our learners to develop skills in thinking creatively in addition to mastering recording and practical skills. Through diverse learning experiences students will explore, experiment and create individual work within art and photography.

At East Leake Academy we believe that art and design is a subject that can help our students understand and give meaning to the world in which we live, providing opportunities to investigate and respond to art, craft, design and photography from a range of cultures and periods in time, helping understand the form, function and wider contexts. We have embedded looking at the work of others within all art and design and photography projects, celebrating other cultures and encouraging diversity. We develop students’ awareness of the impact of art and visual imagery on society and expect them to develop their ideas in a personal way in response to stimulating artworks.

We intend to provide a curriculum that is rich in skills and knowledge, offering experiences that are exciting and to ensure that our students combine practical skills with visual literacy, developing highly valuable and transferrable skills for future careers and life.

Through our art curriculum, students are taught not only how to use formal elements within their art work such as line, tone, colour, space, texture etc, but to also analyse how formal elements are used as communication tools to create effect. Students will experience a variety of media, techniques and processes over their studies. In key stage 3 students will develop their skills and understanding with progressive complexity and sophistication, so that they are able to make informed choices and work with increasing independence into key stages 4 and 5.

We aim to enable our students to become:

  • successful independent learners who enjoy the subject and are actively striving to reach their full potential;
  • creative thinkers who are confident and prepared to take risks through experimentation;
  • responsible citizens aware of the role they play in society and the importance of art in contributing to society.

About the Art Department

Mrs O’Hara – head of department
Mrs Filer – teacher of art
Miss Goodwin – teacher of Art
Miss Woodford – teacher of Art
Miss Barry – art and photography technician

Our art department is a lively, inspirational and enjoyable place to be.  We aim to nurture and support students in a stimulating, exciting environment and strive for all students to achieve their personal best.

We have a large, well equipped department with specialist teachers and four dedicated art rooms.  Students across the key stages are given the opportunity to produce individual, unique, personal responses to a variety of starting points, using a wide range of materials and techniques including painting, ceramics, printing and the use of information and communications technology (ICT).

We have an open door policy and students in all years are encouraged to come and work in the department at lunchtimes and after school to develop their ideas and skills further.  We also run an art club for our most talented year 9 students.

Artwork is displayed throughout the school, clearly demonstrating the high quality of work produced and we run whole school competitions, providing every opportunity to get involved, get creative and have fun!

At the end of each year there is a spectacular exhibition to celebrate the achievements of our students examination work.  Students and parents are invited to attend the end of year show in an open viewing evening.

Content by year group

Students have one lesson of art and design per week in years 7, 8 and 9 working on three projects a year.

The schemes of work introduce students to drawing, painting, mixed media techniques, ceramics, printing and exploring the work of other artists. Throughout the course we build on these techniques and aim to improve skills and understanding to prepare students to undertake further study at key stage 4. We set regular, purposeful homework to support each scheme of work. Students work in sketchbooks and are expected to have these in every lesson.


Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Line – explore mark-making and texture, record observations and create expressive and abstract line work. Portrait – learn facial proportions and apply these to self-portrait drawings.  Consider how artists have represented themselves in self-portraits, explore “identity” through art. Surrealism – investigate work by Dali and Magritte, understand Surreal concepts and apply these to imaginative work.  Learn how to create depth through perspective drawing.
Tone – develop shading techniques, create tone with a range of materials and produce a 3D effect with tone. Mask – investigate masks from different cultures. Design and make a papier mache mask. Lettering – research “Illuminated Lettering” and create decorative lettering designs. Make a clay letter.
Colour – learn colour theory and the mixing of colours, explore hot/cold colour. Figure – learn proportions in human figure.  Create art work showing figures in motion. Op Art – explore techniques used to create optical illusions.


Examining board: OCR
Contact: Mrs H O’Hara  |

Art and design continues to be a very popular option at GCSE and the department is very proud of our consistently excellent results. Students have three periods of art and design every week. We follow the OCR examining board certification.

We begin with a skills based project. This unit provides students with an opportunity to be introduced to a range of materials and techniques and to extend their skills in all areas of the subject. The assessed unit of work is based on images from natural form. In the final GCSE exam, students have a choice of starting points provided by OCR.


Portfolio of coursework (60%) and externally set project (40%).

Unit 1: Portfolio of work on the theme of the natural form. The portfolio must show evidence of four objectives:

  • investigations into the work of artists, taking inspiration to develop ideas in individual work;
  • drawings from observations, showing originality of ideas using relevant materials;
  • experimentation with a wide variety of materials and techniques, evaluating own work as it progresses; and
  • produce a final piece of work which links the above objectives together and also refers to the work of other artists.

Unit 2: Externally set project

After making a choice from one of the given starting points, students must respond by producing a body of work similar to their portfolio which must again show evidence of coverage of all four objectives.