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Curriculum Intent



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The Art Department at Forest Hill School offers a high-quality visual arts education that engages, inspires and challenges all students. We teach a variety of skills so that students can become proficient in their drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and photography techniques.

We aim for students to become conscientious and individual artists who push their creative boundaries through experimenting with media, communicating their ideas, researching the work of contemporary and historical artists, responding to and exploring social, political and economic issues and developing their own artistic narrative through their responses.

We anticipate this to be a stepping stone on each student’s creative journey and ensure they leave school with an awareness of the world and confidence to be able to express themselves through their ideas.

Art Curriculum Map

Art at Key Stage 3

All students at Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9) study Art with a specialist teacher for one period a week over two terms (switching to Design & Technology for the third term). The programme of study has been designed to develop the skills necessary for the GCSE Art course – recording, researching and developing ideas, and experimenting with different mediums.

Students will gain knowledge and understanding of the formal elements of art: Line, Shape, Proportion, Composition, Pattern, Tone, Form, Colour and Texture. These are embedded into their practice through exploration of media including 2D drawing skills, printmaking, painting, collage and 3D modelling. Students explore and analyse the work of traditional and contemporary artists and architects to inspire and support the development of their own ideas leading to an outcome.

Art at Key Stage 4

Students can opt to study Art for GCSE. Students undertake three coursework projects: My London, Pollution and Urban Decay. The first project of the GCSE course is teacher-led and consists of workshop-based lessons, after which students are encouraged to work on their projects independently, with teacher support in the form of group or 1:1 tutorials, to prepare for the Externally Set Assignment (exam project).

Students develop their communication skills through class, group or 1:1 discussions, analysing and evaluating their work as well as that of others. We encourage students to continually converse, share their ideas, and work collaboratively and support one another, building transferrable skills relevant to other subjects.

The Art GCSE course is split into two components: Coursework (set by the teacher, worth 60% of the overall grade) and an Externally Set Assignment (set by the exam board Edexcel, worth 40% of the overall grade). Within each component, students are required to evidence the four assessment objectives: Developing Ideas; Refining work; Recording; and Presenting a Final Outcome.

The Externally Set Assignment runs over 12 weeks concluding with a 10-hour (2-day) exam in which the outcome is created and presented.

Edexcel GCSE Art Specification


Forest Hill School Art Department takes full advantage of its proximity to central London and takes students on trips to London galleries.

Throughout the year the Art department runs lunchtime and after-school clubs allowing students to work on their art homework/coursework and also for a bit of creative release from their studies.

KS3 extra-curricular ‘workshops’ are run over 4-week periods. These are focused on higher skills in mediums such as clay or photography that may not be covered in lessons because of time restrictions.

Forest Hill School runs competitions with relevance to current affairs and topics throughout the year and across all year groups. Students are also shown upcoming art-based competitions through the use of FHS Art and Design social media platforms and the School Bulletin. Our students have been successful in exhibiting as part of The Royal Academy of Art Young Artists’ Summer Show 2020 and the Hold Still exhibition run by the National Portrait Gallery.

GCSE students take part in the Sydenham Arts Trail which runs over two weekends in July. They exhibit their work at Forest Hill School alongside other working artists in the local area.

Useful Links

Art2day – Access to contemporary artists and art education

Colossal – an art blog that features 15-25 posts per week on photography, design, animation, painting, installation art, architecture, drawing, and street art.

Instagram: @foresthillschoolart

Twitter: @FHSchool_Art

Facebook: @Foresthillschoolart