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Rivington & Blackrod High School


Art & Photography


Head of Art & Photography - Mr K. Hussain          


Subject Overview

In Art & Photography we provide opportunities for every learner to express their creativity through the visual arts. We have several different projects and themes within each year group to allow students to experience and participate in learning new cultures and processes of creating art and photography, studying artists and photographers from many different backgrounds.

We begin year 7 by exploring the formal elements of art such as line, tone, texture, colour, shape, and patterns; these skills are paramount in producing any type of artwork and develop students’ art skills from primary to secondary level.

As students progress through the years, they will develop their analytical skills to be able to express and articulate in writing their opinions and the links between their work and artists.

Click here to view the Curriculum Overview 

Key Stage 3 Overview

We follow the National Curriculum for Art at Key Stage 3. Within our projects, we ensure we cover a wide range of topics and cultures including Aboriginal and Mexican Art. We also aim to inspire student creativity by exposing them to different media, materials, and processes.

Key Stage 4 Overview

We follow the AQA Art & Design specifications for both ‘Fine Art’ & ‘Photography’. Component 1 is portfolio of work produced over year 10 and 11 which consists of 60% coursework (96 marks) covering all four AQA assessment objectives. Coursework delivered will demonstrate a clear journey from starting point to end outcome in the project, producing a meaningful and purposeful final piece. Component 2 is an externally set assignment paper from AQA relating to either the Fine Art or Photography qualification. Students will need to cover all four assessment objectives, accounting for 40% of the GCSE (96 marks). There will be a preparatory period followed by 10 hours of supervised examination time.   

Fine Art provides opportunities for students to explore their ideas, convey an experience or respond to a theme. Students must develop and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills specified in the specification and within the context of Fine Art practice. Students will be assessed based on the four assessment objectives focusing on their drawing, painting, and mixed media as areas of study.

We produce digital photography and use Adobe Photoshop to digitally enhance the photos along with some mixed-media practice. We explore a range of topics including portraiture and experimental and surrealism photography. Students will be assessed on photographic techniques such as lighting, viewpoint, aperture, shutter speed and final digital outcome.

Key Stage 5 Overview

We follow the AQA Art & Design specification for both ‘Art, Craft & Design’, ‘Photography’ and ‘Graphics Communication’. Our schemes of work cover the AQA A Level assessment objectives allowing students to explore and experience a range of two/three-dimensional media, techniques and processes using traditional and new media. Students will present their work in a portfolio of sketchbooks and preparation sheets showing their drawing, painting, illustration, photography, illustration, web, and digital print. They must also demonstrate an exploration of contextual studies and written elements and are expected to continually evaluate their work.

In year 13, component 1 is a personal project (worth 60%) and Component 2 is an externally set assignment (worth 40%). The personal project prepares students for university and involves a 1000 – 3000 word written component investigating and exploring appropriate research, requiring students to analyse and evaluate. Component 1 emphasizes the development of skills, using an array of media, materials, techniques, and processes. Their portfolio includes 2 sketchbooks; one book consists of contextual studies, and one is a practical book showing progression and development of ideas using a range of media, techniques, and processes. Portfolios will have preparation sheets with written materials such as annotations, reflections, evaluations, and historical background. Educational trips to Ingleton and London, visiting galleries and museums will broaden their knowledge.

The written material and practical work are assessed together using the four assessment objectives which is based on the AQA assessment marking grid, with each worth 24 marks, a total of 96. Formative and summative marking is completed on both sketchbooks and preparation sheets along with regular verbal and written feedback to aid students to progress.