Skip to content ↓


subject OVERVIEW

In Art and Design learners  focus on the formal elements of art and some basic principles of design; the building blocks of art.  They look at how the elements and principles are used in famous historical artworks and how these can be applied to their own work.

Learners are encouraged to develop their understanding of art through the analysis of their work and the work of others.  They learn to use specialist art vocabulary in order to explain their work and ideas.

Planned visits to galleries and other venues help to widen the experiences of learners and also provides contextual stimulus for the development of their own work and ideas.

Learners also learn about career opportunities within the creative industries and the contributions of those industries to the UK economy.

unit overview - autumn term 

Subject: Formal Elements


  • Use a ruler accurately and produce a grid.
  • To be able to blend and mix colours.
  • To develop, through experimentation, appropriate use of the formal elements.
  • Tonal shading techniques.
  • Produce primary source observational work.
  • Use of specialist art vocabulary.


  • Recognise and name the formal elements: Line, Shape, Form, Tone, Texture, Pattern and Colour.
  • Recognise Primary, Secondary, Complementary and Tertiary colours.
  • Understand colour relationships.
  •  Understanding of refraction.
  • Understanding of reflection.
  • Understanding of distortion.
  • Understand the colour theory of Isaac Newton.
  • Understand the colour theory of Johannes Ittens.
  • Able to use a colour wheel to identify colour relationships.
  •  Techniques of tonal shading.
  • Use of art materials
  • Health and Safety in the classroom.



  • Learners will require an understanding of the formal elements in order to make progress with their work and ideas.
  • Repetition of techniques develops skills and confidence.
  • Specialist Art vocabulary is developed through understanding and use of the Formal Elements.
  • The symbolism associated with colour permeates many aspects of modern life.  An understanding of these will have a beneficial effect on all aspects of academic and social activities.

Unit overview  - spring term                                                                             

Subject: Observational


  • To be able to draw objects from direct observation.
  • To develop studies using aspects of the formal elements.
  • Accuracy of mark making.
  • Develop drawing and painting proficiency.
  • Use of art materials.


  • Understand Scale and proportion
  • Application of tonal shading techniques
  • Able to identify Primary source materials
  • Able to identify Secondary source materials
  • Understanding of allegory.
  • Understanding of symbolism.


  • The selection of materials for observational studies can inform the work and learners have to learn to make appropriate choices according to their intentions.
  • Different skills need to be used to develop the work
  • The development of observational skills is continuous and incremental in nature.
  • Repetition of observational skills leads to more defined skills and an awareness of the possibilities of mark making.
  • The ability to de-code messages, or to relay your own messages subtlety, can be useful in everyday life.  Knowing that objects can have symbolic meanings, can help to develop a deeper understanding of themes and topics within the curriculum.


unit overview - summer term 

Subject: Super Hero


  • To be able to draw the human figure
  • To develop understanding of design protocols
  • Creative writing
  • Use of specialist art vocabulary
  • Complete Final Piece, from initial ideas.


  • The proportions of the human body
  • Convention of comic cover designs
  • Understanding of primary sources
  • Understanding of Secondary sources
  • Compositional rules.
  • Health and Safety in the classroom.


  • The human figure is explored  through the development of the superhero character.
  • From secondary and primary sources learners create studies of the figure, face, and hands and amalgamate these to produce an original character.
  • This allows for further development of the skills acquired in term 1.
  • The ability to merge primary source material with imagination, forms the basis of creative practise in art.


knowledge OrganiserS

A knowledge organiser is an important document that lists the important facts that learners should know by the end of a unit of work. It is important that learners can recall these facts easily, so that when they are answering challenging questions in their assessments and GCSE and A-Level exams, they are not wasting precious time in exams focusing on remembering simple facts, but making complex arguments, and calculations.

We encourage all pupils to use them by doing the following:

  • Quiz themselves at home, using the read, write, cover, check method.
  • Practise spelling key vocabulary
  • Further researching people, events and processes most relevant to the unit.