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Art is distinctive in the way that it enables us to combine feeling, thinking and making

Art and Design makes a unique and significant contribution to school life and to the learning experience of all students.  Art is all encompassing and all students have the opportunity to explore different ways of expressing ideas, experimenting with a broad range of materials, techniques and processes and develop an awareness of their visual world and the cultures that have shaped it.

The Art department at Southborough High School has a strong reputation for the quality of its work and for the broad range of disciplines it offers its students. Those disciplines offered at present are painting and drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, ceramics and textiles. The department believes that students should be able to become independent learners, and that they should feel able to take risks with their work within a supportive and nurturing environment.

Students’ work is displayed around the school, especially in school corridors and stairways.  Students from all year groups have the opportunity to exhibit their work in the annual Art Exhibition and opportunities are also often taken up to exhibit work outside school, for example at locally organised exhibitions or competitions.

Clubs and after school activities are an integral part of the department’s wider contribution to school life. These range from life drawing classes for Sixth Form students to lunchtime and after school art clubs for all year groups. GCSE and A Level students also have the opportunity to attend coursework workshops during the holidays.

The Art Department at Southborough High School is a dynamic and highly successful one. We aim to encourage and inspire the pupils through a wide variety of activities and to develop their creativity, independence and aspirations.

The pupils are encouraged to develop an awareness of art, craft and design within a critical, historical and social context and to experience work from a wide variety of cultures from around the world.

Key Stage 3 art, craft and design sets the foundation for further work in the senior years. Each student will experience many different approaches to making art using a wide range of materials, techniques and processes. As well as exploring drawing and painting techniques, we offer the opportunity to utilise new media (such as Photoshop animation), printmaking, clay and ceramic,  to 3D sculpture using, clay, wire, mod roc,  papier-mâché, construction with card and recycled materials. 

We aim to encourage students to make a personal response to each theme, referencing the work of other artists and designers. We focus on developing a high level of practical skills alongside generic skills such as independent learning, problem solving and discursive reflection – all essential skills that are necessary to prepare students for future study and employment in many careers.


Intent, Implementation and Impact: The 3 I s


We provide our students with an Art and Music curriculum that builds their confidence and resilience in parallel with their skills, knowledge and understanding. We deliver a skills based curriculum that ultimately inspires personal expression, provides cultural understanding and elicits the creation of imaginative response.


The Art and Music Faculty is an environment that is engaging, challenging, welcoming, creative and imaginative but also non-threatening in which students are encouraged to have a go, get things wrong, become reflective and over time, grow in confidence in both their technical ability as well as their ability to express themselves through their chosen discipline.

Each year we have students arriving in Year 7 from numerous different primary schools all with varying degrees of experience and confidence in Art and Music In Key Stage 3 our intent is to equip all students with the skills, knowledge and understanding to succeed in our KS4 and KS5 courses and beyond.

In Art we begin by going right back to the basics at the start of Year 7 where we learn about line and tone and the relationship between light and objects. We then explore colour and begin applying these newly acquired skills over the course of the year through the exploration of drawing, painting, print-making, ceramics, sculpture and some photography. Each year we build on each of those media, increasing the levels of challenge which results in the student’s work becoming more sophisticated as they progress through the year groups. As their skills develop we ask the students to be more creative in their response to varying contextual influences. By the time they enrol on our sixth form courses, our students are confident and independent practitioners who can be afforded the freedom to explore their own specialised creative pathway in the subject

In Music, our approach is the same. We believe that all students, regardless of their individual starting points, have the potential to make progress in their understanding and appreciation of Music. In their first lessons in Year 7, the students are introduced to the concept of rhythm through the exploration o厂STOMP’. From the outset, we make sound the principle language of learning, through the teacher’s live modelling, students’ live responses or through recordings that are analysed and discussed. Students begin to communicate their ideas through sound either on an instrument or by vocalising it. As lessons develop each student will grow their contextual and practical knowledge of the subject and begin to move away from simply copying something and describing it in the musical vocabulary, to creating something new which builds upon what they have learnt so far through carefully planned programs of study that gain in technical complexity each year.

Students who qualify for free school meals can apply to receive school funded peripatetic music lessons in an instrument of their choice.


Our students enter KS4 with a broad knowledge of music/art practices and of music/art history. They are able to critically analyse their own work and that of others.

Historically our students do better in art and music than in other subjects and we will continue to measure their success in terms of progress and personal growth.

Our students leave KS5 as subject specialists and in recent years have gone on to further their studies in the subjects at prestigious universities like the Royal Drawing school, UCA and the Royal College of Art.

Key Stage 4 Course


At GCSE we offer the Art & Design course which enables students to follow a broad programme of art and encourages students to explore their own ideas through a wide variety of materials, techniques and processes. Students will also participate in visits to galleries and museums as part of their course.

WJEC GCSE Art and Design Specification


Key Stage 5 Course

Key Stage 5

A Level

At KS5 we offer the Art & Design A-level so that students work within a broad art practice of painting and drawing, sculpture, installation and printmaking just to name a few of the areas. The students work in depth within a brief and explore their ideas to produce individual and creative work in response to a range of starting points and artists.

BTEC Level 3

Southborough also offers the BTEC Level 3 Art & Design course, if it is appropriate for a particular student/group of students, as an Extended Certificate and Diploma. This course is for those students who wish to continue with art and design within higher education. Most students decide to go on to undertake an Art Foundation qualification or go straight to an arts based degree course such as Fine Art, Illustration or Architecture with 100% of our students being accepted to their chosen course.

WJEC A Level Art and Design Specification

Useful Links

Curriculum Maps

Art music art y7

Art music art y8

Art music art y9

Art music art y10

Art music art y11