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 offer an introduction to sculpture, painting and drawing, photography and Photoshop.

Curriculum Content

Key Stage 3

During Years 7 and 8, 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. Opportunities are provided to explore new and familiar art materials and techniques, artists and styles: and ways to respond to them.  Sketchbook presentation skills are adopted in order to celebrate the work and show progress through the keystage. Verbal feedback is given continually and students will self, peer and class assess their work.

Year 7 Projects

‘Remembrance’: introduction to using the context of a WW1 soldier to respond through art media.  Outcome is an empathetic letter using mono print and paint.

‘Insects’: introduction to observational drawing, through a sequence of drawing exercises, symmetry and pattern.  Outcome is a response to Rosalind Monks in clay.

‘Still Life/Cubism’ introduction to the Cubist style and artists. Outcome is a response to Pablo Picasso in mixed media.

Year 8 Projects

In Year 8, the “Surrealism” project provides an introduction to 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 techniques and encourages them to create their own artwork as an expression of themselves or their concerns about their own culture.

‘Surrealism’: introduction to the weird and strange artwork of the Surrealists and to one-point perspective. Outcome is a response to Rene Magritte in a tonal drawing and clay piece.

‘Pop Art’: introduction to Pop Art and pop culture.  Outcomes are a response to Roy Lichtenstein through card relief and a personal mixed media piece.

Year 9

Art & Design

As part of their ‘Pathways’, students may choose to continue with the subject.

Project Themes

Architecture’: Introduction to how artists have responded to the theme.  The sketchbook will show exercises in a range of new and familiar materials and techniques.  The outcome is a clay relief which fuses the buildings of Harrow Way School with the style of Hundertwasser.

‘Broken or Damaged’ (self-directed study). Focus on skill strengths and personal preferences.


As part of their ‘Pathways’, students may choose to start Photography as a subject.

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

Project Themes

‘Alphabets’: introduction to composition through camera angles and props.  Introduction to digital manipulation tools through Photoshop.

‘Story’ part 1: introduction to ‘reading’ a photograph, extending both digital and compositional skills to direct the viewer through different scenarios.  Part 2: introduction to using distorted scale and props to construct humorous scenarios.

‘Identity’ (self-directed study): using skills learned over the course to explore 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 marks 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, Craft & 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.

Portfolio Themes (60%)

Art, Craft & Design

‘Coast’: Introduction to how other artists have responded to the theme.  Series of exercises and experimentation in a range of media and techniques, including art textiles. 

Focus on sketchbook presentation.  Outcome is a bodice, hanging or bag which demonstrates skills and ideas.  

‘Personal Study’: student choice of theme which incorporates or extends the theme of Coast, focusing on socio-political issues such as pollution, plastic in the sea, global warming etc. Choice of media and technique will be directed by the student.


‘Technicals’: introduction to the DSLR cameras, lighting setups and advanced Photoshops skills; extending those learned in year 9.  

‘Mystery & Imagination’:  Introduction to how other photographers have responded to the theme. Series of exercises and experimentation in a range of media and techniques, including physical and digital manipulation.  Focus on digital sketchbook presentation.  

‘Personal Study’: student choice of theme which incorporates or extends the theme of Mystery & Imagination, previous students have explored areas of horror, mental health and fantasy. Choice of media and technique will be directed by the student.

Externally-Set Task (40%)

In Year 11 students will receive a list of themes from the exam board.  Students work independently to explore one theme and prepare for a personal response which will be created under exam conditions.