Acland Burghley School

Acland Burghley School

Section Menu

Click on picture for Art at Acland Burghleys Pinterest Page

Opportunities for stretch and challenge 

There is the potential to work with more specialist materials, for example oil paint, where students have already acquired and can demonstrate a high level of practical skill in the materials and processes taught within units.

All classwork and homework activities have success criteria aimed at different levels. Aim for the most challenging set of criteria. A Y7 gallery trip is planned and students should make use of the knowledge gained by experiencing artworks in person to adapt and influence their own production.

How can you support your child in this subject?

Ideally by encouraging observational drawing and experimenting with art and design materials at home. Using a camera phone as a sketchbook on a regular basis and recording things of interest, is a brilliant way to get your child to see and reflect on a wide range of visual ideas. Visiting galleries and museums on a regular basis will also develop your child’s awareness and understanding of art and design in context.

Useful websites:

Useful reading:

  • The Art Book for Children published by Phaidon
  • Teaching Art with Books Kids Love: Art Elements,
  • Appreciation, and Design with Award-Winning
  • Books by Darcie Clark Frohardt

Things to see and do:


Y8 art exhibition is live for you to view. tumblr LINK


“As practice makes perfect, I cannot but make progress; each
drawing one makes, each study one paints, is a step forward."
Vincent Van Gogh


The Art and Design curriculum at Acland Burghley aims to engage students in questioning ‘What is Art & Design’: What is it, who makes it, where, how, why, when, and who uses it?

Projects are designed to both explore students own creativity and to develop their visual language to communicate their responses to these key questions. In Y7, Y8 and Y9 students will work on a range of investigations into specific historical and contemporary approaches and disciplines within art and design (developing a larger interconnected picture of what art and design is), uses of media and formal elements, the key artists involved in these practices and, crucially, how the resulting outcomes are displayed and received by audiences. Projects encompass 2D and 3D making, and in Y7, they lay a foundation with key concepts and practices developed and extended in Y8 and then Y9 moving to an introduction to GCSE. It develops students skills for learning; recording, developing and refining ideas through use of media and sources, contextualizing, and making and presenting own work – skills that prepare for success at GCSE.

In Y7 & Y8 projects are run on a carousel throughout the academic year. In Y9, students all follow the same units of work at the same time. Homework is set as a booklet once each half term, and develops and extends the ideas and skills taught through classwork. At KS3 there is one hour of Art per week.

What will my child be learning in Y7?

What will my child be learning in Y8 and Y9?


At GCSE projects are designed to take students through the different stages of an art and design project illustrating the processes that they need to explore and demonstrate an understanding of to be successful at GCSE. They are guided through exploring and responding to a set theme, learning: How sources inspire the development of ideas; the way in which meaning, ideas and intentions can be communicated through visual language using the formal elements; the characteristics, properties and effects of different media, materials and techniques; and the different purposes, intentions and functions of art, craft and design

The course is structured around an initial period of teacher-led workshops followed by a period of independent work allowing students to develop and explore their own ideas, and demonstrate independent understanding of what it means to make art, design and craft work. 

  • Across the course students need to:
  • Develop ideas through investigating, selecting and critically analysing sources
  • Apply an understanding of art practices and cultural industries to own work
  • Refine work as it progresses
  • Record ideas and observations using drawing and written annotation
  • Use visual language through effective and safe use of: Media, Materials, Techniques, Processes & technology
  • Use drawing skills for different purposes
  • Realise & present own intentions for making art and design work



Key skills

  • Developing practical ability to manipulate range of 2D & 3D materials
  • Experimentation with approaches – risk taking
  • Generating, adapting and refining ideas
  • Reflecting and recording own progress
  • Building understanding of the way that professional art and design makers work
  • Understanding context in which work is and has been made – historical and contemporary explorations of artists, craft makers and designer

Unit 1
Introduction to Specialist Pathways in Art & Design
A Gallery in Kentish Town is the client

You will learn about the design or making cycle when creating works in art and design. You will learn how professionals research widely from different sources to gain inspiration and how this helps them to generate ideas. You will explore, experiment with and learn how to use specialist materials and techniques relevant to your brief. You will develop your chosen specialist skills. You will also learn about the health and safety issues associated with traditional and contemporary media, techniques and processes that you use. 

In Unit 1—you need to;
A: Use specialist materials, techniques, equipment and processes in response to client briefs
B: Record formal elements within specialist pathways

Unit 3 - Communicating Ideas in 2D
The Photographers Gallery and Print Magazine are the clients

This unit introduces you to the wide range of media and mark-making styles associated with 2D techniques and processes such as drawing, painting, printmaking and photography. You will develop knowledge, skills and understanding in using media and mark-making in the production of design ideas, portfolio pages and final pieces. You will learn how to communicating ideas effectively using materials and mark-making styles suitable for your chosen specialty and end purpose.

In Unit 3 you need to;
A: Explore 2D visual language and working practices
B: Investigate how artists, craftspeople and designers communicate in 2D
C: Communicate ideas using knowledge and skills in response to a brief

Unit 4 - Communicating Ideas in 2D 
The V&A Gallery is the client

This unit introduces you to the wide range of construction making techniques associated with 3D techniques and processes such as wire, paper and card manipulation, ceramics, plaster and modroc. You will develop knowledge, skills and understanding using materials and in the production of design ideas, portfolio pages and final pieces. You will learn how to communicating ideas effectively using suitable for your end purpose and client requirements.

In Unit 4 you need to;
A: Explore 3D visual language and working practices
B: Investigate how artists, craftspeople and designers communicate in 3D
C: Communicate ideas using knowledge and skills in response to a brief