Visual Arts and Design


The intent of the Visual Arts and Design curriculum at St Luke’s is underpinned by the belief that Art and Design is a subject that can help us to understand and give meaning to the world in which we live. We support our students to aspire through their learning experiences to standards of excellence intellectually, practically, and aesthetically. The curriculum we provide is rich in skills and knowledge. Through our curriculum, we aim to provide students with an experience that is exciting and to ensure that our students combine practical skills with creative thinking, developing highly valuable and transferrable skills for future careers and life beyond school.  There are three strands to our Visual Arts and Design Curriculum:

  • Art (Fine Art at Key Stage 4)
  • 3D Design
  • Photography (Key Stage 4)

Through our Visual Arts and Design curriculum, students are taught not only how to use formal elements within their art work such as line, tone, colour, space, texture etc., but to also analyse how formal elements are used as powerful communication tools to create effect.  Students experience a variety of media, techniques and processes over their studies. In Key Stage 3 students will develop their skills and understanding with progressive complexity and sophistication, so that they are able to make informed choices and work with increasing independence into Key Stage 4.  In 3D Design, we want to develop students who are confident designers and makers, have the courage to try new things, use intuition as well as logic to make decisions and produce ideas, are expressive and willing to share what they feel and think, have a need to find solutions to challenging problems and are willing to test new ideas.  Three-dimensional design is defined as the design, prototyping and modelling or making of primarily functional and aesthetic products, objects, and environments, drawing upon intellectual, creative and practical skills. 

The Art and Design curriculum embodies our school values of being inclusive and showing respect. We support students in learning to co-operate and negotiate and be able to share good practice and learn from others. We actively promote looking at the work of others, celebrating other cultures and encouraging diversity. We develop students’ awareness of the impact of art on society and expect them to achieve by applying a variety of skills from the wider curriculum together with those specific to Art and Design to produce effective and considered artworks.  In addition, we enable students to live life to the full because they:

  • Have the opportunity to experience a balanced and varied curriculum allowing them to achieve their best by participating in a wide variety of activities through both design and practical lessons
  • Develop a lifelong love of being creative, drawing and making using a wide variety of materials and techniques.
  • Understand that embracing craft can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, depression, loneliness and help heal the mind.
  • Use technical terminology with confidence accurately and precisely
  • Apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of design
  • Have the opportunity to attend extra-curricular practical clubs.
  • Have a sound understanding of a range of different techniques and the processes of how to complete them.
  • Develop transferable skills of problem-solving, organisation and time-management, planning and communication.
  • Understand how to safely work within a workshop, following health and safety guidelines and expectations. 

The intent of our curriculum is implemented through: 

  • Development of observational research and development of ideas
  • Using primary and secondary research into their own ideas through collected imagery, photography, drawing, and annotating.
  • Identifying and resolving problems when exploring techniques, developing ideas and creating artworks and 3D designs.
  • Using a variety of art techniques and processes when developing ideas, for example, a range of drawing techniques using different media and methods like pencil, ink, charcoal, oil pastel, chalk pastel, or selecting appropriate materials for a 3D Design project, or range of print methods, e.g. Polyprint, Monoprint, Lino, Dry point, Collograph , or a range of painting methods, e.g. watercolour, acrylic, impasto, action painting, or a range of sculpture and relief methods , e.g. collage, clay construction, armatures, casting.
  • Developing and reflecting on their work. Communicating the development of their ideas using annotation, sketches, plans, modelling, sample art pieces, etc.
  • Making informed decisions about the development of their own art, allowing students to refine and develop outcomes to the best standard possible, and building problem solving skills, which support individuals in their further studies and in life.
  • Understanding the relationship between the context of artwork and effects achieved
  • Studying a variety of skills and techniques – experiencing demonstrations, artist/designer workshops and museum/gallery visits.

We utilise the St Luke’s Learning Structure to ensure all students, regardless of starting point or background can access our curriculum.  Our teachers have expert subject knowledge and a passion for creativity and therefore enable students to achieve a good outcomes and a love for the subject through:

  • Rigorous and sequential planning allowing skills to be scaffolded and extended appropriately
  • Modelling of techniques and levels – through teacher and student led demos/example work
  • Regular use of key vocabulary in teacher instruction and class discussions  
  • Building enjoyment and engagement of the subject through stimulating and inviting environment
  • Creating an atmosphere of independence and encouraging students through positivity and engagement with the subject to want to engage with the subject outside of lessons


Our curriculum is supported and enriched by providing opportunities to experience the work of other artists through trips and workshops; encouraging students to engage in the Arts beyond school, by watching documentaries and  films that can deepen their understanding of art and artists and their impact on world around them and  encouraging students to contribute to the life of the school and the community.


The impact of our curriculum will be that students learn how to take risks, become resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present art, design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. We believe a high-quality visual arts and design education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.

St Luke’s is a wonderful place; is a school full of staff who are dedicated to improving the life chances of every student that attends the school.

Kealey Sherwood, Headteacher

At St Luke's, we are a Steplab Coaching Hub and use Steplab to power our professional development. To find out more about our approach to instructional coaching, check out this guide. To book a coaching hub visit to our school, email