Art lessons embody some of the most creative types of learning. Our aim is to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, whilst encouraging the development of independent learners. Students will become equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design, whilst extending their confidence to take creative risks.

We have created a well-resourced and stimulating environment within our three specialist classrooms, where success and achievement are valued and celebrated.


  • To produce creative, imaginative and personal work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences through observation and experimentation.
  • To become proficient in drawing, painting, printing, sculpture, photography and other art, craft and design techniques.
  • To evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design, using CoProFoMo (Content, Process, Form and Mood) and the formal elements of line, shape, form, tone, texture, pattern, colour and composition.
  • To know about great artists, craft makers and designers, art movements and styles and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.

The Art department has high expectations of our students’ attainment, development and personal conduct and promotes learning that supports the perception and understanding of spiritual, moral, social, cultural and emotional issues within a visual context.

Art is part of the core curriculum at Key Stage 3 with both Art and Photography options available at GCSE.


At Tabor, Key Stage 3 provides a very broad range of creative options and encourages students to become independent creative artists. We believe that to realise the full potential of our students, they need to be introduced to diverse disciplines as soon as possible whether it is basic mark-making on paper, the flexibility of constructing with cardboard, wire or clay, or simply producing pieces of art on a huge and challenging scale. Each year will include a multitude of options, based on selected themes, designed to give each student a clear idea of their own creative strength.

Students experience Art for 1 hour per week during Key Stage 3 and we regularly assess throughout each project, providing feedback to facilitate further development and progress. All students complete a baseline assessment at the beginning of each term, assessing observational drawing skills and the handling of different media. These levels are recorded and monitored for progress. Students are expected to complete one homework on a 2 weekly basis.

Students will work practically in a sketchbook throughout the year, as well as creating larger 2D and 3D responses outside of their book, covering the skills of investigating artists and materials, recording observations and ideas, creating a personal response and evaluating and reflecting on their work and the work of others. This work will show understanding of the formal Art elements of colour, form, tone, texture, pattern, shape, space and line. Written annotation, analysis and evaluation will feature within their work.

Throughout Key Stage 3 there will be opportunities to visit museums and galleries to see art work first hand, such as The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and The Henry Moore Foundation in Hertfordshire.

  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Autumn Baseline Assessment - Pencil Drawing

Key Skills - Tone & Mark-Making

Colour & Shape - Colour Wheel & Theory

Wassily Kandinsky - Painting to Music

Alexander Calder & Joan Miro - 3D Design & Construction

Baseline Assessment - Pencil Drawing

Surrealism - Artist Research & Observational Studies

Portraits - Proportion & Features

Surreal Portraits - Ideas & Personal Response

Surreal Still-Life - Ideas & Personal Response

Baseline Assessment - Pencil Drawing

Henry Moore – Human Figure - Negative Space, Observational & Mixed Media Studies

Life Drawing & Design Ideas - Shape & Proportion

Reclining Figure Personal Response - Inspired by Henry Moore

Jacob Epstein – Sculpture - Artist Research & Observational Studies

Epstein Inspired Clay Head - Design Ideas & Personal Response

Spring Baseline Assessment - Watercolour Painting

Colour & Form - Niki de Saint Phalle

Pattern & Repetition - William Morris & Symmetry

Angie Lewin – Nature & Flower Inspired Designs

Baseline Assessment - Watercolour Painting

African Animal Masks - Research & Observational Studies

Mask Experiments - Development of Mask Ideas

African Animal Clay Mask Construction - Shape, Colour & Pattern

Baseline Assessment - Watercolour Painting

Clay Head Painting - Epstein Inspired, Colour & Texture

Marc Chagall - Research & Observational Studies

Development of Print Ideas - Composition inspired by Chagall

Poly/Lino Block Printing - Inspired by Chagall, Mixed Media Response

Summer Baseline Assessment - Pen Drawing

Poly Block Printing - Inspired by Angie Lewin, Mixed Media & Collage

Georgia O'Keeffe - Flowers and Skulls

Andy Goldsworthy - Land Art Research & Creation

Baseline Assessment - Pen Drawing

British Icons – The Pre-Raphaelites - Artist Research & Observational Studies

Photography to Inform Ideas - Detail and Composition

Painting in Pre-Raphaelite Style - Personal Response

Baseline Assessment - Pen Drawing

Landscapes - Graffiti, Street, Urban & Rural Landscape Research & Presentation

Banksy & David Hockney - Development of Ideas & Personal Response

Tim Burton – Illustration - Artist Research & Observational Studies

Illustration in Burton’s Style - Pen & Ink/Watercolour Personal Studies


Year 7

Art photo 4 Art photo 3Art photo 5

Year 8

Art photo 6 Art photo 7 Art photo 8

Year 9

Art photo 10Art photo 9 Art photo 11

At Key Stage 4 students currently follow the AQA exam board specification. Two subjects are currently offered as options for students who wish to continue their study of Art to GCSE; Art and Photography.

Students experience Art or Photography for 3 hours per week during Key Stage 4 and we regularly assess throughout each project, providing feedback and one to one tutorials to facilitate further development and progress. Students will be expected to undertake regular independent learning at home and Year 11 will feature a mock examination toward the latter part of the autumn term.

How is GCSE Art and Photography assessed/examined?

Unit 1: Personal Portfolio (Coursework unit) – 60% of the final grade.

This will comprise of a sketchbook and other supporting studies. Students will research and analyse a range of artists and photographers, work from observation, develop ideas with clear annotation and drawings, and experiment with media and techniques which will lead to a range of personal responses.

Unit 2: Externally set Assignment (Controlled test) – 40% of the final grade.

The theme of this unit is set by the exam board. Students have a minimum of 20 hours preparation time followed by an unaided 10 hour exam on a final piece. This follows a similar format to coursework but over a considerably shorter time.

In both cases, work will be assessed against four assessment objectives as follows:

Assessment Objective 1: Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.

Assessment Objective 2: Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.

Assessment Objective 3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.

Assessment Objective 4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.

Students’ work will be internally assessed by teachers in the Art department. A sample will then be selected by the exam board which will be assessed by an external moderator.



We follow a course that allows students to work in any materials/style they wish. GCSE Art is a creative course that allows students to explore the formal elements within Art through themes and the creative responses of historical and contemporary artist/designers.

Strong observational drawing skills underpin each project and act as a foundation for the successful development of further skills and experimentation. All students will be expected to complete in-depth analysis of the work of artists and designers using the CoProFoMo structure (Content, Process, Form and Mood) as well as independent learning tasks.

We encourage our students to visit galleries, exhibitions and arts events that will inform their learning; a visit to the Tate Modern or Britain in London will be incorporated into the course.

In year 10 we immerse our students within the creative process, exploring in depth themes and topics through personal, creative exploration of media, processes and techniques. The recording and development of these processes is sketchbook based, making them invaluable and sophisticated documents showing the routes taken to final outcomes.

Students begin by studying and analysing the work of artists and designers linked to the theme of ‘Food’, such as Sarah Graham, Wayne Thiebaud, Emma Dibben and Claes Oldenburg. Responses to their work are created using a wide variety of 2D and 3D approaches and techniques including clay, sculpture, printmaking, acrylic and watercolour painting, mixed media and collage.


In year 11 our students will complete a self-led project that showcases their understanding of processes and techniques on the theme of ‘The Human Figure’. The research and analysis of various figurative artists will further inspire ideas towards expressive and possibly abstract outcomes using lino printing, drypoint etching, and other media and approaches of their choice.

The externally set examination will begin in the Spring term of year 11.



Photography is an increasingly popular choice at GCSE, allowing students to capture and create images using a range of photographic techniques and processes, whilst experimenting with digital and manual editing.

Students will be given the opportunity to:

  • Research a wide range of different photographers and the history of photography.
  • Analyse photographic work in depth using specialist vocabulary.
  • Take effective photographs using a digital SLR camera.
  • Find out how to use photographic equipment within a darkroom.
  • Find out how to change and improve photographs using digital manipulation software such as Photoshop.
  • Experiment creatively with mixed media techniques, with annotation and drawing to show the development of their ideas.

The emphasis will be placed on the student to be independent and take responsibility for their learning and creative practice. This, coupled with the practical and theoretical skills they will gain during the course, will provide students with a solid base for any future pathway within Photography.

We encourage our students to visit galleries, exhibitions and arts events that will inform their learning; a visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum or The Photographers’ Gallery in London will be incorporated into the course.


In year 10 students will first be introduced to the ‘Rules of Composition’ and the powerful effect that elements such as symmetry, rule of thirds, leading lines and space can have on creating a successfully composed photograph. Projects looking at the technical aspects of aperture and shutter speed follow, allowing for the creation of exciting ‘light paintings’ inspired by Picasso.

In the Spring term the ‘History of Photography’ will be studied and students will have the opportunity to create pin hole cameras and ‘Rayographs’ in the dark room. Sarah Graham’s sweet compositions, and the thought provoking and often humorous photographer Slinkachu will then be studied with outcomes produced which demonstrate an understanding of how to use rules of composition, aperture and shutter speed effectively.

The final projects of the Summer term will look at ‘Portraiture’, experimenting with a variety of approaches to, and styles of, portrait photography, leading to the development of creative ideas for a magazine cover incorporating a striking portrait image.


In year 11 students will further develop their photography knowledge and skills with a mixed media focus. Images will be altered and manipulated both digitally and manually using a variety of techniques including painting, tearing, layering and stitching, and artists including Joe Cruz, Lorena Cosba and Amy Friend will be researched and analysed, leading to further experiments and development of ideas towards an exciting personal response.

The externally set examination will begin in the Spring term of year 11.

Every year in June we hold an Art and Photography exhibition of course and examination work, celebrating the achievements of students at GCSE and A Level. Students, friends and family are invited to view the work on display in the Art rooms, and we are always so proud of the standard of the outstanding work created.

Art is a demanding and challenging subject which is enhanced through independent and personal engagement. Regular visits to as many exhibitions and galleries as possible would be hugely beneficial, as well as viewing art centred documentaries or programmes on television. However, the most important support we would recommend is regular viewing and discussion of the sketchbook – encouraging your child to discuss what they are learning and the artists/themes they are studying. Websites   Books The Art Book – Phaidon Press Ltd The 20th Century Art Book – Phaidon Press Ltd The Photography Book – Ian Jeffery

Google Classroom


To be fully prepared for your Art lessons you will need to bring the following equipment:

  • Pencils to draw with.
  • A good rubber and pencil sharpener.
  • A ruler.
  • A black pen.
  • A good selection of coloured pencils.

If you have any other Art equipment that you would like to bring into lessons, such as pastels, paints and brushes, you are more than welcome when appropriate.


KS4 Art

You will be expected to work in a wider range of media with more experimental techniques. All equipment and resources will be provided, however the following items would be useful in addition to the list above:

  • A3 sketchbook (can be purchased through the Art department).
  • A set of sketching pencils of different grades e.g. 2B, 4B and 6B.
  • A set of watercolour paints with appropriate brushes.
  • A set of acrylic paints with appropriate brushes.
  • A set of oil pastels/soft pastels.
  • Black fineliner pen.


KS4 Photography

  • A3 black paper sketchbook (can be purchased through the Art department).
  • White gel pen or white pencil (for writing on black paper in your sketchbook).
  • SDHC card (for use in DSLR cameras).
  • SDHC card reader.
  • USB memory stick (for saving work).
  • Glue stick.
  • Access to photographic quality printing outside of school.

Students’ own cameras can also be brought into school and used in Photography lessons.

We will be offering a range of enrichment opportunities throughout the academic year with multi-disciplinary learning experiences for our students. Clubs, such as the following, will be on offer once a week:

KS3 Art – lunchtime with Mr Chaplin and after school with Mrs Hellaby-Pearson.

KS4 Art and Photography – both lunchtime and after school with Mr Chaplin, Mrs Hellaby-Pearson and Miss Papadatou.

Mosaic Club – with Mr Chaplin.

There will also be the opportunity for other activities such mural painting, gallery visits, whole school productions and exhibitions.

The Art department has run a number of successful trips this academic year.

The Fitzwilliam Museum

On 4th February 2020 year 8 students enjoyed an Art trip to The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. Students were able to enjoy paintings by famous artists including Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh and Matisse.


Victoria & Albert Museum

On 19th November 2019 GCSE and A Level students visited the Photography Rooms within the V&A Museum in London, as well as many other art and design treasures.


Tate Modern

In January 2020 our Art and Photography GCSE and A Level students experienced the exciting work within the Tate Modern in London. Students spent the day discovering new and unusual forms of art, including a sculpture made of oranges, of which we could take 1 orange each, and a tower of colourful light boxes!


Braintree Museum

On Tuesday 3rd March the Art department took year 10 Art students to Braintree Museum to take part in an exciting printing workshop led by Alice Hellard from The Courtauld Institute. The day started with an introduction to the Courtaulds exhibition and Gaughuin prints exhibited, discussing the Courtaulds family and the development of the Courtauld Institute. This led to the planning and creation of woodblock prints inspired by the artist Paul Gaughuin with a practical workshop using his printmaking techniques, finished with a curating activity in the gallery looking at Gaughuin and feminism.

The students produced some fantastic prints which were then further developed when back in the classroom, and contributed fully to discussions during the day. It was a fantastic experience for both students and staff that will enrich the further development of coursework outcomes.

Taking Art could lead to a wide range of career opportunities such as:

Architecture – Engineer – Town planner
Art restoration – Art Historian – Auctioneer
Fashion and Textile industry
Film / Video making – Photography
Fine Art – Painting – Sculpture
Graphic Design – Magazine Editors – Advertisers
Industrial product design
Interior design
Jewellery designer
Media – research, reporting, presenting
Occupational therapy
Teaching – Primary, Secondary, Further Education or Higher Education
Web page designer

We will be offering a range of enrichment opportunities throughout the academic year with multi-disciplinary learning experiences for our students. Clubs, such as the following, will be on offer:

  • KS3 Art
  • KS4 Art and Photography
  • KS3 Photography
  • KS3 Gifted and Talented

There will also be the opportunity for other activities such as working with visiting artists/designers, workshops, gallery visits, whole school productions and exhibitions.

Subject 2019 4-9 2019 5-9 2020 4-9 2020 5-9
Art 93% 79%    
Photography 63% 50%