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St Michael's Middle School
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St Michael's Middle School


Art and Design

In the Art Department at St. Michael’s we recognise that children have an instinctive enthusiasm and affinity for visual language. It is our aim to provide them with skills and processes that will allow them to express visual ideas and emotions and to appreciate and decode the vast array of visual information that surrounds us every day.

  • We strongly believe in the importance of learning by “doing”, by trying and experiencing. With this philosophy in mind we offer children at St. Michael’s a broad artistic experience through drawing, painting, print-making, ceramics and 3D work.
  • We make valuable use of sketch books to collect ideas and information which can be developed into finished work in class.
  • We use examples of work by a range of artists to enrich our pupils understanding of artistic styles and conventions and aim to use discussion to develop an artistic vocabulary.
  • As well as artistic skills, knowledge and understanding we also teach children to respect each other’s work, views and opinions and to celebrate originality and creative risk taking.

Subject Statement 

“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” Albert Einstein

Art and Design gives all students a unique opportunity to explore and develop their own ideas with purpose, independence and competence. Here at St Michael's the art department has a highly skilled and motivated team, who are committed to inspiring their students by opening up a world of possibilities that working in the creative industries can provide. Through studying a comprehensive, forward-thinking and process-led curriculum, the Art department will facilitate your child into becoming an innovative, lateral thinker. These skills are highly prized in creative industries such as media and publishing and are valued across a range of different industries and professions, including retail, law, management, consultancy and IT. Pupil engagement and productivity is of an extremely high standard, meaning work is regularly displayed and showcased to the benefit of pupils’ sense of achievement and the whole school environment.

Core Values 

 Art and Design builds ASPIRATION by: 

Sharing work and ideas across year groups and whole school through peer assessment, mini galleries during lessons and showcasing work around the school.  During units of work learners are shown best practice and are encouraged to discuss how certain aspects of the work have been achieved and where they themselves might find further inspiration. There is a continually developing programme of events in the Art department, which fully engages with higher education settings and creative industries in the wider community. The wider context these visits and class discussions provide encourage learners to participate in external opportunities, to exhibit work and to enter competitions – entries and results are celebrated in assembly and displayed outside the Art studio.

Art and Design builds BELIEF by:

Endorsing the value of an individual’s contribution, by encouraging reflection of their own and others work, through both written and oral evaluation.

The introduction of topics like KS3 ‘The self’ creates a dialogue between learners that examines how the creative arts is an exchange with the viewer. This exchange often contains something about the artist, their beliefs and/or experiences. This consequently provides an environment where ideas and personal opinions are coveted as well as welcomed.  

Moreover, the promotion of risk-taking within lesson objectives sets the expectation that effort and experimentation form part of the assessment criteria in Art and Design, giving all learners the self-belief that successful progression is attainable.

Art and Design builds CREATIVITY by:

Building proficiency of technique facilitated by a diverse curriculum, which introduces different processes and presentation opportunities during each unit; giving an increased level of confidence when working independently. This confidence fuels a learner’s ability to meet overarching creative projects head-on and interpret the brief using their own ideas.

One example of this can be seen in the

Cross–curricular study with KS2 English and PSHCE. Using Lowry paintings as a starting point, students are asked to visually describe the text ‘The Man Who Walked Between Two Towers’- resulting in an individual exploration of how the body can show expression and movement, in response to their own written account of an actual event.

Wider British Values 

St Michael’s is a Church of England school that believes that supporting children’s development of character and values, including the core British values of democracy, mutual respect, liberty and the rule of law, is an essential part of equipping young people to thrive as citizens in the world of the future. Art and Design actively supports this by:

Immersing learners in an education that is concerned with the human experience – in all religions and cultures. Art and design teaches learners that there are different ways of seeing; describing and understanding the world, making them informed citizens of today’s global environment. For example, cross-curricular learning with the RE and English departments and the year 8 Holocaust project explores ways of creatively responding to World War 2 and Auschwitz.

Where it all fits in 

If you are working well in this subject these are the skills you are learning:

Technical competence of various processes, time management, presentation, visual communication, innovation and lateral thinking, observation, independent enquiry and research, critical analysis, self-expression and reflection. 

If you like these subjects then these are some of the jobs you can go on to:

Artist, illustrator, set design, costume design, advertising, marketing, teacher, architecture, graphic designer, animator, model maker.