Why do we study Art?
At Ridgeway we see the arts as an incredible creation of humanity. A single image, creative thought or expression can harm or heal. It can define a civilisations identity. Throughout time artists have actively influenced key elements of society. In the current interconnected age of the internet and social media a single image can be the most powerful tool of communication, breaking through perceived boundaries such as language or identity. As an artist everywhere you look you are surrounded by inspiration, art is intertwined throughout everything we see and use. Rapid progression of innovation in technology, the ability for global collaboration and the fluidity of art and design allows for infinite possibilities. The availability of the arts to all provides an outlet for healthy expression of thoughts, feelings, and opinions. It allows a person to explore the world through different lenses, promoting abstract thought and problem solving. Students of the arts, even those not electing to take them forward post-education, will join a nurturing positive community. Learning to give and take constructive criticism of work without taking it to heart. Emerging into adulthood equipped with the ability to innovate, invent, adapt, and grow, key skills that will aid them in any walk of life.
KS2 – In KS2 pupils start their art and design journey at Ridgeway by developing skills in a range of media and techniques from drawing and printmaking to sculpture and photography. They begin to learn how to develop, refine and apply a skill or technique with critical consideration, reflection, and appropriate application. They explore how they can develop and communicate their own ideas independently as well as collaboratively. Historic and contemporary artist studies underpin and support their learning throughout allowing them to gain an appreciation of art in all forms from artists of all backgrounds.
KS3 – In year 7 pupils begin to take a more mature approach to their art and design education. At the start of the year, they complete their first formal observational drawing assessment, their starting point for their KS3 art and design journey at Ridgeway. They learn to successfully identify and use each of the visual elements; the ‘building blocks’ of art and design. Artist studies continue to underpin learning, with more challenging and in-depth research and analysis taking place throughout.
In year 8 pupils explore the wider context of art and design through the study of art movements over time. They once again explore a range of techniques and media, whilst gaining further freedom for personal independent experimentation, including mixed media. They consolidate the resilience gained from year 7 and can expect and move on from ‘mistakes’ within their work. They understand the importance of finding their personal artistic voice, with improved articulacy in written and spoken work within art and design. They produce purposeful artist studies that aid their personal development and can independently evaluate and refine their outcomes.
In year 9 pupils are able to take a mature student-led approach to each of their units of work. They understand the purpose of in-depth and personal artist research and are beginning to master a wide range of techniques and skills within art and design. They will explore historic and modern applications of art within a career’s context both historically and in the modern day. Before then moving on to produce a body of independent artwork mirroring a project undertaken at KS4.
KS4 – In year 10 pupils focus on component one of their GCSE, producing a portfolio that evidences a sustained project and a selection of further work that represents the course of study. This portfolio is worth 60% of their overall marks. In year 11 pupils finish component one of their GCSE by completing their portfolio of work and designing and producing a final piece. They then move onto component two of their GSCE, their externally set assignment. It features seven tasks and pupils must complete one of them. They get preparation time, plus ten hours of supervised exam time. This is worth 40% of their overall marks. Throughout both years pupils will continue to refine, develop, and build on skills and knowledge from KS3, whilst developing a sophisticated independent approach to their art and design study and practice. Studying art and design helps to create a broad and balanced curriculum, which is an excellent foundation for whatever a pupil may want to do afterwards. The transferable skills gained, such as creativity, analysis and problem solving, complement a range of other subjects and careers.