St. Columba's Catholic Boys' School


Art and design

Purpose of study

Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge

and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.


The national curriculum for art and design aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences
  • become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques
  • evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design

know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.

Attainment targets

By the end of key stage 3 and 4, pupils should be able to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specifies in the programme of study.

Subject content

Pupils are taught:

  • To use a range of techniques to record their observations in sketchbooks, journals and other media as a basis for exploring their ideas.
  • To use a range of techniques and media, including painting.
  • To increase their proficiency in the handling of different materials.
  • To analyse and evaluate their own work and that of others, in order to strengthen the visual impact or applications of their work.
  • About the history of art, craft, design and architecture, including periods, styles and major movements from ancient times up to present day.

Literacy Intent statement

The complex and integrated nature of the Art and Design curriculum ensures that the department makes a consistent and distinctive contribution to literacy. Literacy essentially supports the visual literacy that is the heart of our pedagogy, used both as a short-term tool to step out processes or immediate responses when studying a particular artwork, artist or movement as well as allowing a more sustained, cumulative means of recording the creative process. To summarise, different types of writing that are used in Art and Design include: -Using literacy to generate ideas, gathering information, and recording initial reactions to artworks, artists’, and different cultural forms. -Using writing as a way of organising the process of creating original artworks, with different research notes, drafts and thumbnails and a constant process of revising ideas recorded in sketchbooks. -Writing craft, using specialist vocabulary that encourages a precise focus on word choice, an awareness of the task in hand and the audience (as well as being personal and reflective, such writing also needs to use formal modes to address the teacher/examiner). Core foundational terms such as line, tone and texture are applied and expanded through the craft of writing in Art to artworks, traditions, and wider contexts (both individual artist biographies, such as Picasso or Van Gogh, and student’s own intentions, ambitions, and sources of inspiration).

“There is nothing more interesting than people.
One paints and One draws to learn to see people, to see oneself.
When I worked at the painting War and Peace and the series of These drawings
I picked up my sketchbooks daily, telling myself
“What will I learn of myself that I didn’t know?”


Link to Curriculum Booklets