Students will work in sketchbooks alongside producing practical work, both inside and outside of the art classroom. They will work together creating projects linked to other subjects and the study of our own artistic heritage, in addition to art in a global context. This is planned to enrich the students’ school lives and encourage a sensitive awareness of the world around them. This work and experience provides a sound base for future examination or career development and hopefully a lasting life-long interest.


The Art and Design curriculum aims to engage all learners through contextual experience, creative practice and expression, using a wide range of media. The art teaching at Diss High school promotes excellence through a strong curriculum structure, building a foundation of creativity to support self-expression and individual intellectual development. Students will be given the opportunity to develop a secure knowledge and understanding of a variety of disciplines including drawing, painting, printmaking, textiles and sculpture. Students will develop a specialised vocabulary enabling them to communicate their own ideas as well as critically analyse the work of other artists, craftspeople and designers.

The objectives of our curriculum are to;

  • develop the knowledge, skills and understanding to experiment, invent and create works of art, craft and design.
  • offer a broad, balanced, inclusive and exciting curriculum to all students.
  • encourage and develop a culture of independent learning, self-discipline and aspiration in all students.


At Key Stage 3 students will have two lessons per fortnight where they will cover the national curriculum through a variety of theme based projects taught termly. Each project builds on prior learning to extend students’ knowledge, skills and understanding in subsequent projects. Practical skills are taught in greater depth and complexity as student’s progress through the key stage. Projects are assessed at least twice within a term and written feedback is given which aims to build confidence as well as reflect on specific areas to improve.


Students will gain broad subject knowledge and practical skills which will enhance their understanding of how art is created. Students will therefore gain an understanding of how to select and manipulate colours, textures, tones and patterns, within a range of materials, processes and techniques to develop their own ideas. Students will be able to produce a personal outcome and evaluation that reflects their learning.


Art careers come in all shapes and sizes. The skills developed during this course will allow you to access a diverse range of art careers. There are art industry jobs creating original works, selling and promoting them, and displaying them to the public in museums and galleries. There are jobs teaching others about art and jobs helping people to express themselves through art. There are also lots of art related jobs outside the world of art. Artistic vision and design skills are needed in areas

such as architecture, fashion, media, film, digital game design, interior design, theatre and many more.

‘Creativity is essential in a global economy that needs a workforce that is knowledgeable, imaginative and innovative. By making art a part of the national curriculum, we give the next generation of artists, designers, engineers, creators and cultural leaders the opportunity to develop the imagination and skills that are vital to our future.’ Tate, 2018.

Extra-Curricular Clubs

As an enrichment to your child’s learning, our art department provides ‘Open Studios’ every lunchtime in room 76 and 77 to enable students to enjoy and extend their experiences of the subject. Students may use this opportunity to continue to explore their class project or to explore a theme of their choice using the new techniques they have learnt during lesson time.

Key Stage 3

During Key Stage 3, pupils will have the opportunity to focus on developing their observational drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture skills within the context of a variety of projects and starting points. Students will learn about the formal elements of art and how these are used by artists to create works of art. Each project will include the study of artists, craftspeople, and designers to enrich and inform the work that students are producing. Pupils will also learn the theory and practical use of materials, processes and techniques, which will enhance their understanding of how art is created. Students will therefore gain an understanding of how to select and manipulate colours, textures, tones and patterns, within a range of materials, processes and techniques to develop their own ideas.

Key Stage 4

During Key Stage 4, as students embark on their Art GCSE, they will be expected to build up a body of coursework (Personal Portfolio) consisting of work undertaken in a variety of materials, techniques and processes. This will include drawing, painting, mixed media, printmaking, sculpture, photography, critical and historical work, textiles and/or collage. After initial exploration of these broad and varied disciplines the choice of media will be determined by the student, research and resources available. Pupils will be given a starting point from which to develop their work in their Component 1 Portfolio, they will then use a range of techniques to record their observations in their

sketchbooks, as a basis for exploring their ideas. They will create a body of work that covers all four Assessment Objectives as outlined by the examination boards at this level. There will be an exam at the end of Year 10 based on the development of their portfolio; they will then embark on second project theme to lead them into Year 11.

Pupils are encouraged to purchase a basic set of materials for GCSE work and will need an A3 Art sketchbook prior to the start of the year which they can purchase through school on the Pay360 system.

By the end of the course, year 11 students should have completed a personal portfolio of work that reflects approximately 45 hours of controlled assessment. Further specialised and personal experimentation is expected, where experimentation with materials will be encouraged. There will be an emphasis on covering the four assessment objectives so students can develop, refine, record and present their work.

The final assessment of the GCSE is based on two components:

COMPONENT 1 - Portfolio

For this unit, students will need to produce a portfolio of work showing their personal response to a range of starting points.

COMPONENT 2 – Externally Set Task

The early release paper will be issued in January and will provide students with a range of written and visual starting points, briefs, scenarios and stimuli. From these, students must select one on which to base their personal response.

Assessment throughout the course will be according to the syllabus and is based on four art assessment objectives: all assessment will be recorded on the student monitoring and assessment sheets where personalised feedback and targets for improvement will be given so students have clear understanding of how they can progress. Each component will be assessed against the assessment matrix sheets extracted from the syllabus and a grade given.

Resources: library, regional and national galleries, slides, videos, paint, printing equipment, sculpture materials, textiles equipment, drawing equipment.