Art at Key Stage 3
All Lower School students at Sutton Grammar School study Art at Key Stage 3. The programme of study is project-based and includes a comprehensive range of methods, materials and techniques working in both two and three dimensions. We consider critical and contextual studies to be central to the creative process; the students will be introduced to a range of architects, artists and designers as part of their research and development of a project or theme.
Homework is set fortnightly and provides an opportunity for independent work and research. Tasks are always set with the aim of extending and reinforcing the students' classroom learning.
Teaching and learning takes place in two light and spacious art rooms. The pupils can arrange to use these rooms at lunchtimes and after school during Art Club. They are encouraged to use this time, space - and the available staff support - to develop personal projects, finish classwork and engage in creative activities for other subject areas (eg. making props for school productions, or models for history projects).
Independent learning is encouraged and all class/homework projects are designed such that there is ample space for each student to explore his personal interests and ideas.
Year 7 pupils are introduced to the basic elements of visual language and concentrate on tone, line and colour. There is a strong emphasis on observational drawing as a source for creative activity and investigation. The pupils learn how to use basic tools and techniques in both 'wet' and 'dry' media and are introduced to a selection of relevant art and artists.
Sample Project: Hockney Project
The brief is to make a landscape painting in the style of David Hockney. Drawing techniques are covered before studying colour theory with lots of painting lessons. Abstracted colours are used and pupils are encouraged to collect relevant landscape source material to work from in class.
During Year 8, pupils develop their understanding of the creative process and visual language by looking at pattern and design from different cultures. Concepts of identity and display are also explored. They are introduced to three-dimensional construction, relief work and a more extensive range of both 'wet' and 'dry' materials. Pupils are encouraged to use their sketchbooks more fluently to explore ideas.
Sample Project: Bird Mask Project
Pupils discuss the role of masks for the purpose of display, in rituals and in the formation of identity. They investigate the functions, design and construction of masks from a range of different cultures and make designs in pairs. Pupils are then taught how to construct masks using a range of different materials.
In preparation for the thematic approach to work in Year 10, the pupils are given a project brief with a variety of option, and are encouraged to select and develop individual ideas. Year 9 pupils use diverse sources and are introduced to different ways of representing space in both two and three dimensions. More complex issues and ideas in Art are discussed with reference to examples of modern and contemporary art practice.
Sample Project: Print and Propaganda Project
Pupils are taught about various prints and propaganda techniques with a focus on Shepard Fairey’s ‘Hope’ poster of Barack Obama. All pupils make a lino print using images of figures which inspire them in some way or represent hope to them. Stencil and screen printing techniques are then used with pupils making unique designs showing their understanding of propaganda.