Welcome to the Art and Photography Department

The Art Department at Harrow Way aims to encourage an understanding of art in its broadest terms. Our goal is to familiarise students with a range of materials, techniques and experiences as well as to introduce students to the rich and varied aspects of the history of art and cultures. Wherever possible, the use of Information Communications Technology is incorporated into projects. Our aim is to allow every student to develop and discover his or her interests and talents and to eventually achieve success at examination level. We place a strong emphasis upon imagination in our teaching, but link this with the need for sound technical expertise, and encourage students to develop the ability to differentiate between that which is original or cliched, beautiful or ugly and meaningful or contrived. In effect, we aim to teach a visual vocabulary so that students might acquire a perceptive view of the visual world.

Three highly trained members of staff, each offering an introduction to three specialist subjects: sculpture, textiles and painting and drawing, photography and Photoshop.

During key stage 3, students are taken back to basics and learn or revisit the formal elements. Across the two years, contextual, cultural and design projects are delivered, all of which revisit the basic skills to improve and extend, and build confidence. The Art department prides itself on having work that is accessible to all, but with room to extend. A wide range of materials and techniques is available so that artwork produced shows variety, imagination and personality. Outcomes include: 3D, ceramics, textiles, painting, drawing, mixed media, photography and photographic manipulation.

Curriculum Content

Key Stage 3

Year 7

In year 7, a “Still Life” project provides an introduction to observational drawing, through a sequence of drawing exercises including tonal shading and ellipses to show form. “Cubist Portraits” introduces proportion of the face and colour theory through cubism. Finally in year 7, an opportunity is given to learn about different arts and crafts around the world through one of the cultural projects, such as Aboriginal Stories. In “Shoes with Views” or “Plastic Ocean”, students learn how to express concerns through artwork.

  • Term 1: Treasure Island, Remembrance, and Still Life

  • Term 2: Contextual project: Cubist Portraits

  • Term 3: Cultural projects

Year 8

In year 8, the “Surrealism” project provides an introduction to one-point perspective. A sequence of step by step demonstrations, video clip tutorials and practise, helps to understand the concept of perspective whilst building on drawing skills learned in the previous year. “Pop Art” is a popular project for year 8s, gaining a taster session for Photoshop, wherever digital access is available, and an introduction to textile techniques in order to create work for an Art Shop. The final project looks at a different culture such as Bulgaria, African masks or Seaside. All year 8 students will have the opportunity to attend a fabric fusing workshop with a visiting artist.

  • Term 1: Contextual project “Surrealism” and one-point perspective

  • Term 2: Design project “Pop Art”  & “Art Shop”, supported by a visiting artist working with Fabric Fusion.

  • Term 3:  Cultural project: “Masks” , “Bulgaria” &  “Seaside”

Year 9

Art & Design

Students prepare for GCSE Art & Design by looking at assessment objectives, building on their previous knowledge and understanding and honing their skills. Students will embark on two major projects, gradually taking ownership of the direction of their work as they become more confident. They are encouraged to experiment with a range of media and techniques, sometimes fusing more than one method to discover their own voice.

  • Project 1: “Circles and Rings” & “Focus on observation and experimentation”

  • Project 2: Self Directed study. Students will choose a starting point from a GCSE past paper and will produce a final outcome under exam conditions. Focus on skill strengths and personal preferences.


Students prepare for GCSE Photography by looking at assessment objectives, building on their previous knowledge and understanding and honing their skills. Students receive an introduction to more advanced photography skills through a range of projects, gradually taking ownership of the direction of their work as they become more confident. They are encouraged to experiment with a range of equipment and techniques and will use digital manipulation and other creative methods to discover their own voice.

  • Project 1: “Alphabets” closely observing the environment to discover hidden letters. Using camera angles, lighting and manipulation tools to develop compositional skills.

  • Project 2: “Narrative” reading a photograph and extending compositional skills to direct the viewer through different scenarios.

  • Project 3: “Toy Story” – using distorted scale to construct humorous scenarios.

  • Project 4: “Identity” a more self-directed journey into an exploration of the self, either as individuals or collectively.

Key Stage 4

Year 10 & 11 Art, Craft & Design and Photography

Students who follow the OCR GCSE Art, Craft & Design or the Photography syllabus are awarded grades through the collective assessment of a portfolio, where the students’ best work is selected for presentation (60%) and an externally set examination project, where students choose from a range of starting points provided by the exam board (40%).

In both Art Design and Photography, students are encouraged to extend skills to refine the quality of their outcomes as they develop ideas towards a more personal outcome. Researching the work of other artists, designers and photographers is encouraged throughout the course to inform the direction the artwork takes. Projects will take on different directions as the student considers what they are trying to say through their artwork.

Study visits to galleries, surrounding areas and a local college are put in place to support. A mock exam will take place in year 10 and 11 to familiarise the students with the process and the time constraints.

Current Art & Design project in year 10/11 is Coast, which will also cover a range of textile skills.