Visual Arts & Design


The intent of the Art curriculum at St Luke’s is underpinned by the belief that Art is a subject that can help us to understand and give meaning to the world in which we live. Art effects everyone’s lives and as such is an extremely valuable subject.

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.

Through our art 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 KS3 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.

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 to produce effective and considered artworks.


The intent of our curriculum is implemented through: 

  • Development of observational research and development of ideas
  • Engage students in the process of designing and making art
  • To develop primary and secondary research into their own ideas through collected imagery, photography, drawing, and annotating.
  • Identifying and resolve problems when exploring techniques, developing ideas and creating artworks.
  • Use 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.
  • A range of print methods i.e. Polyprint, Monoprint, Lino, Dry point, Collograph etc.
  • A range of painting methods i.e. watercolour, acrylic, impasto, action painting etc.
  • A range of sculpture and relief methods i.e. Collage, clay construction, armatures, casting etc.
  • Develop and reflect on their work. Communicating the development of their ideas using annotation, sketches, plans, modelling, sample art pieces, etc.
  • Make 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.
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of the functional properties and characteristics of art media i.e. watercolour being translucent, pastels soft and easily blendable, acrylic paint vibrant and plastic based making it easy to layer.
  • Understand the relationship between context of artwork on the influence of subject, process, media and effects achieved.


  • Select and use specialist tools, techniques, and processes effectively
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of functional properties of media when considering appropriate media to develop desired effects.
  • Explore a range of techniques and processes from relevant artists to further extend their own developing practise and ideas.


  • Analyse the work of past and present artists to develop their understanding.
  • Reflect on work throughout the process of making to consider what is working effectively and how to take their project work further to best effect.
  • Recognise where improvements and developments can be made, wherever possible making these to evolve their work
  • Understand movements and developments in Art, the impact on individuals, society and art work following. The facilities and expertise in the curriculum area enable these aims and values to be explored through Art. Our curriculum is designed to lead to excellence at every level, providing our students with a strong foundation from which to excel in further art studies. 

Pedagogy We strive to educate through a range of teaching strategies which are accessible for all our learners

  • Expert subject knowledge and a passion for creativity
  • Rigorous and sequential planning allowing skills to be scaffolding and extended
  • A wide range of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic resources are used throughout lessons i.e. PowerPoints, handouts, visual teacher/student practical examples, video clips, practical demonstrations etc.
  • An ethos of ‘trying’ and not being afraid to make ‘mistakes,’ but recognising these and learning resilience and ways to move forward.
  • Building confidence in students – through praise, recognition of effort, rewards
  • Modelling of techniques and levels – through teacher and student led demos/example work
  • Regular intervention support for all students regardless of ability to access
  • Regular use of key vocab and building and support of this through use of word banks, teacher usage, and support sheets etc.
  • Building enjoyment and engagement of the subject through stimulating and inviting environment, planning etc.
  • 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 

Enrichment We aim to enrich our curriculum by:

  • Providing opportunities to experience the work of other artists through trips and workshops 
  • Exploring appropriate materials to enrich learning such as topic stimulus i.e. novels, documentaries, practical technique clips etc.
  • Encourage students to engage in TV programmes/series and films that can deepen their understanding of art and artists and its impact on world around them
  • Encouraging students to contribute to the life of the school and the community
  • Establishing cross curricular links
  • Develop their spiritual, social, moral and cultural understanding
  • Promoting an ethos of engagement with art outside of lessons – encouraging students to develop art work outside of lesson time.
  • Develop students joy and engagement with creating

The Impact of this curriculum and our work will be students who are enabled to become:

  • able artists with a variety of experiences and skills
  • creative and confident
  • successful independent learners who enjoy learning, understand how to make progress and achieve to their full potential;
  • confident self-managers and team-workers, who are willing to take risks and keep an open-mind about new ideas and techniques;
  • responsible citizens aware of the role they play in society and the importance of art in contributing to society;
  • Confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives.
The big questions

The big questions posed by our curriculum are:

  • What is identity?
  • What makes someone a hero or villain?
  • Isn’t the journey of creativity amazing?!
  • Is there more to life than meets the eye?
  • What’s behind the mask?
  • What do dreams and nightmares reveal to us?
  • What is a myth?
  • Why do we need myths and legends?
  • What do flowers and plants symbolise for us?
5 Year Plan


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.


Having seen the amazing impact of our coaching programme, we're proud to have been selected as a Steplab Coaching Hub, supporting leaders to implement high quality professional development across their school. We love visitors and you're guaranteed lots of practical ideas and bottomless tea, coffee and biscuits! To find out more about our approach to instructional coaching, check out this free downloadable beginner's'guide written by Peps McCrea, Director of Research at Steplab. To book a coaching hub visit to our school, just email the friendly team at