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Art, Design and Photography Faculty

"An artist cannot fail. It is a success just to be one!"

"Design is everything” (Paul Rand 1914-1996)

Curriculum Vision

Our art curriculum develops all students into curious artist designers, who are critical thinkers and confident communicators through visual, written and linguistic forms.

We provide our students with a wealth of art making and art object experiences; through both we learn about different times, different cultures, and differing views and beliefs. Through the study and appreciation of art, our students explore what it means to be human and to be alive.

All students

  • We are ambitious for, and have high expectations of, all of our pupils and know that every student can experience success in art through careful sequencing of the curriculum, establishing schemas of creative process and high-quality, research-informed teaching and learning.
  • We believe that every student at Walthamstow Academy, regardless of prior or current attainment or skill, has the right to experience the full spectrum of art history across global cultures and develop their practical skills and the spoken, written and visual literacy to enable them to share and communicate their experiences.
  • Our consistent use of explicit direct instruction and attention to application of artistic skills across all classes ensures all students make progress in art, including those with SEND, art is for everyone.


  • Through our curriculum delivery, will be able to confidently articulate how art and design both reflect and shape our history, contributing to the culture, creativity and wealth of our world.
  • We recognise and promote that there is a wide range of success criteria available to evaluate and appreciate creative works, both in the wider world of art and in the art and design spaces at Walthamstow Academy. This helps students to understand value attributed to works.
  • At Walthamstow academy students gain pride through recognising value in their own work.

Reasoned judgements and analysis of image and language

  • Our curricular approach enables students to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design.
  • Through the development of strong reasoning and analytical skills, we want our students to appreciate the beauty, creativity and communicative power of the visual arts.

Development of a wide range of proficient artistic skills

  • Our art and design curriculum engages, inspires and challenges pupils, equipping them with the applied knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and refine their own works of art, craft and design.
  • Art, Design and Photography empowers our students to work in future fields as diverse as architecture, interior design, fine art, medicine and marketing.

Curriculum Overview


Cycle 1

Cycle 2

Year 7

What is art? We close gaps in prior learning by establishing a foundation of students understanding, art history exposure and making experience:

Establish the understanding that there is a range of criteria by which we can assess and quantify value in art. Introduce a range of drawing approaches beyond drawing a line around an object.

How art is made. We continue students foundational knowledge, understanding and experience through exploring the formal visual elements of art and design: colour, value, space, form, texture, line, pattern, composition, scale, shape and viewpoint. We establish the historic connection between art and science innovation through the materials we make art with.

Year 8

Power portraits. We explore how art communicates identity, has impact, expression and generates meaning. Artist skill isn’t a mystery, we demystify portrait drawing and demonstrate that accurate drawing is a skill which can be taught and learnt.

Body adornment is both a historic and contempory tradition across cultures. How we dress, how we decorate and present our bodies, how we celebrate. We continue to explore ideas of identity, but through 3d forms. We learn the figure proportion techniques of artists and designers.

Year 9

TAGS. In year 9 we shift our delivery of lessons to give students insight into the  KS4 curriculum process; students develop and extend imagery and ideas from primary imagery. Applying art and design to a brief: typology, graphic design, we explore how art meets text and has done throughout history.

3D art. Through a diverse selection of artists and designers from various points in history, our students gain experience with different 3d media, both small and large scale.


Year 10

All year 10 projects are designed to engrain our core principles, student experience across a wider range of materials, processes and techniques, and exposure to key subject genres.

Art: Human hands and Natural forms

3d Design: Lamps and Lighting

Photography: Inspired by Surroundings

Art: Portraits

3d Design: Human form

Photography: Inspired by Objects

Year 11

Full coursework project. Students use the skills learnt in year 10 of the full creative and design processes from brief through to final outcome. Students choose one of their year 10 projects to develop into a full unit of coursework.

Final exam project. AQA our exam board, send out a list of exam titles in January. Students explore these and select which one best matches their strengths and interests, completing a full project from their chosen starting exam title.


Year 12

Record. Primary imagery is a traditional starting point for creativity. This term we expand students range in approaches to recording visual information.

My eyes; my art. Ongoing throughout year 12, largely an independent research and group evaluation study where we challenge students to explore and identify their personal creative preferences, finding their creative voice.

What if? Through experimentation we spend a term purely focusing on development and refinement of imagery. We aim to dispel the myth of a “final outcome”. Every art object created starts to be recognised as a stepping stone in a longer creative process. As artist/designers, every work we do becomes a thread in the tapestry of our creative career influencing future work.

Year 13

Individual coursework project.

Contextual investigation.

Oral presentations.

Written essay element.

Final exam project.

AQA our exam board, send out a list of exam titles in February. Students explore these and select which one best matches their strengths and interests, completing a full project from their chosen starting exam title.

University and Careers

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working” Chuck Close


  • All staff share with students, via a high-profile display board, where they went to university and what they studied.
  • This is an area that we are currently developing as so many of our students want to pursue a career in art and design, and we want to hone our curriculum to ensure that opportunities to link our content to university and careers are maximised.


  • We explicitly establish and develop working habits in our students (investigation, experimentation, recording, personal response) which lend themselves to the skillset needed to work in any creative field.

The Art, Design and Photography Team

  • Ms Emma Cooper - Head of ADT
  • Ms Niccola Elliot
  • Ms Fion Halliwell
  • Mr Sean Webb
  • Ms Bronwyn Higgins (Technician)

For more information on our curriculum, please email emma.cooper@walthamstow-academy.org for a copy of our department curriculum handbook.

Year 7 Art Gallery

Year 8 Art Gallery

Year 9 Art Gallery

Key Stage 4 Art Gallery

Key Stage 5 Art Gallery

DT Gallery


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