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Art & Design Curriculum

Curriculum Intent 

In Art and Design at Sacred Heart, we understand that student’s artistic understanding is accumulated through a combination of experiential, tactic and explicit knowledge. The curriculum is built through a range of key concepts, continually revisited in varying and exciting contexts. At KS3, students develop their artistic voice, taking ownership over their work and creating unique artworks, acquiring an ability of self-regulate and work independently, generating original ideas and executing these with skill. 

Leading on from this at KS4, students develop their ideas to fully realise their intentions through personal selections of themes, artists, materials and processes, furthering their own individual artistic flair and expression.

KS5 are focused on fully individualised, personal and unique projects, being independent drivers of their artist endeavours to enable a smooth transition into post 18 education and Art based careers. For the last three years, all of our KS5 students have gone on to study Art at a variety of universities and colleges. Whether students choose to end their formal Art education at KS3, 4 or 5, all our young women are equipped with artistic literacy and cultural capital through their study and appreciation of a range of artists, both historical and contemporary, as well as varied and exciting artistic endeavours and experiences.

Students learn a wide range of key Art skills in materials, processes and techniques and a vocabulary to discuss, analyse and ultimately critique Art and Design. To put these skills into action, students are given a range of creative opportunities to make their own original responses and outcomes. When viewing a class of project outcomes at Sacred Heart, no two will be the same. This encourages students to experiment, take risks and develop their own unique voice and sense of self. Expressing themselves creatively and being encouraged to make deliberate and thoughtful artistic choices and decisions builds confidence, resilience and independence in our students. Students are taught the multi-faceted and individual nature of Art, so all are encouraged to contribute their opinions and thoughts, resulting in a supportive learning environment where students feel comfortable to use their voice and form a personal opinion that matters.  

All students are included and challenged within Art. Their learning incorporates a diverse range of subject matter and artists from a variety of backgrounds and contexts, with particular focus on our young women’s inner-city London context. Subject matter includes topics such as cultural heritage, personal identity, environmental issues, that builds students empathy, social awareness, sense of community and person understanding and growth, linked to the Sacred Heart Goals and Catholic context. Our Sacred Heart Art students are aware of the wide artistic scope that exists beyond the classroom to enrich their curiosity through opportunities to see Art live, involvement in internal and external competitions, extracurricular activities and links with artistic career prospects. Students are provided with interesting initiative challenges termly, offering further opportunities to deepen their understanding of topics, their own capacity to generate interesting ideas and make creative and skilful outcomes. 

  • The Elements of Art
  • Observational drawing
  • Design process to develop ideas
  • Analysis of artists, craftspeople and designers, both historical and contemporary
  • Successful handling of a variety of materials

The successful use of a wide variety of mediums and techniques for different purposes and intentions:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Print making
  • Sculpture
  • Clay
  • Colouring pencil
  • Mixed media

Modules Taught

Year 7
Year 8
Year 9

Observational Drawing Project
Developing understanding of the Elements of Art to create observational drawings using graphite

Endangered Animals Project
Developing understanding of colour theory, composition and mixed media to create a large scale artwork celebrating an endangered animal of each student's choice

Bird Sculpture Project
Developing  understanding of applying the Elements of Art to create zentangle patterns. Analysing the work of Abby Diamond to create 3D mixed media zentangle bird sculptures


Natural Forms Clay Pot Project
Developing understanding of the creative design process and taking inspiration from contemporary ceramicists to create a clay pot exploring a Natural Forms theme of each student's choice

Print Making Pattern Project
Developing understanding of the printmaking process through exploring and taking inspiration from repeated patterns of a variety of cultural traditions

Sweets Project
Developing understanding of observational painting skills through analysing and taking inspiration from the work of Sarah Graham to create large scale watercolour and oil pastel sweet compositions




Identity Portrait Project
Developing understanding of using accurate proportion, shape, form and tone to create portraits. Taking inspiration from contemporary identity artists Noni Cragg and Kehinde Wiley to create a personal identity portrait using mixed media

Abstraction Project
Developing understanding of Abstraction as a form of self-expression and taking inspiration from a range of Abstraction painters to create a large scale Abstract painting portraying an emotion of students choice


  • Summative assessment of individual projects, using the following Assessment Objectives (AO)
     AO1 Development of Ideas; AO2 Creativity; AO3 Technique
  • Three IPM assessments throughout year, linked with timing of each project completion
  • Formative assessment of in progress sketchbook and final piece creation
  • Continuous one to one verbal feedback in lessons 
  • Peer and self-assessment in lessons

Stretch & Challenge

  • Initiative challenges embedded into every project
  • Stretch and challenge activities embedded into every project
  • Outside of school gallery visits encouraged

Enrichment Opportunities

  • KS3 Art club – carousel of materials per half-term
  • Year 9 stretch club
  • Visiting artists
  • Gallery visits
  • Art competitions through the year