Curriculum intent

Art has been a vehicle for sharing ideas and feelings for centuries. We learn to draw before we write. Images can communicate where words fail and this can be an empowering tool as a teenager. Our aim is for all students to experience the joy of making and develop skills and literacy in looking and responding. We foster a culture where failure is a positive and essential part of improving, celebrating student progress. Not all students will pursue art beyond their time at Tuxford, but we aim to cultivate an appreciation of art; whether it be the therapeutic benefits, how it reflects society or simply become a gracious spectator.

Across all key stages, we aim to scaffold student learning in ‘making’, ‘idea generation’, ‘knowledge’ and ‘evaluation’. These core objectives mirror that of the key stage 4 and 5 criteria and are revisited in each unit with increasing challenge. In learning about making, students develop technical abilities and control through drawing, painting, mixed media, photography and 3D work. They develop an understanding of the formal elements and composition and are encouraged to experiment and perfect techniques. New experiences with materials and processes are introduced through workshopping at key stage 4 and 5, drawing upon teacher’s specialisms and working with local artists wherever possible.

Students learn to research and generate ideas, explore themes and present their thoughts in written and visual ways (for example mind maps or mood boards). They develop their ideas by designing and making in response to the themes. We encourage originality and creativity. Developing a broad knowledge of traditional and contemporary artists runs throughout our curriculum and inspires many themed units. Students learn of art from other cultures and understand the contexts which can influence an artist. We seize opportunities to notice local as well as international artists in celebration of our community. This knowledge develops towards a wider understanding of art movements and deeper contextual appreciation at key stage 5. We encourage evaluation throughout a students’ artistic journey at Tuxford. This can be through analysing imagery, making judgements when annotating, or communicating their own perceptions in final pieces. Success is celebrated at every opportunity.

The creative process of making, idea generation, gaining new knowledge and evaluation encourages problem solving, persistence, resilience, reflection, independence and teamwork. Experiences are deepened beyond the classroom in visits to galleries, places of interest and taking part in workshops. We hope to see confidence and character grow as students gradually become more comfortable expressing themselves and exploring the art world.

Additional information

Progress ladder and learning journey

Our progress ladders show how student thinking and skills typically improve in each subject whereas our learning journeys are an overview that can be used to understand each subject in more detail.

Please click on the links below to view our progress ladder and learning journey for art.

Progress ladder
Learning journey


Art and design

Exam board: OCR
Qualification: Art Craft and Design (J170) or Fine Art (J171)
Contact: Mrs Parker |

How will I be assessed?

  • Producing a portfolio of work showing a personal response to a given starting point. This will result in five-hours of creating a final piece
  • Creating a second portfolio of work exploring a given subject from an exam paper with a choice of five themes. This is a ten-hour exam over two days, creating a final piece
  • All work is internally assessed and externally moderated