Art lessons are taught over two periods meaning each lesson lasts just under two hours. This allows our students ample opportunity to think, explore and create in every lesson.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”  Maya Angelou

Pupils are taught in three ways – independently, in pair work and through group activities. We encourage them to share their ideas through group plenaries and artist discussions, where they can reflect and respond to artworks. These discussions help our pupils to grow in self-confidence and learn to express opinions openly as so much of art is about one’s personal response to the artwork.

Extra curricular opportunities are encouraged, such as partaking in The Independent School Art competition. Great importance is given to viewing and experiencing art first-hand in a gallery environment. Trips to museums, exhibitions, workshops are arranged throughout the school year.

My Learning at The Laurels

Self-expression is key to the development of a young person and there is a great deal to be taught in Art as a subject: observational drawing, colour, material, technique exploration or the ability to develop and refine and idea from start to finish.

From Year 7 onwards you will be given the opportunity to create through a wide range of medias from painting, mixed media, 3D construction, clay and printmaking.

We look at a wide variety of artists, where you will learn to analyse, take inspiration and respond, embedding the importance of the English language through class critiques and presentations

Course Content

Years 7 to 9

Each year group will study a new topic termly. Drawing is embedded in each topic throughout KS3. Each topic ends with a final piece where pupils are given the freedom to base artworks around their own themes and ideas.

In Year 7 the focus topics are:

Self Image, Architecture and Landscape.

These topics provide pupils with the opportunity to explore using a range of media and techniques in paint, 3D construction and mixed media. Artworks are created in response to artists studied – for instance using Chuck Close’s grid system to create a portrait or creating a model building inspired by Gothic architecture.

In Year 8 the focus topics are:

Objects and Viewpoints, The Figure and Printmaking.

We start by learning to draw accurately from objects and apply tone to create 3D images. We also explore the notion of still lives and the girls create their own artworks based on their values and beliefs. The Figure topic gives the girls the opportunity to learn clay techniques and create a well-proportioned figure. The final term we learn mono and lino printing techniques.

In Year 9 the topics we cover are:

Changing your Style, Perspectives and Colour and Light.

Pupils create clay tiles; inspired by patterns from styles or cultures we have studied. The art of drawing by measuring and learning how to create depth though perspective is the focus for the second term. In the final term we explore Colour and Light and how artists from Turner to Rothko use these themes in their work.

Years 10 and 11

At GCSE, pupils will study Fine Art GCSE following the AQA specification 8202. The course is taught over two years and is broken down into two components. The first being portfolio based and the second the exam unit.

Throughout Year 10 until January in Year 11 pupils work on their portfolio, which accounts for 60% of their overall mark. The exam component commences in January and makes up the remaining 40% of the total mark.

Pupils are assessed by objectives on how well they can develop, refine, record and make an idea meaningful. Therefore they cover two topics in year 10 allowing them time to fully develop and realise their intentions.

The units we cover are closely related to previous exam AQA topics such as Natural Forms and Myself.

Classes are based around themes and ideas integral to these topics. Critical sources are examined and explored to inspire GCSE students and great weight is given to the use of their sketchbooks to evidence ideas.

At the end of each topic the projects are handed over to the girls to prepare for a sustained final piece. This is in order to prepare them for the 10 hour final piece that they are expected to complete at the end of the exam unit in Year 11.

GCSE Examination Board

GCSE Fine Art AQA specification 8202.

Related Activities

KS3 Drawing Club
GCSE Art drop in
Tate Britain (Henry Moore collection)
Tate Modern
National Portrait Gallery
Hayward Gallery
Beachcombing. The Thames Foreshore  and Lulworth Cove
The National Gallery
Horniman Museum
V&A Museum – Frida Kahlo exhibition and Jameel Gallery for Islamic pattern 
The Wallace Collection
Workshops with students at The Royal College of Art
Visiting artists such as Grace Holiday