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Northampton School for Boys

Northampton School for Boys

Visual Arts

Team Leader - Helen Hassan


In order to prepare pupils for KS4, all Schemes of Work in KS3 follow a similar structure to enable the pupils to become familiar with the course content. Each student will be expected to explore a title, learn a skill within visual arts, research and understand the work of other artists and demonstrate an understanding of the learnt skill, the artist’s work by creating a practical response as an evaluation to a project title.

 Key Stage 3

Year 7

  • Unit 1 - drawing skill and assessment (3 weeks) - baseline test of foundation drawing skills

  • Unit 1 - Self (10 weeks) - portraiture, drawing, colour theory and paint

  • Unit 2- Architecture and buildings (12 weeks) - one point and two point perspective drawing

  • Unit 3 - Landscapes (12 weeks) - Ways of creating depth, water colour techniques, 3 ceramic works.

Year 8

  • Unit 1 - Still life- objects and viewpoints (13 weeks) - Frottage, cubist work, development of drawing skills, poly board print.

  • Unit 2 - Human Form (12 weeks) - figure drawing, cartoon animation and movement.

  • Unit 3 - Cultures (12 weeks) - Group work, mixed media, drawing, paint.

Year 9

  • Unit 1 - Food (12 weeks) - lino print, 3D work, drawing skill development, paint, media exploration.

  • Unit 2 - Artist study (6 weeks) - exploration into an artist of the pupils choice, explore, develop, refine, leading to a final practical outcome.

Year 9 Photography

  • TERM 1 - REFLECTIONS AND ROTATIONS (explore editing software)
  • TERM 2 - FLOG IT (advertising)
  • TERM 3 - URBAN TEXTURES (includes 3-D photography)
  • TERM 4 - GHOST STORY (experimental techniques)
  • TERM 5 - AT THE MOVIES (studio portraiture)
  • TERM 6 - POP ART (mixed media)

The structure of each scheme of work needs to cover the assessment objectives of that found in the GCSE marking criteria. This is the best way for students to have an understanding of course content and for better practice at GCSE. Each student will be expected to explore a project title, learn a skill within visual arts, research and understand the work of other artists and demonstrate understanding of the learnt skill, the artists’ work and exploration by creating a practical response as an evaluation to the project title.

YEAR 7: Self-portraits, general skills, self-image, proportions of face/self portrait

YEAR 8: Still life scheme, observational drawing, collage

YEAR 9: Ceramics related to textures, 3D construction of slab pot- Photography related to textures, digital editing and poly-gram process and understanding


GCSE ART, CRAFT AND DESIGN: current exam board: AQA specification

This course promotes learning across a variety of experiences and through various processes, tools, techniques, materials and resources to generate different kinds of evidence of working and outcomes. Emphasis is on an increased breadth of approach commensurate in demand with the other titles. The context of practice, rather than the breadth of activities and/or range of media employed, determines whether a student’s work can be described as art-based, craft-based and/or design-based.

Students must explore and create work associated with areas of study from at least two titles listed below.

  • Fine art: for example drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, lens-/light-based media, photography and the moving image, printmaking, mixed media and land art. 
  • Graphic communication: for example communication graphics, design for print, advertising and branding, illustration, package design, typography, interactive design, (including web, app and game), multi-media, motion graphics, signage and exhibition graphics.
  • Textile design: for example art textiles, fashion design and illustration, costume design, constructed textiles, printed and dyed textiles, surface pattern, stitched and/or embellished textiles, soft furnishings and/or textiles for interiors, digital textiles and installed textiles.
  • Three-dimensional design: for example architectural design, sculpture, ceramics, product design, jewellery and body adornment, interior design, environmental/landscape/garden design, exhibition design, three-dimensional digital design and designs for theatre, film and television. 
  • Photography: for example portraiture, location photography, studio photography, experimental imagery, installation, documentary photography, photo-journalism, moving image: film, video and animation, fashion photography.

Year 10: Pupils will complete unit 1 and start unit 2.

Year 11: Pupils will complete unit and prepare for the exam.



GCSE PHOTOGRAPHY: current exam board: OCR specification

Candidates can use traditional and/or new media e.g. digital, to produce outcomes such as documentary work, photojournalism, experimental imagery, photomontage, photographic or digital installation, animation, video and film. Work may be in black and white and/or colour. Candidates should demonstrate an expressive and/or interpretative artistic response to the visual world. They should show understanding of conventions and genres such as portrait, landscape and movement and a range of techniques appropriate to the chosen specialism of photography. In responding to their chosen activities in Photography – Lens and Light-based Media, candidates will be expected to demonstrate skills through a variety of processes and techniques when using differing approaches to making images.

Year 10 - UNIT 1: 3D Design Portfolio- Unit 1: 60% of the total GCSE mark: For this unit, the students need to produce a portfolio of work showing their personal response to either a starting point, brief, scenario, or stimulus devised and provided by the centre. The controlled assessment is approximately 45 hours to complete the portfolio 100 marks 60% of the qualification; this unit is internally assessed and externally moderated by OCR.

Year 11 - UNIT 2: 3D Design OCR-set Task The early release paper will be issued in January and will provide candidates with a range of written and visual starting points, briefs, scenarios and stimuli. From these, one must be selected upon which to base their personal response. The early release paper is issued to candidates on or after 1 January; unlimited preparatory period 10 hours supervised OCR-set task (100 marks) 40% of the qualification. This unit is internally assessed and externally moderated by OCR.



Fine art Students should be introduced to a variety of experiences that explore a range of fine art media, processes and techniques. They should be made aware of both traditional and new media. Students should explore the use of drawing for different purposes, using a variety of methods and media on a variety of scales. Students may use sketchbooks/workbooks/journals to underpin their work where appropriate. Students should explore relevant images, artifacts and resources relating to a range of art, craft and design, from the past and from recent times, including European and non-European examples. This should be integral to the investigating and making processes. Students' responses to these examples must be shown through practical and critical activities that demonstrate their understanding of different styles, genres and traditions. Students should be aware of the four assessment objectives to be demonstrated in the context of the content and skills presented. They should be aware of the importance of process as well as product.

Year 12 - Light Project

In Component 1, students produce an extended collection of work that exemplifies aspects of their developing knowledge, skills and understanding. It should provide evidence of research, the development of ideas, making skills and critical/contextual understanding. It should demonstrate the student’s ability to sustain work from an initial starting point to a realisation.

Year 13 - Personal Development Project

In Component 1, students develop work based on an idea, issue, concept or theme leading to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes. Practical elements should make connections with some aspect of contemporary or past practice of artist(s), designer(s), photographers or craftspeople and include written work of no less than 1000 and no more than 3000 words which support the practical work.


Year 12

COMPONENT 1: 60% OF TOTAL QUALIFICATION: This component incorporates three major elements; supporting studies, practical work and a min of 1000 continuous prose.

  1. Supporting studies: to generate ideas for the practical work. Can take on many forms; recorded research, written annotation and practical exploration and development.
  2. Practical work: This will consist of a body of work and outcomes…
  3. The personal study: min 100 words- making links to the student’s own work and practical investigations, supported with contextual research. The personal study comprises of 12% of the final qualification and is marked out of 18. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the social, cultural or historical contexts.

Year 13

COMPONENT 2: 40% OF THE TOTAL QUALIFICATION: This incorporates 2 major elements: preparatory studies and the 15 hour period of sustained focus under CA. This is an externally set assignment and draws together all the knowledge, understanding and skills obtained throughout the course. The 15 hour response consists of one broad- based thematic starting point to which students respond by developing a portfolio of practical work and final outcomes. Internally assessed and externally moderated. The externally assessed assignment will be released from 1st February of each year. It may take place of a multiply sessions (a maximum of 5 over 3 consecutive weeks).

  1. Preparatory studies: Will be evidenced through a creative journey using; recorded research, written annotations and practical exploration and development. Prep studies must be submitted with final outcomes produced during the 15 hour sustained focus to show the breadth and depth of the student’s visual and written critical thinking in the progress of their work.
  2. 15 hour sustained focus: A response to the externally set assignment brief, based on their prep studies. This work must be completed unaided and in controlled examination conditions. Students must not assess their work outside of the controlled time.


Ms. H Hassan (Curriculum Team Leader)  
Mr R. Parker  
Ms E. Clark  


Northampton School for Boys, Billing Road, Northampton, NN1 5RT
01604 230240