The Peak Academy Learning & Education

Art & Design

Purpose of study

Art and Design at The Peak aims to inspire, challenge and motivate every student, no matter what their level of ability. We aim to introduce students to a broad, engaging, and challenging curriculum, developing their understanding of the term ‘Art’, as it is much more than drawing.

All students start the academic year with a ‘Show me what you know’ baseline assessment. This covers a range of skills including knowledge of key terms, practical application of tone and form, colour theory knowledge and painting skills as well as drawing from observation and recording using the grid method.
Each project follows a similar format to the GCSE course, with artist or contextual investigates, exploration of media and techniques, opportunities to record using different methods and processes and finally linking this all together with a final outcome(s). Not all projects may have a final outcome as the purpose may be more focused on the learning journey, such as exploration of skills and media.

Literacy is a high priority across the curriculum, and Art and Design is no different. The Art room has a word wall display showcasing key terms, no matter the students level of study, as well as a day to day word wall, where new terminology and topic specific terminology is added and referred to throughout lessons. Annotation prompts are provided to support the students reading, research, writing, and communication skills.


At The Peak Academy, the curriculum for art and design aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences.
  • Become skilful in drawing, painting, sculpture, and other art, craft, and design techniques.
  • Evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft, and design.
  • Know about great artists, craft makers, and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.

Art & Design Curriculum

Each project is tailored to the needs of the class and the students within it. This means that how one group explores 'Movement' may vary to another. However, the skill and knowledge development is best suited to the learning stage of the student. This promotes the 'I can do art' mind set and inclusivity.


At KS4, students follow the AQA GCSE specification. This has been designed to allow students to develop knowledge and understanding during the course through a variety of learning experiences and approaches, including engagement with sources. This will allow them to develop the skills to explore, create and communicate their own ideas.

The course consists of two components, a portfolio of coursework (worth 60%) and a practical exam or externally set assignment (worth 40%). Each has four areas of assessment which are equally weighted, however this does emphasise how the learning journey is more valuable than the final outcome:

  • AO1: Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.
  • AO2: Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.
  • AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.
  • AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.

2019-20 projects – Natural Forms, Characters and Comics, Paper, and the externally-set assignment.


At KS3, students begin to develop the same skills required for GCSE, however there are referred to as Knowledge, Explore and Generate, Record and Annotate, and Final Outcome(s) or Piece(s). This allows for a smooth progression from KS3 to KS4.

Art and Design is truly a cross-curriculum subject, and we aim to support the student’s development of their fine motor skills and other transferable skills, such as problem solving, group work and creative thinking. They are introduced to a range of different media, process and techniques, including the importance of health and safety/safe working practices.

The schools aim is for every child to progress, be happy and prepared for a successful, fulfilling adulthood. Throughout KS3 Art, we aim to show the purpose and application of Art and Design in the wider world. Each project has links to transferable skills and careers. Some of the transferable skills developed through art include:

  • Fine motor skills
  • Imagination and creativity
  • Critical awareness of self and external factors and the ability to be reflective
  • Interpersonal and social skills
  • Resourcefulness
  • An appreciation of diversity
  • Creative problem-solving
  • Team working
  • The ability to work independently
  • Decision-making
  • Oral and written communication
  • Visual presentation
  • Information and research
  • Self-motivation and self-management
  • Organisation and planning
  • IT, particularly using creative software.

2019-20 projects have included: Animals, All about me, Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), Expression, Movement, Op Art and movement

Break and Lunch Activities

Art has many specialisms within it and is often referred to as Art, Craft and Design. At The Peak Academy, we recognise that many students may arrive having experienced significant disruption to their education and development. With this in mind, students are able to access the Art room at break and lunch, in relation to their PEAK reward points, to explore more craft related activities.

These can include seasonal activities such as:

• Halloween crafts
• Christmas cards, wreaths, baubles and gift boxes
• Valentines, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Someone special cards
• Easter basket weaving, decorated eggs, egg chicks and bunnies, cards
• Free drawing activities
• Extra support with projects for both KS3 and KS4
• Activities based on specific events like World Book Day or Science week
• As well as the chance to explore media they may not have at home in any way they wish.

These activities vary on the time of year and resources available, but are advertised to students via Miss Gay, their form tutors and the school's Twitter page.

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