Curriculum Overview
Whole School Curriculum Plan
Creative iMedia
Health & Social Care BTEC
History & Humanities
Performing Arts
Miss D O'Callaghan
Mrs J Millard
The Art Department at Thomas Cowley High School has a long record of success, both in public examinations and in the numbers of our students who go on to art college and further careers in the field of art and design.
As you walk around the school you will see a lot of evidence of our students’ work displayed in and around the school. The art department has continued to play a rich and important role within the school; with teachers and pupils collaborating closely with other departments; producing work for events and productions, as well as ‘inviting in’ pupils and teachers from our partnership and ‘feeder’ schools to guide and assist with the development of external projects and art work.
The department ethos is that every student who enters the school is capable of achieving the highest standards. We aim to encourage an inquisitive and confident approach to creativity that is expressed in a variety of forms.
Key Stage 3
Key Stage 3 is focused on developing skills and understanding through the formal elements of art; these are incorporated in to different themes in Years 7, 8 and 9 which allow students to explore a range of materials, techniques and creative activities, key areas of focus are portraits, still life and landscape. Relevant areas of Art History are studied within each project, allowing students to experience the work of a variety of artists from different genres; these are used as the inspiration for students’ own work. There is a strong emphasis on engaging with the work of other artists and for students to develop their critical analysis skills alongside their practical work.
Students will use a variety of starting points, work from observation and study the work of artists. These starting points will be developed over a number of lessons and they will be expected to collect ideas and information in sketchbooks and develop work in a thoughtful manner. There will be the opportunity to work in a variety of media which may include paint, pastel, pencils,  inks, print, collage, 3D and IT.
Students receive written and verbal feedback at Formative assessment points and National Curriculum Attainment levels and written feedback are awarded as Summative assessments based on performance throughout a project, these will focus on different skills throughout the year. Students are encouraged to take on board guidance in reference to their work and to set and review their personal targets in response to the development of their work.
“Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.”
National Curriculum in England: Art & Design, Department for Education
Key Stage 4 - GCSE
Art and Design allows opportunities for a range of activities and in-depth assignments. Students follow broad based thematic projects to develop coursework portfolios through year 10 and in the autumn term of year 11. Students have the opportunity to experiment with different media in order to explore their strengths and preferences. Weekly classwork and homework tasks are set to develop understanding of how to meet the four assessment criteria taking the form of sketchbook work, larger scale pieces and final pieces. Students are required to work under at least two disciplines from painting, drawing, printmaking, experimental textiles, batik, sculpture, installation and photography. There is also room for developing these works into collages, mixed media and video for candidates who wish to do so. There is a strong emphasis within the assessment criteria to develop critical analysis skills alongside practical work. The aim of the course is to develop visual language skills and for students to build a comprehensive portfolio of work to progress to further courses or employment.
The course consists of two units: Unit 1, Personal Portfolio - 60% (Internally set and marked; assessed through controlled assessment) and Unit 2, Externally Set Assignment: 40% (Externally set theme and internally marked). Unit 2 involves students preparing for roughly10 school weeks to resource, experiment, develop and plan a final outcome/s to be completed over sustained period on the exam day.
Students receive written and verbal and audio feedback throughout the course as they develop their portfolios. Formative comments are matched against the four assessment criteria. Summative assessments will give students GCSE grades and written feedback. Students are encouraged to set and review personal targets in response to feedback during the development of their work. The body of coursework has a final grading at the end of the course
All four Assessment Objectives must be covered for each project
The Assessment Objectives are interrelated ensuring full coverage across the personal portfolio unit. This will involve students in:
·         RESEARCH AND EXPLORATION generating and developing ideas informed by primary and contextual sources
·         EXPERIMENTATION AND REFINEMENT refining their ideas through experimenting with media, and developing and applying skills
·         RECORDING IDEAS AND OBSERVATIONS researching, recording and documenting observations as ideas expand and develop
·         PERSONAL AND MEANINGFUL RESPONSES responding to their work and influential artists work with contextual and critical awareness using the relevant terminology.
“The longer you look at an object, the more abstract it becomes, and, ironically, the more real.” Lucian Freud
Schemes of Work
Just a variety of the schemes we deliver throughout the Converse project, Creative Textiles, Imaginative Monster project, Life Drawing, Mark-making scheme, Collage poster – Anti Bullying, Colour and shape through Pop Art, Land Art scheme, Hand Gesture project, Magnify project and A view into my world project.
Extra-curricular information
Afterschool art classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Lunchtime Club on assigned days, Artist workshops, regular gallery trips, art international trips, art competitions, artist of the term


Contact Us
The Thomas Cowley High School
PE11 4TF
Telephone:  01775 820254
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