TWGGS teachers and learners embrace ambition and challenge through an engaging, relevant and future-focused Art and Design curriculum. Working as proactive collaborators, to enhance the learning process and outcomes, all learners are inspired to become high achievers. Independent, curious, creative and critical thinkers are nurtured through experimentation and exploration; fostering proficiency of skill, depth of discovery and sophisticated connection-making. They develop lifelong, transferable skills which build confident learners of the future.


The creative, transferable skills developed through Art include: observing, reflecting, thinking, analysing, challenging, conceptualising, innovating, creating and generating ideas and questions. The creative journey, which explores purpose and process, is as important as the end result. Connecting and linking a wide range of ideas can develop flexibility, adaptability and problem-solving skills. Depth of exploration builds confidence and the refinement of ideas and processes, which in turn develops resilience and excellence. Throughout all key stages, new technologies are embraced to boost learners’ skills in our digital age.


Recognising and adopting specific learning behaviours is key to reaching the higher levels in the subject. Highly independent thinking and learning is the ultimate goal, practised through critical and analytical observations, experiences, and engagement with the work of a broad range of traditional and contemporary artists, designers, and innovators. By selecting from the inspiring processes and strands of interest of these stimuli, and developing these with their own goals in mind, learners respond by synthesising ideas to create innovative solutions. They are challenged to be curious and to ask ‘why’ and ‘what if’, so that skill building, with a diverse range of materials, processes and techniques, opens up endless possibilities. 


TWGGS’ Art and Design practice prepares creative learners for exciting futures, connecting the versatile cross curricular skills they need to find enjoyment and satisfaction, and a passion to extend their studies for successful careers. 

Through the ‘TWGGS Art Futures’ and the ‘Super Curricular’ areas in their Google Classrooms, TWGGS Art offers a multitude of opportunities to develop learners’ own personal interests and preferences, alongside discovering new ideas for independent exploration. 

Progress and Achievement

Learners’ creative progress and achievement is evidenced within their range of digital and physical sketchbook pages. TWGGS’ learners are expected to develop high levels of presentation which demonstrate their visual literacy and sequential development.  

Assessment is tracked formally through written, termly feedback, and verbally, via our continuous discussions and interactions, oral group critiques, and one-to-one tutorial support provided during lessons. 

Visual examples of learners’ work in progress can also be found embedded within the teaching and learning slides, which are uploaded to each of the Google Classrooms. 

Key Stage 3

National Curriculum Programme of Study for Key Stage 3 Art and Design The three years of cumulative KS3 learning provides the building blocks, and a scaffolded approach, to GCSE studies. The structure prepares learners by developing high-level thinking through reflection, retrieval and insightfulness, in relation to artists. Learners are introduced to the Visual Elements of Art, and discover how to research, analyse, and select from a variety of materials and processes which reflect their purpose, personal aims and intentions. Pupils are supported to synthesise, and refine ideas and skills, in order to create creative outcomes. The KS3 course encourages learners to think and work like an artist and take ownership for their own creative ideas – a key factor in accessing the higher levels at GCSE and A Level.

Year 7

Objective: Observing, interpreting, and recording to a high level of accuracy

Year 7 learners begin their KS3 Art journey with an objective approach to their ‘Explore’ project. They study the impact of geographical exploration, scientific discoveries and new technologies. By developing their visual literacy, verbal and written analytical skills, and experimentation with a variety of media, they respond to traditional and contemporary artists, nurturing their curiosity to question and discover why they create their artwork. They are encouraged to critically observe and accurately record the shape, proportions, tone and texture of natural forms, through drawing, printing, painting and photography. This investigative unit, which celebrates the wonder and fragility of the natural world, concludes with a three dimensional sculpture to increase awareness of climate change and encourage conservation of biodiversity.

Year 8

Subjective: Challenging representations of illusion and reality

Year 8 learners subjectively explore visual perception, questioning and interpreting, looking beyond what is known and expected. Using their knowledge of Op Art and the Visual Elements, they manipulate and distort lines, shapes and surfaces to create illusions and challenge perceptions of what is reality. They analyse and respond to a variety of historic and cultural references, including the bold patterns of WW1 warship dazzle camouflage and the rhythm and movement of an ever-changing, dynamic, technological world. Working in both two and three dimensions, they create outcomes using paint, photography and clay. As artists, they learn from the past, observe the present and understand how to help people to see, understand, protect and shape our way of living.

Year 9

Emotive: Expressing identity through visual interpretations of emotions, experiences, words and concepts

Year 9 learners investigate the symbolic potential of colour, shapes, marks and form. Using a wide range of materials and techniques, they explore the theme, and create both figurative and abstract responses. By researching, analysing, and connecting contrasting artists and ideas, learners experiment with the effects of mixed media, composition, texture and contrast to evoke a range of emotions. To increase their creative independence, a personal and perceptive self-portrait interweaves this prior learning with the formal skills of figurative language and what it means to be themselves: culturally, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and symbolically. They innovatively frame their unique portrait to fully celebrate oneself, responding to significant and culturally diverse sources, and lay the foundations for GCSE study.


GCSE Specification: Edexcel

GCSE Fine Art builds upon the established working practices and strong skills base of the KS3 Art curriculum, to expand each learners’ broad knowledge and understanding of objective, subjective and emotive visual language skills.

Initially, learners will follow a confidence-building thematic foundation project as a group, before personalising their own independent journey in the second half of Y10; driving forward a line of enquiry which recognises, celebrates and explores their individual skills, passions, concepts and knowledge much deeper. During this time, one-to-one tutorials, between teacher and learner, are key to support the successful progression of each discrete creative investigation, offering regular evaluations, interventions and action-planning through proactive discussion. Learners will become more discriminating with their own decision-making, enabling them to strengthen their practical, creative and critical thinking skills, and develop self-confidence, creativity, adaptability and resilience to create visually engaging artwork. These transferable skills will enhance thinking, learning, and connection-making in their other GCSE subjects, foster independent learners who are ready to step up to the next level, and be recognisable attributes for securing successful, future careers. 

GCSE Art learners will be able to participate in a gallery visit early in the first term of the course. This will provide them with the knowledge of how to access the artists’ work effectively, appreciate the scale, processes, and visual elements up close, and use it to inspire idea development in relation to their theme. This experience should give each learner the confidence to research and plan their own visit relevant to their chosen personal line of investigation. Previous trips have been to Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Folkestone Triennial and Old Big School Gallery in Tonbridge. 

The areas of study for each component will include drawing, painting, sculpture, printing, mixed media, photography, textiles and installation. The following four assessment objectives (AOs) are the focus for learning, to ensure understanding of the essential elements that are needed to create a successful, creative journey of idea development:

  • Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.

  • Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.

  • Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.

  • Present a personal, informed and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.

Component 1

Personal Portfolio (September Year 10 - December Year 11)

60% of GCSE

Learners create a personal portfolio of work that demonstrates their knowledge, understanding and skills. 

This component allows learners opportunities to develop and explore ideas, research primary and contextual sources, experiment with media, materials, techniques and processes, and present personal responses to a theme.

Component 1 is devised and marked internally, and moderated externally.

component 2

Externally Set Assignment in Art and Design (January - April of Year 11)

40% of GCSE

The Externally Set Assignment (ESA) represents the culmination of the GCSE course as it draws together all the knowledge, understanding and skills developed in Component 1. 

Learners must present personal responses to an externally set broad-based thematic starting point. Following receipt of the examination paper, learners consider the starting point and carry out in-depth preparatory work until the start of their unaided, sustained focus period of 10 hours, under exam conditions. During these two days, they will produce a finished outcome, or a series of related finished outcomes, informed by their prior research and development.

Component 2 is marked internally and moderated externally.

A Level

Specification: AQA Fine Art

A level Fine Art elevates the critical and creative thinking skills successfully formed in KS4. Advanced level learners work with more autonomy, independently and collaboratively enhancing their curiosity, determination and resilience further, whilst effectively using their imagination to problem-solve and innovate in greater depth. A level Fine Art values the individual and is structured to challenge, enthuse, and inspire exciting opportunities to excel in a personal line of investigation. 

The course begins with a structured ‘two-term foundation’ designed to familiarise learners with the course requirements, expectations and assessment. Extending their knowledge of artists, practical skills, materials, techniques and concepts, they will work in a variety of scales exploring painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, installation, photography and time-based media. Learners are expected to develop proficient skills in these areas in creative, imaginative, intuitive and intellectual ways to create dynamic outcomes. The experimental, investigative and practical nature of the course develops aesthetic and critical awareness. Learners will record work in progress within digital and physical sketchbooks. This documentation, of visual development and analytical decision-making, encourages fluid working practice and the ability to think sequentially. Using tutorials tailored to each individual, teachers support learners to become experts in connecting, extending, refining and communicating ideas in order to reach the higher levels.

During the first term of the course, learners experience a day visiting a gallery. This offers a valuable opportunity to gather first hand information as a starting point for the development of ideas and individual pathways for their own work. However, it is expected that pupils studying Art at this advanced level will visit galleries and exhibitions regularly and independently. Previous trips have been to Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Folkestone Triennial and Old Big School Gallery in Tonbridge.

Learners who have aptitude and interest in the subject, but do not intend to take the subject beyond A Level, will find the course rewarding and challenging. Fine Art is a valuable subject for developing the essential skills needed to adapt to life at university or within employment. Learners will grow in confidence and develop the creative skills, understanding, and knowledge that future employers will be looking for in their successful candidates at interview. Learners will improve their organisation and time management skills, ability to meet deadlines and develop deeper thinking, and problem-solving skills that will enable them to become more flexible thinkers and key team players. They can apply these to a number of higher education subjects and future career paths. 

A level Art leads directly to a diverse range of creative further education and career options. TWGGS’ advanced level learners have successfully secured foundation and degree places on courses such as Architecture, Art History, Fashion Design, Fine Art, Film-Making, Graphic Design and Illustration. Institutions have provided positive feedback on their diverse, creative and skilful portfolios. During the second year there will be opportunities to build an exceptional portfolio, with the wide range of experimental evidence that will have been created during the first year. TWGGS’ Art teachers will be able to offer guidance about how to best display work to stand out at an interview. 

Throughout the course, these four-assessment objectives will focus learners to:

  • Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding;

  • Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops;

  • Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress;

  • Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements.

Component 1

Personal Investigation 60% (September of the first year - January of the second year)


Learners may carry work forward from their ‘two term foundation’, synthesising and expanding their initial analysis, critical thinking and exploration into a focused, personal direction. This in-depth study, of visual and written material, demonstrates the learner’s ability to construct and develop a sustained line of reasoning from an initial starting point to a final realisation.

Component 1 is devised and marked internally, and moderated externally.

Component 2

Externally set assignment 40% (February - May of the second year)

The Externally Set Assignment (ESA) represents the culmination of the A Level course as it draws upon all the knowledge, understanding and skills developed in Component 1. 

Learners must present personal responses to an externally set broad-based thematic starting point. Following receipt of the examination paper, learners consider the starting points, select one and carry out in-depth preparatory work until the start of their unaided, sustained focus period of 15 hours under exam conditions.  During these three days, they will produce a finished outcome, or a series of related finished outcomes, informed by their prior research and development.

Component 2 is marked internally and moderated externally.



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