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Devonport High School for Girls

Name of Head of Department

Mr A Burton BA (Hons), PGCE

Statement of Intent

The aim of the Art Department is to provide a stimulating broad-based curriculum, providing a wide range of experiences, materials and tools in which students tackle projects which are both challenging and build on previous key skills and knowledge. 

We encourage students to value work produced to deepen understanding of art and creativity. Students evaluate both verbally and in written research of artists, art movements and other cultures. Our dedicated Art team holds particular expertise in painting, printmaking, illustration, ceramics and sculpture. 

The Art department is often a hive of activity at lunchtime as we offer extra provision to all art students.

Curriculum Programmes of Study 


Cycle Content

Year 7

Cycle 1

All about me
Students develop a piece of artwork on the topic ‘All About Me’. Key skills & concepts include: self identity, wellbeing, observational drawing, line, colour theory, portraiture, composition with a focus on watercolour painting techniques. This topic has emotional wellbeing links and encourages each student to celebrate individualism. 

Cycle 2

Hanging Sculptures
Students develop an original piece of decorated clay work-inspired by contemporary ceramic artists, particularly Shirley Vauvelle.Key skills & Concepts texture, mark making, clay/ceramics, acrylic paint, botanicals, found objects

Cycle 3

Aboriginal Art   
Gaining a deeper appreciation of other cultures and ways of life, students develop a piece of artwork inspired by aboriginal dot and line painting. Students will research animal painting. Key skills & concepts: working on a natural surface either wood or slate to create a stylised design using different mark making tools, to create a detailed painting from an initial drawing, using pattern, natural pigments and earthly colours. 

William Morris Project  
William Morris is associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement, and we use his work as the basis of the centrepiece of this project. Skills include an appreciation of typography and scale, along with further development of brush skills to demonstrate the effect of tone.   

 Perspective Van Gogh’s bedroom  
One point perspective of the inertia of Van Gogh’s bedroom, including the furniture, table, chairs, pictures, window and door frames, pine floorboards.   

Year 8 


Cycle 1

Tonal Portraits 
Students develop a fully blown graphite pencil portrait; a comprehensive body of sketchbook work enables students to build impressive tonal skills, culminating in a celebratory exhibition of final pieces. Key Skills and concepts: observation, proportion, photography, digital art/edits, tone, expression and emotion.  

Cycle 2

Ceramic gargoyle 
Students produce a grotesque 3D ceramic gargoyle. Inspiration is taken from research about the Gothic Medieval period. They then fire the artworks in a kiln and decorate, ready to take home. Key Skills and concepts: sculpture, ceramics, 3D art, distortion and form, expression, emotion.   

Landscape and Print (Part 2) 
Students are taught about the history of art and landscapes. Ideas from this are then developed and students use their own photography to experiment with monotype and etching prints. Key Skills and concepts: print press, mark making, art movements, perspective, colour and atmosphere. 

Cycle 3

Collaborative artwork 
This is an ever-changing scheme of learning where tutor groups work together to conceive and develop an idea into a large piece of artwork to display.  

Past projects have included:  
‘The plastic tree’, where 132 milk bottle birds were hung from a tree in the school grounds to raise awareness of plastic pollution, inspired by our guest speaker and local eco artist Chrissy Wallis. 

 ‘Are We Equal?’ A huge graphic work inspired by the contemporary artist Kenzo Minami. 

‘The Boat Of Hope’ A boat sculpture adorned with messages about mental health and wellbeing- currently on display in the maths department (soon to be exhibited in Liverpool cathedral). 

Year 9


Throughout the GCSE course, an emphasis on students’ confidence is nurtured within the development of this project. We will support students with all aspects of learning and understanding. 

In the study of portraiture, students will use a range of both materials and equipment including pencils, biro pens, charcoal, chalk, printing ink, mono printing and etching, lino cut, watercolour and acrylic paints, and ceramics. To support this work, students will undertake artist research. Once the students have gained knowledge and understanding of the skills needed, along with experimentation and development of their own work, they will create a large-scale drawing and painting as a final piece. 

Year 10 and 11


In year 10 students move into the natural forms project, which explores organic plant forms, through drawing and photography, animals in movement using photography and water colours, chalk and charcoal, landscapes/ seascapes through a range of mediums including acrylic paint, oil paint and pastels. A large-scale landscape / seascape painting will conclude this project. 

In January, students will be given their exam papers. They have a term and a half to do a mind map, relevant artist research, pastiches, development of their own ideas, experimentation, photography, contact sheets, editing skills and their final piece. 

Lower Years Assessment Framework

To view the Lower Years Assessment Framework for Art, please click here

Middle Years Exam and Specification Information 

Full details of the specification and assessment criteria can be found on the AQA website GCSE Art Specification  

Extra-curricular activities 

Every lunchtime students are encouraged to continue to develop their skills in art, this is an opportunity to catch up with home learning or to be given help with techniques and other challenges they might have. An after school club is available to students who want to develop their artistic skills.

Collapsed curriculum days provide opportunities for the students to explore new art forms.

A level students visit London and explore galleries and other venues providing an opportunity to explore our rich culture.