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Art and Design

The Art & Design curriculum is vibrant and dynamic, and is designed to provide students with the skills, knowledge and confidence to continue to study the subject at A-Level and beyond.


The curriculum is broad, enabling students to explore different disciplines within Art, Crafts and Design. Students can expect to learn about the formal elements of Art, drawing techniques, science illustration,  wire sculpture, pottery, ceramic clay techniques, print making, portraiture and architecture, as well as how to create a personal response in a sustained project.

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Art is not what you see, 

but what you make 

others see. 


Edgar Degas

Art Department - Overarching Curriculum Intent (September 2023)


RFSS Curriculum Vision Statement:


To build an inclusive curriculum which is aspirational for all and empowers our students to make outstanding academic and personal progress.

Art Curriculum in Context:

At Rugby Free Secondary School, our Art curriculum endeavours to deliver a comprehensive and well-rounded educational experience, incorporating a blend of traditional and contemporary activities, culminating in students' independent and personal artistic outcomes. We firmly acknowledge that art encompasses a journey of exploration, experimentation, inquiry into various sources, and personal interpretation. It encompasses the development of students' confidence and resilience, enabling them to respond to artistic challenges with imaginative and independent thinking. We recognize that students enter secondary school with varying levels of knowledge and skill, and thus, during their initial term in Year 7 at RFSS, we prioritize the cultivation of drawing, painting, and ceramic techniques.


Additionally, we focus on enhancing students' art vocabulary and literacy skills. These foundational skills continue to be nurtured and refined throughout their artistic journey within the comprehensive Art curriculum. In line with the findings presented in Ofsted's report, "Drawing together," which emphasizes the thriving of boys when given opportunities to engage with three-dimensional artwork, our Art department ensures that all genders can derive fulfilment and flourish in their Art lessons. Complementing the aforementioned core skills, students undertake an assortment of stimulating three-dimensional projects, including clay and wire work. Within our Art department, we foster an environment that encourages students to take artistic risks, experiment with diverse techniques, and venture into unfamiliar artistic territories.


Thought-provoking assignments, constructive feedback, and engaging projects serve as catalysts for students to surpass their perceived limitations and achieve personal artistic breakthroughs. In alignment with our commitment to ensuring that all students feel capable of achieving success in the realm of Art, we have opted for students to study GCSE and A-Level AQA Art, Crafts, and Design rather than Fine Art. This choice reflects our dedication to providing an inclusive and supportive Art curriculum that accommodates diverse talents and aspirations. Overall, at Rugby Free Secondary School, our Art department strives to provide a nurturing and inspiring environment where students are empowered to explore their artistic potential, challenge themselves, and cultivate a lifelong appreciation for the transformative power of art.

Curriculum Aims:

Our curriculum aims to:

 • Offer a broad and balanced Art curriculum incorporating traditional and contemporary activities for independent personal outcomes.

 • Foster students' holistic artistic journey, promoting discovery, experimentation, investigation, and personal responses.

• Develop foundational skills in drawing, painting, and clay, while enhancing art vocabulary and literacy during Year 7.

• Create opportunities for all students, including boys, to thrive in three-dimensional artwork through projects like clay and wire work.

• Encourage artistic risk-taking, diverse technique exploration, and personal breakthroughs through thought-provoking assignments, constructive feedback, and engaging projects

 Our broad and balanced curriculum concentrates on developing our students’ key knowledge and skills and enhances their understanding of the world around them.

We do this by:

• Provide students with opportunities to engage in meaningful artistic experiences that foster communication skills.

• Creating activities that encourage independence, resilience, nurturing students' character development.

• Exposing students to a wide range of artistic traditions, styles, and techniques from various cultures and historical periods.

• Creating problem-solving tasks that challenge students to think critically, analyse artistic concepts, and develop innovative solutions.

• By creating and supportive learning environment where students feel encouraged to take risks, express themselves freely, and embrace their individuality.

Our curriculum is focused on the development of communication, character and cultural capital of each individual student, so they become:

• Effective Communicators: Students will develop strong communication skills, utilizing various mediums and forms of expression to convey their ideas and emotions confidently and effectively.

 • Resilient Individuals of Character: Our curriculum aims to cultivate resilience, perseverance, and discipline, instilling in students the qualities necessary for personal growth, adaptability, and success in their future endeavours.

• Culturally Aware and Appreciative: Through the exploration of diverse artistic traditions, students will develop a deep appreciation for different cultures, fostering empathy, respect, and a global perspective.

• Creative Problem-Solvers: Our curriculum encourages creative thinking and problem solving, nurturing students' ability to think critically, approach challenges with innovation, and seek solutions from multiple angles.

• Confident and Self-Expressive: Students will gain self-confidence and a strong sense of self-identity through artistic exploration, empowering them to embrace their uniqueness, take risks, and express themselves authentically

Curriculum Outcome:

Upon leaving Rugby Free Secondary, students will emerge as confident and resilience communicators who are culturally aware individuals. They will have diverse artistic experiences, problem-solving abilities, and a strong sense of self-expression. All of these attributes will equip them for success in their future endeavours and personal growth.

Please view or download our 'Sequence Overview' document for Art

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  • Kindness
    We regularly give ‘shout outs’ for staff who have gone above and beyond and demonstrated an exceptional display of one of our values We encourage and try to support flexible working requests and promote ‘family values’ as something that makes the workforce distinctive. We try to ensure staff have the opportunity to attend personal events or celebrations when requested and within agreed time frame.
  • Collaboration
    We have an active Staff Wellbeing committee who meet regularly to discuss staff wellbeing and workload. We provide all new staff with a ‘buddy’ to provide support and advice. We plan a variety of staff social events across the year. We provide staff with a free lunch on the day of their duty. We have regular staff breakfasts, provide food on all CPD days and occasional treats such as Pizza!
  • Curiosity
    We invest heavily in staff CPD and both promote and support opportunities to develop staff. We provide opportunities for all staff to network and visit other schools to improve their practice and share great ideas.
  • Respect
    We have a Staff Room, where staff can meet, work and even socialise Each faculty has its own staff work room We have regular appraisal conversations to discuss career progression
  • Resilience
    We promote resilience through our reflective CPD pathways. We have an area in the staff room dedicated to wellbeing which is used to promote health and wellbeing. We share weekly health and wellbeing information.
  • Endeavour
    Promote a work life balance by being considerate when sending emails and holding meetings. We will endeavor to celebrate our staff and their achievements on a regular basis, for example; a black tie celebration evening.
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