Chestnut Grove Academy
45 Chestnut Grove
Balham, London SW12 8JZ
T: 020 8673 8737

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Art Intent

The Arts curriculum encourages us to creatively consider, question and engage in the world around us. Whilst challenging and promoting our confidence in independent problem solving, it prompts us to apply a range of artistic techniques and processes in new and unfamiliar contexts.

DfE Purpose of Study

Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation. 

Teaching styles

Art is taught using a wide range of materials and techniques in specialist classrooms. We have facilities for painting, printmaking, photoshop, photography, ceramics, sculpture and some textiles. The department is comprised of art teachers with different specialist backgrounds within the subject. We believe firmly in teaching core skills and concepts, while developing independent expression as students gain confidence and maturity.

Home Learning

Home learning is  set weekly in KS4 and KS5, and once every half-term in KS3. It is varied and can involve practical exercises as well as contextual research pieces. Students are issued a sketchbook to record work throughout key stages (in KS5 students build their own sketchbook.)


We encourage all students to use the art rooms whenever they are available - which is most lunchtimes – and host art clubs throughout the school year. At GCSE and A-level we run numerous trips to galleries in London and abroad. After school on Tuesday a professional ceramicist runs the “pottery club”.


Classes are mixed ability. Work is carefully differentiated to ensure all are supported and developed.



Key Stage 3

Year 7

At CGA, students will start their studies of visual elements in two-dimensional artmaking (painting, drawing and printmaking) within flat, decorative formats, using symmetry as a compositional device. In their three-dimensional studies (ceramics, sculpture), they will learn about basic clay construction techniques.

Year 7 Knowledge Organiser

Year 8

Students will start to explore visual language through more rhythmic, asymmetric arrangements of elements. In ceramics studies, they will learn sophisticated hand-building techniques such as coiling.

Year 8 Knowledge Organiser

Year 9

Year 9 begins with students investigating spatial depiction in both two- and three-dimentsional studies. They learn about perspective and tackle more complex descriptions of form in space.

Year 9 Knowledge Organiser

Key Stage 3 Curriculum Map

Key Stage 4

Aims and rationale:

Students will gain an understanding of past and contemporary art, and produce personal responses, embracing a range of ideas. They will acquire a working knowledge of the materials, practices and technology of art by following a course that teaches fine art, graphic design, photography and 3D design. They then select a discipline(s) to specialise in later in Year 10 and Year 11.

Our GCSE Art and Design course aims to enhance students' cultural and creative comprehension while nurturing a lifeling passion for art. Additionally, it provides students with a solid foundation for future career interests and pathways, facilitating their advancement in further studies related to art. This course equips students with valuable experience in art, craft and design, which is highly advantageous in various professional fields, such as advertising, marketing, design, architecture and media.

What is the course?

Pearson Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE (9 - 1) in Fine Art (1FA0)

Coursework portfolio – 60%

Students will work on the theme “Consume”, exploring a range of specialist media and techniques.  Initially, they will be guided closely by their teacher as to how to interpret the theme and what materials to use, but in the Summer Term of Year 10, they will focus on the media and subjects (within “Consume”) that they want to.

Externally set assignment – 40%

The exam paper is given to students in January of Year 11, and they have until April to prepare for a 10hs “test”, where they can make a piece of art in any media they wish. Some students paint, others work on computers, etc. The titles are varied and open to wide interpretation.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum Intent

Key Stage 5

Aims and rationale:

At A-level, we offer an opportunity for students to embark on a comprehensive foundational course before making a choice between specialised paths in drawing, painting, or ceramics. This not only aids students in recognising their areas of expertise but also proves valuable when applying for post-A level programmes that demand a diverse portfolio.
These hands-on courses empower students to cultivate both their creative and intellectual abilities, fostering imaginative growth and opening doors to a wide range of future academic pursuits and career prospects in the field of Art and Design. Furthermore, it serves as a valuable complement to various other areas of study by instilling analytical thinking, creative problem-solving skills, and cultural awareness. Throughout the courses, students will explore relevant visual materials, artifacts, and resources within the realm of Fine Art, utilizing both traditional methods and digital techniques to produce their creative work.

What is the course?

Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in Fine Art (9FA0)

Coursework portfolio - 60% 

In Year 12 students will follow a course from September to March where they are learning and building skills in a range of key techniques and materials. The focus will be on how to draw and photograph, and exploration through printmaking, painting, sculpture and digital processes within the theme “Simple or Complex”.

From March until the end of year 12 students will create a personal response to the topic of “Simple or Complex”, specialising in a specific material or set of techniques. During this time students will also work on the “Personal Study” component of the coursework (a 3,000 word written essay amounting to 12% of mark) and complete this over the summer holiday.


In the Autumn Term of year 13 students will work on a mock externally set assignment (based on their essay focus) and create a final piece in a mock 15hr “test” before the Christmas holiday. This will also go towards their coursework portfolio assessment.

Externally set assignment – 40%

The exam paper is given to students in February of Year 13, and they have until May to prepare for a 15hr “test”, where they can make a piece of art in any media they wish. Some students paint, others work on computers, etc. The titles are varied and open to wide interpretation.

Key Stage 5 Curriculum Intent

4. Staff teaching in department