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Art and Design

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artistpablo picasso

Our Art and Design curriculum is designed to develop confidence in our students that comes from possessing a store of essential knowledge and understanding about art, craft and design. Success in art and design education derives from deep and well-rehearsed knowledge of formal elements, materials, technique and context. 

The curriculum embodies three main strands: technical proficiency, contextual understanding and appreciation and creative ownership. In Art and Design students are primarily taught to develop their technical proficiency in a wide and varied range of materials, media, techniques and processes. Each year students will be explicitly taught a range of 2D and 3D processes and techniques. The formal elements and subject specific vocabulary are embedded into each unit of study and revisited throughout the programme of study. Each unit of study also builds students’ knowledge and understanding of artists, art movements and art history enabling students to have a wider contextual appreciation of art, craft and design. We make links to current social affairs where possible so students can see how the arts contribute to the culture, creativity and voice of the people. Through building knowledge we believe students acquire a sense of creative ownership of their work and this provides learners with a greater ability to be in command of their self-expression and to create their own works of art, craft and design.


In Year 7 we begin with an introduction to Art and Design - the basics. Students will learn pencil control, grips and pressure, proportion and tone. We then explore the topics ‘Expressionism’, ‘Mark making’ and ‘Nature’.  

Year 8 builds upon the technical knowledge acquired in Year7 in drawing, painting and ceramics by studying units on ‘Food’, ‘Perspective and the Built environment,’ ‘Anatomy’ and ‘Surrealism.’  

In Year 9 we explore Portraiture: observe and sculpt, Pop Art and Street Art and Propaganda. 


At Key Stage 4 students embark on a project entitled ‘Organic Structures’, primarily a 3D project in which students examine and explore how natural forms have inspired the world of art, craft and design for years. In Year 11 students have the theme of ‘Expression and Identity’ as a starting point, heavily focussed on self-portraiture and 2D outcomes. 

The programme of study has been sequenced in this way to ensure that in each year there are opportunities to build upon students’ knowledge and understanding of the formal elements, technical proficiency in a range of materials and processes and contextual understanding of artists, craftspeople and designers.  

We encourage our students to develop their learning beyond the classroom with trips to London landmarks such as the National Portrait Gallery and Natural History Museum. We participate annually in the University of East London East London schools exhibition and other local community events.