Our art and design curriculum at SMS aims to engage, inspire and challenge our students. We have a flexible curriculum that is tailored to meet the needs of our pupils.

Our intent is to promote visual literacy, providing our pupils with opportunities to develop their communication skills. Our curriculum aims to develop critical thinkers, imagination, a confidence to take risks, solve problems, promote self-belief and a developed sense of identity.

Our students are encouraged to explore and celebrate different cultures through art. We acknowledge the wealth of local community projects within Hastings and encourage active participation across key stages.

We strive to provide a curriculum that will enable students to reach their full potential, to encourage a love of learning and to prepare them for future life.




Year 7:

Pupils are introduced to ‘the elements of art’ which are the building blocks of art and design. Students are encouraged to experiment with a range of materials and processes and will begin developing their practical knowledge through drawing, painting, collage and model making. Students are exposed to different art techniques, they are encouraged to take risks and reflect on their work in progress. We aim to engage pupils in art making and hope to build up confidence in their communication, problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Year 8:

During year 8 pupils take part in a series of workshop style projects including textiles, printing, 3d model making and clay sculpture. The aim for this year is to develop pupil’s practical knowledge further and to also embed theoretical knowledge by studying artists from different cultures and times. Students explore meaning, materials and processes as well as the creative journey of artists studied.

Year 9:

During year 9 pupils follow an Arts Award programme, we also aim to provide our pupils with opportunities to work with professional artists and community projects during this year of study. We encourage participation in discussions about big ideas in art, pupils explore quality, value and purpose in art though discussion with professionals and within our practical curriculum. We explore artists from different fields of art and design including, film and theatre. We also have opportunities for pupils to explore creative careers through workshops, visitor drop ins and classroom activities.

Arts Award Objectives Include:

Actively participate in any art form (Part A)

Experience an arts event and review it (Part B)

Research the career and work of an artist or craftsperson (Part C)

Pass on an arts skill (Part D)



GCSE Art, Craft and Design

Exam Board: AQA

Students begin the GCSE course in year 10 with component 1. During this year pupils work through two portfolio projects which must show evidence of working in areas of study drawn from two or more titles including photography, graphic communication, fine art, textile design and three-dimensional design.

During year 11 pupils begin component 2 after receiving the external themes from AQA.

Pupils must ensure they meet the following objectives in order to pass both components:

  • AO1: Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.
  • AO2: Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.
  • AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.
  • AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.