The Subject Way

Our subject has a ‘Subject Way’ at the heart of it. Our Subject Way is designed to help students become young subject specialists. The Subject Way has two main purposes:

Firstly, to teach students the vital skills they need to achieve their full potential and gain the very best grades they can. Secondly, to teach students how each subject relates to the wider world, incorporating the life skills they will learn.

It is our belief that knowing how what you learn links to the wider world brings a subject to life and therefore improves overall understanding and engagement.

Why study Art?

The Art Department at Thrybergh boasts an array of high-quality work from students at all Key Stages. Our aim is to prepare students for success from the time when they enter Y7 right through to Y11. As such our curriculum is both supportive and challenging while giving students every opportunity to develop creatively and independently.

Overview of KS3 

In Year 7 and 8 students are taught once a week. Throughout Year 7 the students are taught how to control a range of materials and how to respond to different Artists and Cultures, including developing their own designs for final outcomes. Year 7 students will explore still life projects using both pencil and paints, they develop a clay tile in response to Aboriginal Art, explore a range of 2D element studies and make a response to a ‘cakes and sweets’ theme.


In Year 8 students build on the skills they have learnt in Year 7. Students will cover a range of projects ranging from drawing and painting to ceramics and card construction. The first Y8 project is cultural and based on mask making. Here the students use research to design their own mask and then use different methods of card construction to develop a mask that is bold and filled with exaggerated features. Students complete a drawing and painting project in response to the theme of Jungle. Here the students create Artists and secondary work to develop their confidence in painting skills using poster and watercolour paints and learn a range of different painting techniques while learning how to control water, colour mixing and brush sizes. The result is a vibrant and busy composition. The ‘Underwater World” Ceramics’ project is an exciting project where students are challenged with developing a thumb pot vase embellished with different textures you would find in or around the sea. Year 8 Students then complete their Art syllabus with an illustration project where they learn how to apply different drawing styles to create their own characters inspired by illustrations in children’s books.


Overview of Year 9 and KS4

Students who opt to study Art in Y9 have a broad and balanced curriculum, honing their skills and knowledge of Fine Art, Craft and Design, and Photography.

Year 9 is designed to be a foundation year to KS4 where students continue to build on the 2D elements of Art and begin to understand the importance of the research and presentation of sketchbook study sheets alongside the need for a strong technical skill. At the beginning of Y9, students will begin to develop an increased knowledge of Artists research and how to annotate preparation work and design ideas. This will encourage students to develop work with confidence, independence and creativity. Halfway through Year 9, all students will complete a series of workshop based lessons to reinforce and develop new technical skills in drawing using a wide variety of media. Here they will also learn how to develop a creative sketchbook which will embody their technical skills and understanding of the artists and artwork they want to use to support their individual projects and help them to gain confidence in the type of decision making that they need to achieve their best.


Overview of KS4

In Years 10 and 11 students continue to build upon their skills and knowledge obtained at KS3 and are given a range of starting points and themes to consider when they begin to develop their portfolio.


Component 1 – The portfolio

For the portfolio, students must include a ‘sustained project’ developed in response to a subject, theme, task or brief evidencing the journey from initial engagement with a range of idea(s) to the realisation of intentions. This will give students the opportunity to demonstrate, through an extended creative response, their ability to draw together different areas of knowledge, skills and/or understanding from across their course of study. Students can choose to do either one or two sustained projects.


A selection of further work resulting from activities such as trials and experiments; skills-based workshops; mini and/or foundation projects; responses to gallery, museum or site visits; work placements; independent study and evidence of the student’s specific role in any group work undertaken.

Current projects include:

  • Natural form
  • Working
  • Possessions
  • Messages
  • Elements
  • Paper Art
  • Fantastic and Strange


Component 2 – The Externally Set Assignment

The Externally Set Assignment (ESA) is set by the exam board AQA who provide students with seven different starting points and the students must select one only. This project (Component 2) must cover all four assessment objectives with evidence of drawing activity and written annotation. This project must be a full and sustained project from initial research to realisation of a final piece in a 10-hour exam session. ESA will be available to students and teachers from the first day of the January term and will run through to approximately the beginning of April giving the students roughly 10 – 11 weeks of preparation time. Students must stop work on their preparatory studies as soon as the first period of supervised time starts, however, students may refer to the preparation work during exam time but not amend or add to this at all. Work made during the 10 hours will be marked as Assessment Objective 4.