St Bees School

KS3 Art & Design

KS3 Art & Design

Art & Design

Course Overview

Art and Design at Key Stage 3 (KS3) introduces students to a platform in which to express themselves, developing their imagination, creativity and other transferable skills.

Students are encouraged to explore and push boundaries to become reflective, critical and decisive thinkers. They learn how to articulate personal responses to their experiences and to think about how their artistic development will support them throughout all areas of their education

What Students Will Learn

Year 7

During Art lessons in Year 7, students are introduced to having fun with a wide variety of skills and techniques. We encourage the use of artists as a means to investigate and experiment.

The aim of the first part of the year is to assist the students in their Art understanding and to encourage them to try new techniques, or build upon existing skills. Time is taken at the start of the year to encourage experimentation and participation, whilst also developing key skills to assist with developing a body of work.

The students will work on an Induction Project throughout the Autumn and Spring Terms to develop their skills in different techniques. These skills link in with the Assessment Objectives used throughout all key Stages recording; explore and select, investigation and personal responses.

The students are introduced to the Visual Elements during the project:

  • Line
  • Shape
  • Colour
  • Pattern
  • Form
  • Tone and
  • Texture.

We use these as a vehicle to develop language and range of skills. Emphasis is placed upon line through drawing as a means of recording in a variety of media. Colour and Pattern are also used through different paint techniques and printing. Students investigate Form, Shape and Texture with 3D work and at the end of the project. Students have more of an understanding of the range and scope of artistic techniques.

The final term gives the students the opportunity to combine the skills developed throughout the year. Students will be expected to be more selective and independent and have more understanding of the properties of materials. The students should have gained more confidence and be able to organise their work into a sketchbook that documents their learning.

Year 7 develops the building blocks for the Art and Design curriculum. Those who are less confident will have found a material that they enjoy and understand how to design effectively. Other students will have a firm grounding to build upon throughout their time at St Bees.

Year 8

The Year 8 Art and Design Curriculum is designed to develop experiences and to build upon the basic skills underpinned in year 7. More independent work is encouraged and the students are able to take more creative risks.

Students will still use their sketchbook to document learning but will be encouraged to be more experimental with their approach. Emphasis is placed upon reviewing their learning and documenting their developments, both in visual and written forms.

Throughout the year students will be introduced to the individual components or Assessment Objectives – similar to the IGCSE. They will be encouraged to reflect upon their relative strengths in each area and also consider areas that may need development. They will be expected to focus upon improving these whilst still excelling in their favourite areas.

 The year 8 curriculum has been also been designed to enhance the technical skills of the students with an emphasis upon drawing. The initial project looks at the environment around the students, from school to home, and gives them the opportunity to gather information in the form of drawings. Artists like Stephen Wiltshire and Dennis Creffield are used to encourage drawing and mark making. These drawings are later developed using design skills and imagination to create effective abstract compositions, learning about the Art of the early Twentieth Century that help to develop their acrylic painting skills.

In the summer and spring students will build upon their use of media and develop work in clay and printmaking. More time is given to ensure that students can try a variety of media, including computer-based Art. Work is generally larger and more expansive with new or unfamiliar media used. The students will work on at least 2 projects throughout the year, but a variety of techniques are introduced that may be unfamiliar and will help to build skills and experience. This means that the students are beginning to reflect upon the type of artist that they would like to be and identify their areas of strength.

By the end of Year 8 students should have more understanding of different media and be able to be more selective when creating individual art.

Year 9

The Year 9 Art and Design Curriculum is reflective and designed to challenge students with ideas and concepts. Students are expected to be much more independent and to justify their selections when creating. Again, students use a sketchbook to document their learning, but more extensive use of folders and multimedia is encouraged.

We use the Assessment Objectives extensively throughout Year 9 and use the year to build upon practise, just as a Key Stage 4 student would. All students will work with independence and growing control to build exciting and individual work. If a student decides not to choose IGCSE Art in year 10 then skills such as time management, planning, visual literacy and problem-solving can all be used in further areas of study or general life. If a student selects to choose IGCSE Art then Year 9 acts as an opportunity to create work in the same way, with independent work encouraged.

The Year 9 curriculum has been designed to develop the students’ own artistic interests. The assessment objectives are used extensively throughout year 9 and students are encouraged to build upon knowledge and skills gained in years 7 and 8.


Students will investigate the street art and message-based Art of artists such as Shepard Fairey. This popular project enables students to create bold images that develop their understanding of layering and composition. We begin the project with the opportunity to engage with drawing as a means of expression before using digital art to create the structure of their designs. The project gives students the chance to push themselves and their confidence in a variety of means and create an effective image.

Later in the year Students have will investigate a variety of different artists and techniques. This aids them with their understanding of their own skill base, using their sketchbooks to investigate and explore techniques built around drawing and painting. Artists are used to aid their development and they will use the work created to make informed choices on their next project.

By the end of Year 9 students will be adept artists who can discuss imagery and create work independently. The work that they produce should be a culmination of their developing skills, as well as a lot of fun.

How you will be AssessedThe Assessment Objectives (AOs) used throughout key Stages 3 and 4 of:

· AO1: recording

· AO2: explore and select

· AO3 investigation,

· AO4 personal responses

Pathways to Further Learning

The study of Art and Design in KS3 gives students a taste for creativity and allows them to explore their imagination and creative skills such as drawing, painting, photography and more.

It's a fantastic introduction to art and will lay the foundations for those looking to study the subject at a higher level at IGCSE or AS/A Level.