Art Curriculum

< Back to all curriculum courses

Due to the current situation, department curriculum plans are not currently available.

Here is the Cowley COVID resuming plan as an interim guide.

Curriculum aim

In Art we aim to develop pupils’ understanding of the world of creativity. The curriculum has literacy and numeracy skills as the bedrock of learning and we encourage and develop these fundamental skills throughout.

In each Key Stage, we study a variety of artists and cultures; we investigate topical issues and relate our investigations to suit. Our topics vary and include investigations of both contemporary, and traditional creative genres.  We instill a sense of responsibility with regards to global issues (projects on endangered animals/global warming) and more local issues (poverty/homelessness/urbanisation). We believe our children must empower themselves with knowledge and not naivety. Our curriculum has been chosen to ensure pupils are knowledgeable about the myriad of employment possibilities within the creative industries – especially with the global phenomenon of New Media Technologies.

We have created a curriculum to inspire pupils to be curious, with a fascination for how to interpret the written and spoken word into the world of imagery. Both teaching students that their imagination is a wonderful, unique tool that gives vision to their thoughts, and that the power of observation is the perfect tool for investigation, be that forensic or informal.

As pupils progress through Cowley, their skills set increases, as does their recognition of creative work by other individuals, movements and cultures; most importantly is how they interconnect and how the influence throughout art history is relatively unbroken.

Curriculum structure

In Art we aim to develop pupils’ understanding of the world of creativity. The curriculum has literacy and numeracy skills as the bedrock of learning and we encourage and develop these fundamental skills throughout.

In each Key Stage, we study a variety of artists and cultures; we investigate topical issues and relate our investigations to suit. Our topics vary and include investigations of both contemporary, and traditional creative genres.  We instill a sense of responsibility with regards to global issues (projects on endangered animals/global warming) and more local issues (poverty/homelessness/urbanisation).  We believe our children must empower themselves with knowledge and not naivety. Our curriculum has been chosen to ensure pupils are knowledgeable about the myriad of employment possibilities within the creative industries – especially with the global phenomenon of New Media Technologies.

We have created a curriculum to inspire pupils to be curious, with a fascination for how to interpret the written and spoken word into the world of imagery. Both teaching students that their imagination is a wonderful, unique tool that gives vision to their thoughts, and that the power of observation is the perfect tool for investigation, be that forensic or informal.

As pupils progress through Cowley, their skills set increases, as does their recognition of creative work by other individuals, movements and cultures; most importantly is how they interconnect and how the influence throughout art history is relatively unbroken.

Curriculum in action

Curriculum Beyond the Classroom
Gallery visits are an integral part of the Art education, particularly for our KS4 & 5 student; we aim to provide at least one gallery visit per year, with a residential educational visit organised for KS5 each year – emphasis for this is the creative industries and how to be employed within the Arts.

We pride ourselves on having very strong cross-curricula links with other subjects around the school – this year sees a collaboration with Science for a homework based on the Periodic Table – which is officially 100 years old this year!

Subject Expertise
Staff have liaised with feeder schools to create an awareness of how students can understand the fundamental differences between recall/observation and imagination, with excellent feedback.

The Art department comprises two specialist teachers each with their own expertise and interests. Both are enthusiastic about Art and keep up to date with current events and trends within the visual arts.

One member of staff is currently attending a CPD course at St Helens College – the life drawing class will allow the teacher to demonstrate the elevated standard of drawing required at GCSE and A Level.

The department is a member of SCART (St Helens schools and colleges of art). The Head of Department regularly attends local network meetings to share good practice.

One member of the team is an A Level external moderator for AQA.

Destinations

KS3: Students arrive in Year 7 with little/no prior knowledge of the formal elements of art. Although some of the terminology may be familiar; composition, shape, texture, form etc. – during the first term, we address these issues and contextualise them.

KS3 takes 3 years – during which time we have sufficient knowledge of a student’s ability and acknowledge of their interest in the subject; students develop an understanding of the different disciplines within art, and work towards their identification; projects are formulated on the basis of these connections between disciplines and employment opportunities.

KS4: The transition between KS4 and 5 requires the understanding of the disciplines and the enthusiasm to master. This course has sound links to St Helens College and the Art & Design Foundation Course – provisions are made for any student wanting to further their training/career. University Courses are discussed and linked to individuals and their personal choice of discipline. An educational visit to a University is organised yearly, as is a ‘taster day’ with an Chalk Architecture.