Art and Design education at Woodroffe includes a variety of practical skills-based learning opportunities as well as developing an understanding of the contextual background to the subject in its many forms. The department is equipped with a broad range of printmaking facilities, three new etching presses, a Mac suite, a specialist ceramics space (including two Kilns), a chemical darkroom and access to a range of DT tools. Whilst drawing and painting is at the heart of our curriculum, the department delivers a variety of additional courses at KS4 and beyond including Graphics and Photography.

In Year 7 students engage in a range of drawing, making and painting tasks, designed to help them learn the key skills in the subject which go on into Year 8 to include using professional craft tools and materials for printmaking. In Year 9, students are introduced to the digital skills that they will need to develop as designers and explore graphics projects that develop their understanding of Adobe’s creative suite. This KS3 platform provides the basis for students to approach our KS4 & 5 curriculum with confidence, the details of which can be found in the sections headings of this webpage.

Year 7

Students follow a broad Art and Design curriculum involving drawing, painting, designing and making, contextual studies and analytical thinking.

Year 8

Year 8 students continue to study Art and Design broadly looking first at Russian design icons through the history of the Tsars and artwork like the Imperial Faberge eggs. They look at the origins of the print press and the impact it had on western society and also the role that Japanese printmaking had on western Art in the 19th Century, exploring the techniques used in practical printmaking tasks. Impressionism is studied in Year 8 and compliments the French department’s visit to Giverny where students will encounter both Monet’s artwork and also his collection of Japanese prints by Artists like Hiroshige and Hokusai.

Year 9

Students engage for the first time in more complex digital creative tasks. We use Mexico as the theme for much of the year and students will study Aztec art as well as examining the historical role that Spanish colonialism had in shaping the artwork of Mexico in recent centuries, particularly in relation to the Day of the Dead festivities. Artists like Joes Posada and Artemio Rodriguez provide the stylistic inspiration for many of the outcomes in Year 9. Students learn how to use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create paper craft characters and also study the artwork that underpins the world of Mexican wrestling! We also do a cross curricular project with English in which Year 9 poems are illustrated digitally.

Years 10 & 11

Students will to decide to do either Art or Graphics. Both GCSE’s work in the same way in that they are 60% coursework and 40% exam. The assessment objectives are identical and the course structure is the same. We run an annual KS4 trip to London and other Art visits and projects when time/funding allows. In our KS4 curriculum we are trying to nurture more independence of thought from our students.

Both Art and Graphics have drawing and design at their core but in Graphics the emphasis is on digital skills, like Photography or animation, where as in Art the emphasis is on the tactile, like ceramics and painting. In both instances we go into more detail in terms of techniques and materials and present more open ended projects where students are encouraged to develop their own ideas in response to simple, often one-word, questions.

Years 12 & 13

Students who have passed a GCSE in Art or Graphics at ‘B’ grade are automatically eligible to proceed into KS5 Art, Graphics or Photography. C grade passes at GCSE are considered for sixth form Art courses depending on other results. Art is an essential subject to study if you intend to go into the highly profitable art industries as a career.

“Accounting for 1.7m jobs, contributing 5% of gross value added (GVA) to UK GDP and exporting £17.3bn annually (9% of total service exports), the creative sector outperforms the rest of the UK economy in both growth and job creation.”

Source: The Guardian

In the Sixth Form students on any one of the Art courses are eligible for the educational visits. Every other year we propose an international visit and as an addition we do a domestic excursion (this year was St. Ives). All three courses are designed to be a great foundation for further study in the Arts and to equip our students with the technique, material and conceptual understanding necessary to comfortably make the jump to university courses or the workplace.

Mr Vine
Head of Art
Mrs Bowskill
Mr Greenhough
Head of Year
Mrs Harahan
 Miss Mafusire