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.

Art Curriculum Overview
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Curriculum Content

Key Stage 3

Year 7

All projects include 3 x key areas and a final outcome (claywork/textiles/card relief) and an introduction to sketchbook presentation.
We start with an “Insects” project that provides an introduction to observational drawing, through a sequence of drawing exercises, including tonal shading, symmetry and zentangle pattern. The “Cubist Portraits” project introduces the proportion of the face and colour theory through Picasso’s cubism. Finally, a cultural project provides the opportunity for students to create their own artwork which reflects an expression of themselves, either through art from different cultures or concerns within their own culture.

  • Term 1: ‘Remembrance’ and ‘Insects’

  • Term 2: Contextual project: Cubist Portraits

  • Term 3: Cultural projects

Year 8

In Year 8, the “Surrealism” project provides an introduction to the weird and strange artwork of Surrealists, primarily Rene Magritte. A sequence of step by step demonstrations on perspective enables the students to create their own surreal room, whilst building on the drawing skills learned in the previous year. “Pop Art” allows students to gain experience in a range of art textile techniques in order to create ideas and an outcome for an ‘Art Shop’. The final project encourages the students to create their own artwork as an expression of themselves or their concerns about their own culture, choosing the materials and techniques they enjoyed working with the most.

  • 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 in the Art & Design continue to build on their previous knowledge and understanding of artworks and artists, honing their skills through a broad range of materials and techniques and presenting their work in the sketchbook. They are encouraged to experiment with a range of media and techniques, sometimes fusing more than one method to discover their own voice. They gradually take ownership of the direction of their work as they become more confident and the final project gives GCSE style starting points for students to produce a final outcome under exam conditions.

  • Project 1: “Architecture” Harrow Way School Hundertwasser style. Observation and experimentation. Sketchbook presentation.

  • Project 2: Self Directed study. Focus on skill strengths and personal preferences.


Students in Photography receive an introduction to digital photography and Photoshop through four projects, each one providing a different focus. Research, photoshoots and outcomes are presented in a sketchbook.

  • 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 underlying meaning of the students’ work.  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.