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St John’s Catholic Comprehensive School

Art and Design

Curriculum Intent

Art is barely worth having without a spiritual dimension. We aim to help our young people to enjoy and appreciate the world around them, engage fully with their everyday lives and help them to become well-balanced young adults. We encourage divergent thinking and problem solving by challenging students to explore set themes using a wide range of creative techniques and processes. We hope to give the students a visual language so that they can express their thoughts and feelings about life. By instilling confidence in their own creative potential, we hope that they will be able to celebrate their own unique identity and respect that of others.

We follow a skeleton structure at KS3 to allow teachers to interpret set themes according to their own subject discipline and interests. This ensures full coverage of the national curriculum whilst allowing staff to teach in a creative and enthusiastic manner. We have an extensive collection of visual resources used to stimulate imaginative responses. These include class sets of artefacts from many different times and cultures. We teach the students how to analyse and evaluate their own work and that of others. Thematic displays with appropriate historical links are displayed in the art loft.

An exciting and visually stimulating learning environment is crucial to our success. We treat the art loft like a gallery, constantly showcasing and celebrating student work culminating in a large exhibition at the end of the year which we open to the local community. The students are taught to be very respectful of their working space and behave accordingly. Educational visits are very important to us and at the heart of our photography courses. We make the most of being close to London by visiting the galleries as often as is possible. Recent trips have included the Tate Modern, Harry Potter world and the Sea-life centre in Hastings.

Promoting independent learning skills is crucial at all key stages but, especially so, with our sixth form. They enjoy the use of a small studio where they pursue their evolving artwork during study time. We aim to develop a range of skills and responses to give each student a mature portfolio of work so that they can apply directly for degree courses in a huge range of creative disciplines across the country.

Regardless of ability we want the visual arts to enrich the lives of our students and give them a unique language in which to communicate and express their unique identities.