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We believe at Coopers School that Art is a subject that can help us to understand and give meaning to the world in which we live. Art affects and influences all of us and as such is an extremely valuable subject. 

We support our pupils to aspire through their learning experiences to standards of excellence intellectually, practically, and aesthetically. The curriculum we provide is rich in skills and knowledge. Through our curriculum, we aim to provide pupils with an experience that is exciting and to ensure that our pupils combine practical skills with creative thinking, developing highly valuable and transferrable skills for future careers and life. 

In KS3 pupils will develop their skills and understanding with progressive complexity and sophistication, so that they are able to make informed choices and work with increasing independence into Key Stages 4. 

We support pupils in learning to co-operate and negotiate and be able to share good practice and learn from others. We actively promote looking at the work of others, celebrating other cultures and encouraging diversity.  All units of work link with contextual themes involving various cultures and civilizations from around the world. They lead to a greater understanding of different ways of life and a respect for cultures that are very different from our own; how they can enrich our own lives.  

Coopers Values: Trust, RESPECT, AND RESILIENCE

In Art we develop trust by: 

  • To encourage over time, pupils to trust in their own choices from a variety of artistic mediums. 
  • Trusting that the teacher is a facilitator and guide of these various artistic endeavours. The teacher language towards the pupils is like that of a coach: asking questions and pointing to physical practices that need refinement. 
  • Classrooms are highly structured studio environments with clearly delineated expectations for self-directed learning. Available tools and art materials are introduced to pupils who can then access and arrange these materials independently to initiate and explore their artwork.  

In Art we develop respect by: 

  • Art frequently requires all pupils to work in pairs, groups, or teams. Pupil often work collaboratively requiring cooperation and communication linking to Coopers core values. 
  • Honouring work means honouring everyone’s work. Including your own. 
  • Encouraging art means encouraging everyone’s art. Including your own. 
  • Respecting classroom environment and material 

In Art we develop resilience by:

  • With an ethos of ‘trying’ and not being afraid to make ‘mistakes,’ but recognising these and learning resilience and ways to move forward.
  • Build confident self-managers and team-workers, who are willing to take risks and keep an open-mind about new ideas and techniques. 


In Art we ensure our curriculum is inclusive by: 

  • To ensure that our pupils are exposed to a diverse range of artists 
  • A wide range of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic resources are used throughout lessons i.e. PowerPoints, handouts, visual teacher/pupil practical examples, video clips, practical demonstrations etc.·   
  • Modelling of techniques and levels – through teacher and pupil led demos/example work 
  • Building enjoyment and engagement of the subject through stimulating and inviting environment, planning etc.         
  • Creating an atmosphere of independence and encouraging pupils through positivity and engagement with the subject to want to engage with the subject outside of lessons. 


In Art we identify powerful knowledge and having a good understanding of it is a prerequisite for understanding other related content.

By clearly identifying the powerful knowledge in each unit, teachers can ensure that their teaching and assessment is focused on the content that makes the biggest difference. 

We share this with pupils and their families using Knowledge Organisers. These are valuable tools for revision and retrieval practice


In Art we sequence our curriculum using spaced practice. This means large areas of knowledge are broken into smaller chunks, with intervals of time between them, to improve pupil learning and recall. 


In Art we ensure our curriculum is coherent using 5 Big Ideas that underpin all the learning in our subject. Each lesson is linked to a Big Idea, shared with the pupils at the start of the lesson, so they can call on prior learning and understand where each lesson fits within our curriculum. 

Our Big Ideas are:

  • Artist’s influence: They challenge us to think, and to think again.
  • Artists ask questions: They ask ‘how’ and ‘why’ to generate ideas.
  • Artists have a context: They are inspired by their experiences and the world around them.
  • Artist’s practice: They experiment with materials to master their technique.
  • Artists create: They make outcomes to share their message


AQA GCSE Art and Design (8201) Art, craft and design 

Component 1: Portfolio 

Component 2: Externally set assignment 

A portfolio that in total shows explicit coverage of the four assessment objectives. It must include a sustained project evidencing the journey from initial engagement to the realisation of intentions and a selection of further work undertaken during the pupil’s course of study. 

Pupils respond to their chosen starting point from an externally set assignment paper relating to their subject title, evidencing coverage of all four assessment objectives. 

No time limit.

Preparatory period followed by 10 hours of supervised time  

96 marks

96 marks 

60% of GCSE 

40% of GCSE