Art & Design

The Art Department at The Valley gives pupils the opportunity to demonstrate imagination and creative flair whilst learning the skills needed to effectively use different media. Drawing is often the foundation of many artistic explorations, so it is expected pupils will develop and refine their observational skills through this area of study, using different methods and approaches.

Pupils are encouraged to combine observations, ideas and feelings, enabling the successful completion of aesthetically interesting final pieces. Pupils are expected to study the work of other artists and show how these studies have impacted on their own practice. They must also be able to annotate and evaluate their work using subject specific vocabulary showing understanding of their own artistic journey.

Curriculum Overview

Year 7 Year 8
  • Elements of Art – the building blocks to creating art
  • Identity
  • Sarah Graham and Still Life
  • Pop Art and Andy Warhol
  • Collage and creative development
  • Still life and observational drawing
  • Ceramics
  • Cultures and Masks
  • Abstract art and current affairs

AQA GCSE Art and Design: Fine Art

This is a Key Stage 4 option choice that will be available to study for all of our Year 11 cohorts.

Year 11
  • Externally-set assignment (encompassing preparatory work and 10 hours of supervised time)
  • Portfolio of work, to include:
    • Sustained project evidencing the journey from initial engagement to the realisation of intentions
    • Selection of further work undertaken during the pupil’s course of study
    • Exploration of one or more area(s) of fine art:
      • Drawing
      • Painting
      • Sculpture
      • Installation
      • Lens-/light-based media
      • Photography and the moving image
      • Printmaking
      • Mixed media
      • Land art


Internal assessments take place every half-term.

KS4 Exam Board Specification:

Exam Board Specification: AQA GCSE in Fine Art (8202)

Enrichment Offer

The Department offers subject-specific enrichment clubs and organises a range of educational visits throughout the year. Pupils are able to take part in school-wide competitions, as well as representing the Academy in local and national competitions designed to increase their engagement and enhance their subject knowledge. Intervention sessions to consolidate prior learning and ensure maximum progress are at the heart of our delivery model.