Key Stage 4: Art

Curriculum Intent

GCSE Art and Design at Murray Park School builds upon the foundation blocks developed by students at Key Stage 3.

Students at Key Stage 4 have access to a wide variety of art based disciplines, but with more time to experiment, develop and refine their work in a much deeper way. We encourage students to work far more independently and individually at this level; this means that the projects produced by our GCSE Art and Design students have varied, rich and contextual approaches. Indeed, we are very proud of the individual and experimental work that our students have achieved over the past few years.

Once again, observational drawing is a central part of the work we undertake and is taught to a deeper level at the beginning of Year 10 with an emphasis on the use of specialist drawing materials. Research into existing artists, designers and crafts people and forms part of our homework strategy to aid critical understanding of the work of others.

Our students are free and rightly encouraged to make use of the widest variety of artistic materials and processes as possible.

Our Key Stage four GCSE personal art projects truly allow students to ‘dream’, ‘persevere’, work ‘independently’ and show ‘excellence’ in their artwork. Many of our Year 11 students go on to pursue creative Post 16 courses including ‘A’ Level and Level 3 BTEC creative courses.

We aim to prepare students for the world of work and Post 16 opportunities by constantly referring to careers in the creative industries both locally, nationally and internationally.

Curriculum overview

At Murray Park we follow the AQA Art & Design (Art, Craft & Design) syllabus. The Art, Craft & Design option allows students the greatest breath of opportunity for their personal responses, meaning they can respond using 2D or 3D work, paint, sculpture, textiles or photography.

Our Year 10 Natural Forms introductory project allows for formal drawing lessons to take place, initial investigations with mixed media, mark making and experimental backgrounds. The project later involves painting in the style of Roy Lichtenstein drawing on critical and contextual links, black pen graphic patterns and a ‘string & foil’ piece. Artist research and artist copies form part of the supportive homework programme which helps to inform the students as they produce their personal response piece/s.

Students return to observational drawing for our ‘self-portraits’ module and explore mark making and experimental drawing through the use of chalk and charcoal work and mono-printing. In the summer term our pupils start their first individual coursework project using exam board style ‘starting points’. These projects run up until Christmas in Year 11. In the Spring Term of Year 11 we focus on Component 2 the NEA exam board set assignment until the end of the course.

Extra-curricular activities

We aim to supplement our broad curriculum with a range of extra-curricular activities to enrich the pupils’ experience and enjoyment of learning. Weekly after-school clubs and lunchtime clubs are available for students to attend. We run international and domestic trips. Previous GCSE trips have included trips to New York and to art galleries in London.

Useful links