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South Wigston High School

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Learning without Limits Academy Trust

Art & Design

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The Art and Design department at South Wigston High School aims to provide a curriculum that allows students to be expressive, whilst developing skills in a wide range of different media. This includes fine art, graphic design and textiles. We encourage pupils to explore visual and tactile outcomes whilst communicating their ideas based around a yearly department theme. We encourage and nurture an interest in the arts.

Students work with traditional techniques and materials as well as with new media. We strive to develop confidence, competence, imagination and creativity. Students learn to appreciate and value images and artefacts across times and cultures, and to understand the contexts in which they were made. We encourage students to research a range of historic and contemporary artists from a variety of fields.

Intent of Curriculum

Our goal within Art and Design is to develop skilled and passionate artists across different specialisms.  We aim to do this first by giving the visual literacy to be able to effectively communicate their own ideas as they progress on their creative journey through South Wigston and beyond.

Students are exposed to a range of practitioners, materials and techniques working with a range of contexts and themes to help excite and inspire the student’s creativity. Cultural capital at South Wigston is supported by our department through the study of a variety of practitioners of different backgrounds, experiences and expertise.

Continually building on the student’s visual literacy, we develop a continually deeper understanding and appreciation of the arts through the engagement of these practitioners and their working practices.

The sequence of the curriculum is designed for students to gain deeper understanding of prior knowledge and continually revisit skills and to build on them as the students’ progress through South Wigston.  We are preparing the students to be able to fully realise their intentions when developing their own work and to be ready for the next step in their artistic journey after South Wigston.

Implementation of the Curriculum

We in the Art Department have planned a highly ambitious and aspirational curriculum that helps to cement the students' visual literacy.  Our approach allows students to have a solid understanding of visual language and make sophisticated connections by working across the different specialisms that we offer. We nurture an in-depth critical understanding of the arts by introducing students to a wide range of artists and practitioners.  

Art KS3 2023/24

Students receive one hour of art each week covering the topics detailed below.


Design Technology Rotation

As part of providing students a rich experience of creative and practical work, the students also have a design lesson once a week. Within this session, the KS3 students rotate every 9 weeks between the following specialisms:

  • Graphic Design
  • Textiles
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Print Making

KS4 Art and Design

 GCSE Art and Design is a popular option across our specialisms. We offer:

  • GCSE Art and Design: Fine Art
  • GCSE Art and Design: Textiles
  • GCSE Art and Design: Photography
  • GCSE Art and Design: Graphic Communication

GCSE Art is structured into two parts: Portfolio 60% and Externally Set Task 40%. 

OCR Art and Design helps students develop knowledge, skills and understanding to enable them to express their creativity and imagination through responses to visual and written stimuli.

Portfolio: 60%

Coursework consists of two or more projects based on chosen themes.  Students will have the opportunity to experiment with different media, from collage to acrylic, printing to watercolour.  Years 9 and 10 will involve plenty of experimenting and developing skills, whilst Year 11 will focus more on their strongest areas.

Within their portfolio student will need to demonstrate:

  • Research skills by gathering images, taking photos, and drawing from observation.
  • Analytical skills - students will learn how to analyse artwork to gain a better understanding of art practices to help them develop their own ideas.
  • Ability to develop ideas by experimenting with a variety of materials, process and techniques.
  • Ability to realise intentions by producing outcomes.  Outcome and work leading to them demonstrate understanding of visual language.

Examination: 40%

In January of Year 11 the examination project will be externally set.  Students have 12 weeks to prepare, resulting in a 10-hour exam spread over 2 days.

GCSE Art and Design: Graphic Communication

In Graphic Communications students will develop skills, knowledge and understanding of a chosen area(s).  These areas include Typography, Communication graphics, Design for print, Advertising, Multimedia, Illustration and Package design.

Students must explore practical and relevant critical and contextual sources such as the work of historical and contemporary graphic designers and the different purposes, intentions and functions of graphic communication as appropriate to their work.

GCSE Art and Design: Textiles

In Textile Design students will develop skills, knowledge and understanding of a chosen area(s). These areas include Constructed textiles, Digital textiles, Dyed fabrics, Printed fabrics, Fashion design and embellished textiles.

Students explore practical and relevant critical and contextual sources such as the work of historical and contemporary graphic designers and the different purposes, intentions and functions of Textile Design as appropriate to their work.

GCSE Art and Design: Fine Art

Learners must demonstrate the ability to work creatively with processes and techniques appropriate to the chosen area(s) of study such as: painting (various media), drawing (various media), printing (e.g. screen printing, etching, aquatint, lithography, block printing), stencils, digital media, mixed-media.



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