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Our Art curriculum develops the ability for a range of thinking skills, from analytical, reflective, logical and imaginative.  Over their time at BHA, pupils are given opportunities and encouraged to become independent learners in this field, increasing in their confidence to use a range of materials and techniques to express themselves and find their artistic voice.


Year 6

Dinosaur Sculpture

Within this area of study pupils are given the opportunity to:

  • Imaginatively create ideas for the look of a newly discovered dinosaur. 
  • Research what existing animals could be used to base ideas upon. 
  • Produce a range of alternative ideas using their sketchbooks.
  • Make ceramic dinosaur sculpture from stoneware. 


Once fired pupils:

  • Produce a series of options for the colouration.
  • Paint using ready mixed paint. 
  • Produce images of their ideas, as if they were found as cave art.


On completion, pupils discuss and evaluate their ideas and how they can improve them through exploring Cave Art: describing what they see, explaining the scenes, understanding the nature of the work and ceramic construction techniques.


Observing & Recording Reality


Within this area of study pupils are given the opportunity to:

  • Record objects from real life, thinking about: shape, form, light and shade, texture, colour and negative space. 
  • Produce a series of observational pieces using a range of different materials. 


Through the series of observation work, pupils will acquire concepts that will help them judge the accuracy of their work. They will also explore elements that help make up art such as the still life tradition. Pupils will look at the work of Pieter Claesz and in particular his Vanitas painting.



Greek Myth Prints

Within this area of study pupils are given the opportunity to:


  • Listen to audio stories (supported by transcripts) and create ideas for exciting scenes form it. 
  • Explore various ways to create narrative, block relief and monoprints. 


Through the series of printing sessions, pupils will discuss and evaluate their work, looking for ways to improve at the end of each session.  Pupils will look at the stories of: Orpheus and Eurydice,  Theseus and the Minotaur, Perseus and the Gorgon Medusa, King Midas and the golden touch, Odysseus and the Trojan Horse, Odysseus and the Cyclops.  Each group responding to at least three of these stories.



Painting Great Art

Within this area of study pupils are given the opportunity to:


Testing the paint materials, investigating different styles, researching a hobby, developing ideas for a painting reflecting their interest in the hobby.  Exploring a range of ways to apply different paints and working in different styles.  Considering what makes a successful composition. Developing their own distinct style. Group “Crit’s” on how well the approach of a given artists has been taken on board.  Evaluating Artist’s work, thinking of their intentions.  Case studies ~ Looking at the work and different styles of art produced by: Giuseppe Arcimboldo, George Stubbs, Lawrence Alma Tadema, Marry Cassatt, Vincent Van Gogh and John Singer Sargent.



Paisley Pattern

Within this area of study pupils are given the opportunity to:


  • Develop an understanding of the origins of Paisley Patterns.
  • Explore paisley pattern, copying samples they like, varying the colour schemes. 
  • Create their own versions, using pen and ink to design them, experimenting with scale. 
  • Produce a Batik sample of their work based on their own their original pattern design, made as a flag to represent a notion, idea or statement.
  • Learn about colour wheel theory.



Paisley pattern is analysed and what constitutes the nature of pattern is then applied to their own designs where pupils will be encouraged to think about art as a medium for communication.  Patterns.



Manga Mania

Within this area of study pupils are given the opportunity to:


  • Look at the style of Manga Art, copying examples of Manga characters, before developing their own characters to help pick up on current issues pupils find relevant to them. 
  • Look at news items and decide on an issue they have a strong view about in order to create a Manga comic strip that makes a statement. 
  • Develop independent visual research. 
  • Experiment with Chinese brushes, watercolours and permanent black ink pens.
  • Explore the origins of Manga Art and how it has developed over time, so they can describe the approach of Manga artists and what influences them.



The Manga style comic strip pupils create, will also serve as an awareness poster.  Pupils will follow a process of evaluation that helps them steer towards the Manga style, that helps them create original characters and communicate a current issue of concern. 



Year 7 

Figure Sculpture

Within this area of study pupils are given the opportunity to:


  • Use the human form as a focal point, building on their skills of observation work.
  • Learn how to draw and make sculpture in proportion. 
  • Create an expressive figure using wire frames and Mod Rok and then paint them using ready mixed paint.  Likeness to the figure chosen as a subject will be considered as also the realistic set of proportions and sense of expression created. 


A range of sculpture through history will be looked at initially with a focus on the work of Alberto Giacometti in particular.  Pupils will be able to see how sculpture can have varied styles and ways of being produced.


Realistic Drawing & Painting

Within this area of study pupils are given the opportunity to:


  • Use their gathered and annotated visual research to create outdoor landscapes of their choice. 
  • Build on their basic drawing and painting skills.
  • Learn how to use single point perspective and further work with watercolours. 
  • Learn how to make better judgements regarding how accurately they can draw to create realistic landscapes.
  • Learn how the use perspective has affected artwork over time.



Colour Magic

Within this area of study pupils are given the opportunity to:

  • Try a series of short tasks developing the skills of Op Art, while refining their use of colour. 
  • Explore their own response to the artwork where they create illusions, optical art, that impacts on a viewer’s perception, thinking about use of perspective and optical colour mixing.
  • Evaluate established optical art and their own ideas in order to identify key features and make comparisons for informed decisions about their own work.
  • Pupil will study artists who have explored optical art such as Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley. This study will be used to stimulate op art that generates a sense of movement and depth.




Artist Studies

Within this area of study pupils are given the opportunity to:


  • Test paint materials, investigate different styles, research a hobby and develop ideas for a painting reflecting their interest in the hobby. 
  • Explore a range of ways to apply different paints and work in different styles. 
  • Consider what makes a successful composition.
  • Develop their own distinct style. 
  • Use group “Crit’s” on how well the approach of a given artist has been taken on board. 
  • Evaluate an artist’s work, thinking of their intentions.
  • Use Case studies ~ Looking at the work and different styles of art produced by: Giuseppe Arcimboldo, George Stubbs, Lawrence Alma Tadema, Mary Cassatt, Vincent Van Gogh and John Singer Sargent.



Eco Poster

Thinking about the power of visual art to communicate.  Experimenting with montage and collage, using eco issues as stimulus informing the artist’s decision of what statement they want to make, using bold visual imagery.  Drawing, painting and collage work based on the artist’s experimental imagery, designed to create a ‘LOUD’ statement about an Eco issue. Evaluating Advertising – Decoding visual clues and ensuring their Eco Poster gets across to the viewer an effective message with impact. Looking at the artists: Picasso and Braque who invented Collage as a technique, and Eduardo Paolozzi and Hannah Hoch who took full advantage of it.


Celtic Pattern

Within this area of study pupils are given the opportunity to:


  • Use the knowledge of basic Celtic Knot Art, to create their own designs, some geometric based, some based on lettering and the creation of monograms (a motif of two or more interwoven letters, typically a person's initials) in a Celtic style. (Having practised basic Celtic Knots, pupils will be encouraged to apply this style to their own designs. Using monograms, will give their work personal meaning and reference early Celtic lettering.) 
  • Use a combination of materials - pencil, chalk and oil pastels.
  • Follow the Celtic Knot style and elaborate on the basic skills introduced where ‘ribbon’ shapes and lettering intertwine creating a pattern with good attention to light and shade and graduated colours. 
  • Build on the concepts of depth and pattern in order to achieve a Celtic knot style and demonstrate the understanding of overlapping and use of light and shade. 


Year 8

Fish Sculpture

Within this area of study pupils are given the opportunity to:


  • Use fish as a theme for inspiration. Pupils will study the basic shape and form of fish to create their own versions to inform their Willow Fish Sculpture. 
  • Master Willow frameworking and use of Papier Maché to create the ‘skin’ of the fish before painting the surface with lively colour.  Once individual potential ideas have been created, pupils will work with their buddy to combine the best of their ideas into one large sculpture. 
  • Use willow to construct sculpture with Papier Mache as well as explore the ancient Japanese and Chinese artwork of Koi Fish.  The completed sculpture is to be suspended and to look as if it is swimming through the air.



Within this area of study pupils are given the opportunity to:


  • Create a series of expressive portraits from first hand observation and secondary sources. 
  • Think and learn about  proportion. 
  • Use colour tonally and moodily to build a three dimensional self portrait in watercolours.  Pupils
  • Produce a series of portraits, some of which are generated from using a gridded system. 


Over the project pupils explore what makes a ‘good’ portrait; how they can read emotion into a piece being conscious of proportion and likeness. Portraits from either the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Galleries or the BBC’s Your Paintings Gallery will be used for analysis within the project.




Investigation and Response

Within this area of study, pupils are provided with creative thinking centred tasks, where they are given the theme ‘Autumn’ (or ‘Spring’ depending on the timing of the unit). As artists, they will be encouraged to reflect on the associations they can apply to the theme and investigate visuals whilst experimenting with various materials and techniques, creating their own pathway in search of meaningful work.  Multi-media work will be encouraged, pupils can call upon the grid system introduced in the previous unit and the notion of ‘drawing with a brush’ and using colour for its tonal and atmospheric value.  An informed use of modelling will be required. The extent to which thoughts been successfully communicated to the viewer will be explored.  Pupils will discuss their work with others and develop the use of critical and technical vocabulary.  Pupils will be encouraged to develop an understanding of the role art can play in the world, how it can change opinion, or transform life experiences. 


Artist work such as Claude Monet, Edward Atkinson Hornel, John Constable, Rubens and John Singer Sargent will be shared.


Animal Kingdom

Within this area of study pupils are given the opportunity to:


  • Explore the theme ‘Animal Kingdom’, investigating animal imagery - in particular, endangered species, producing animal portraits using a range of materials.
  • Work towards a powerful animal screen print that viewers can warm to and want to consider trying to protect.
  • Use the language of art to analyse what works best and evaluate the range of art elements employed. 


Durer (rhinoceros, squirrels, hare), John Gould, Rousseau (Tiger in a Tropical Storm), H Ronner-Knip (The Parson’s kitten), Edwin Henry Landseer (Monarch of the Glen), Edgar Degas (Horses), Paul Klee (Golden Fish) are artists to be explored.


Fantasy Painting

Imaginative artwork based on fantasy literature to produce fantasy art.  Artists select o novel of their choice or a previously written fantasy story of their own and begin to realise images from it. Using a full range of materials and considering working in relief with materials like tissue paper.  Artists try to create a sense of ‘other worldliness’ through their personification of key characters and scenes from the narrative.  It needs to be their own interpretation not a copy of what has been published before.  Artists can select key text that refers to the characters they are using and ensure their visual version honours the authors writing while managing to add original ideas too.  They will need to create an atmosphere that depicts the nature of the novel.  Composition skills will play a big factor, how can a potential reader by intrigued enough to want to enjoy the book for themselves.  Book illustrators will be discussed, such as Arthur Rachman, Katy Bayley, Jim Kay, Pauline Baynes and Tim O’Brien.


Also: Future Me


When our pupils leave BHA, they should be able to:


  • Confidently record their ideas accurately in a sketchbook either from direct observation, from memory or their own imagination, generating ideas.  While also being able to select and annotate imagery that will support their creative process.


  • Convey meaning through their work.


  • Increasingly work independently as they develop their practical skills.


  • Produce thoughtful responses to the study of artists.


  • Use a range of different materials and techniques to generate 2D and 3D artwork.


  • Select how best to use art resources effectively.


  • Analyse and compare artists’ ideas and approaches and recognise possible influences on their work.


  • Know to how mix and apply colour to create depth and mood.


  • Respond to art forms from a wide historical and cultural period.