Maplefields Academy

A Specialist Social, Emotional & Mental Health Academy

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Art curriculum statement


In Art, our intention at Maplefields is to give our pupils the opportunity to:


  • Experiment with different materials and techniques, allowing them time to develop a sound understanding of their own development and how next steps can be used to create the desired intent to maximise impact.
  • Promote a sense of independence through the mastery of Basic Skills and concepts, which enable pupils to take on increasingly complex tasks with little or no support.
  • Investigate, explore and collect visual information
  • Show that they can share an opinion about work that they have seen, whether they like it or not, comparing it to similar images/designs/artists and then communicating with peers and staff their reasons for their views.
  • Demonstrate, through group discussions and feeding back, a justification for working in a particular medium. Using their powers of analysis to self-evaluate and then plan to adjust their work accordingly.
  • Design and create images and artefacts, whilst improvising, developing and refining techniques.
  • Build self-esteem and confidence through experimentation and successful planning of the project they are undertaking.
  • Understand the medium they are working with and be prepared to take a risk with it. Knowing that if the risk doesn’t necessarily play out as expected, it will allow them to make better predictions for future work.
  • Incorporate cross-curricular skills such as basic Computing (for research and annotation) and mathematics for scale and proportion.


KS1/2: -

Students across Primary access Art both within the Art room and within their classrooms.

The formal taught Art lesson provide opportunities for pupils to gain an understanding of the basic principles of Art whilst acquiring skills to apply and explore different art medium. This supports the transition from primary to secondary, through the familiarity of the environment and expectations, alongside getting to know the teacher.  During these formal Art lessons, students are introduced to recognised Artists and Art movements.  They practice working in the style of particular artists using a range of tools and materials. Students class Art is topic based, for example; Oceans, Explorers, Weather, Castles, Pirates. The topics vary based upon the academic year the student is in. Teachers integrate the key art skills needed by their particular group within each topic. Primary teachers are exceptionally good at identifying the key areas for development within their groups and then aim to fill these learning gaps. Early Years students focus on experimenting and investigating whilst getting to grips with the key art tools. Key Stage 1 continue with experimenting and investigating, but add greater complexity with the tools they use and the artists they start to consider. Key Stage 2 build on the understanding from Key Stage 1, working in pastels, paints and simple block printing. As students’ progress through school, they learn to store their ideas and practice work within sketch books whilst looking in greater depth at significant artists and their work.






Students are introduced to a wide variety of media through a series of focused projects, combining artist research, the formal elements and exploration of materials and processes.  The themes covered include; Mondrian inspired design, Expressive faces inspired by Heckel, Sea life exploring Matisse’s cut-outs, Cultural masks, Unusual landscapes inspired by Hundertwasser, Still life influenced by Morandi.  Materials, techniques and processes range from 2D to 3D, providing a variety of media area such as painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, mixed-media, textiles and design.  



We continue to provide opportunities for students to explore a wide range of media, progressing from skills acquired in Year 7, developing and practicing the application and processes along with re-visiting and expanding on the formal elements. The themed projects follow a similar structure to Year 7, with development and progress shown through the introduction of annotation and wider exploration of materials and their properties. The themes include; Everyday Objects, Autumn leaves, Decorative tiles, Portraiture, Tonal drawing & painting, Storytelling through art, Pop Art, Fruit clay work, Sweet treats, Landscapes, Focus in and Fantasy art. Each project is inspired by a recognised artist, style of art/craft or a specific technique linked to a specialist artist area of study. 




Pupils in Key Stage 4 and 5 have the option to study Art in greater depth, with a view to taking the OCR Entry Level examination or GCSE in Art & Design. The course allows students to work in a particular themed area of study, exploring different mediums and using a range of artists and their ideas to create a portfolio of work. The portfolio and a final exam piece in Year 11 or Year 13 combine for the final submission for grading.


Students are offered a greater level of technical support through this qualification. Staff are aware that some students become proficient in one particular style of working. As a consequence, we continue to try to broaden their horizons in KS4/5, giving them time to experiment with media that they are less comfortable with.


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