Poole Grammar School, Gravel Hill, Poole, Dorset, BH17 9JU | Tel: 01202 692132 | Email: pgsoffice@poolegrammar.com
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Art Curriculum Overview Statement

The Art curriculum at Poole Grammar School has three elements:

1) Intent: What do we learn?

2) Implementation: How do we learn it?

3) Impact: How do we know we have been successful?


Art is taught in Years 7-13 at Poole Grammar School. All lessons are taught by experienced subject specialists whose specialisms are fine art (drawing and painting) and photography. Students study Art through years 7-9, and beyond this they may opt to take Art at GCSE level through years 9-10, and again may opt to study at A Level through years 12-13.

Art as a subject has the potential to broaden perception, enhance and develop motor skills, capture and encourage imagination, and develop awareness of the physical world, in interpretation of colour, light and form through visual perception.

Visual Language and Practical Skills

The subject of Art involves many strands of learning. Through Key Stage 3 practical skills are taught year on year within a framework that builds confidence and ability in drawing, painting, printmaking, animation and clay modelling, through practical exercises within a themed project, which will be relevant to the theme of the year.


Creativity is a profoundly relevant area of work in Art, aiming to explore and investigate through different themes and media. Creativity belongs everywhere, not just in art, and the ability to develop ideas independently and in partnership with others is an opportunity to expand the individual range of thinking and develop self-expression through visual language.

Project work at all levels of KS3 will involve some area of creative challenge with various media to enhance and develop practical skills with individual intent.

At KS4 and 5 the individual embarks on a journey of creativity that is explored and developed through an increasing level of expertise in employing media and using visual language. Through carefully structured project work whose starting point is initiated by the student’s own personal response, the student takes a high level of responsibility for their own learning.

This independent ability to research and willingness to explore possibilities, through growing confidence in practical skills and understanding of the formal elements in art, is the aim of the curriculum for all students.


Which topics are studied and why?

What strategies are used to deliver the curriculum?

How is the curriculum coherent?

How do you know that the curriculum is well-delivered?

In year 7 students will first develop practical skills, with the opportunity to develop creative ideas within project work such as animation. Observational skills are the focus in Year 8, along with some creative freedom in composition, and first work in abstraction. In Year 9 the students are challenged by learning to see and depict the proportions of the human body, and proportions and techniques in portraiture.

Group critiques, one to one tutoring and individualised project work with specific chosen subject matter is how students at Key Stage 4 and 5 develop their artwork. They respond to the world of art and design, and work through the stages of development that are requirements of the GCSE examination (Assessment Objectives).

Key Stage 3 Themes:

Year 7: Colour and Shape; symmetry and structure

Year 8: Still Life; the object

Year 9: Bodies; human figure and portrait

Year 7

1: Colour Wheel

2: Animation

3: African Masks/Egyptian Gods

4: Buddhist Mandalas

5: Artists’ Styles/Architectural Styles

6: Javanese Puppets/Animal Ceramic Tiles

Year 8 

1: The Object Drawing

2: Mixed Media Drawing

3: Animation

4: Painted Peppers

5: Cubist Style

6: 3D Modelling

Year 9

1: Proportions

2: Vitruvian Man

3: World View/Guernica

4: Four figure sheet; Abstraction

5: Self Portrait

6: Figure in Action

Key Stage 4 Years 10-11: The GCSE course structure involves some group work and an individualised focus for study:

Year 10:

1: Introduction. Still Life Drawing & Still Life Artists

2: Choosing a Theme: Collecting Information

3: Developing Skills and Ideas (mixed media)

4: Coursework Painting 1 (composition and drawing)

5: Coursework Painting 2 (colour mixing & painting)/A New Perspective Project

6: Alternative Medium (Printmaking/Ceramic/3D/New Media)

Year 11:

  1. Completion of ‘A New Perspective’
  2. Coursework Unit (The Mock Examination)
  3. Externally Set Assignment (the GCSE Art Examination)

Key Stage 5 Years 12-13:

A Level course structure involves group work and an individualised focus for study.

Year 12:

1: Introduction. Exploring Ideas

2: Unit 1. Personal Investigation: ‘Series’ Coursework

3: Unit 2. Set Assignment: The Mock Examination

4: The Critical Study

Year 13:

1: Unit 3. Personal Investigation: Coursework & Critical Study

2: Unit 4. Externally Set Assignment


The way Art is taught at Poole Grammar School ensures that all students have the opportunity to develop creative and practical skills and that learning is challenging, well-pitched and enjoyable. We believe that all students should have access to the world of art and design, to inform, to enrich and to broaden their knowledge of culture, as well as allowing them to create.

When they leave the school this element of their education will encourage an open awareness   and appreciation of both eastern and western culture, and confidence in creative thinking.

By the end of Key Stage 3, students will have knowledge of colour relationships, have had good working practice in using watercolours, and will have learned how to construct a precise drawing using measurement and symmetry. They will have gained some practice in constructing a three dimensional image, and will have learned techniques and strategies in making a drawn animation, working in partnership with another student. They will have good practice in direct observational drawing, creative composition using collage, developing abstraction and clay modelling/printmaking. They will have learned about the proportions of the human figure and techniques in drawing portrait.

They will also have learned about artists’ styles, some art historical knowledge related to class work, and aspects of cultural tradition in making.

By the end of Key Stage 4, students will be able to independently research the artists and art movements that inform their own developing practice, and to record their findings and responses with awareness of context. They will have knowledge and practice of the formal elements in art; line, shape, form, tone, texture, pattern, colour and composition. They will have explored different media in making art, chosen their subject matter and developed their visual language through investigating and combining the formal elements. They will be able to demonstrate their knowledge and ideas in group critiques, and in accompanying notes and diary entries.

By the end of Key Stage 5, students will have in-depth knowledge of chosen artists/art movements that inform their practice, and will have developed creative responses with awareness of art history and context. They will have refined techniques and processes in making, with a high level of competency in combining the formal elements. They will have engaged in a highly independent, creative response to starting points that have been given as broad themes for coursework units and examination titles.