Our curriculum offer seeks to follow the National Curriculum prioritising emotional wellbeing alongside academic achievements in order to meet the individual needs of our pupils, this is exemplified by incorporating a plethora of artists (exposing them to artists of different genders, races, cultures, backgrounds etc.) with whom the pupils can relate to in some way. Therapeutic techniques and processes such as mindful clay work and painting will be embedded to promote emotional wellbeing. Academic achievements are prioritised and evident through undertaking mini projects which result in success, recognition and certificates of achievement listing skills learnt explicitly. The individual needs of each pupils will be met through carefully set targets and differentiated learning.
Also, the curriculum is strategically planned to scaffold the skills required to make successful progress demonstrated through the building of skills throughout the curriculum. Pupils will begin their skillset in year 7 and each year each skill will be widened and developed through a range of engaging and exciting topics such as exploring 3-D, print making and wire drawing.
We strive to enthuse and prepare our young people for the wider world to develop the skills imperative to our pupils’ ability to cope in the wider world and their ability to sustain employment this is incorporated through exposure to ‘real life’ artists to demonstrate how a career within the arts is possible. Pupils will also undertake a design project where a brief is given and worked from, this will model the world of work in that pupils will have to work within guidelines and have a submission deadline.
A knowledge-engaged curriculum is promoted and facilitated through topics and artists who work with themes relevant to real life and current topics such as politics, environment, and identity. Pupils will explore a range of settings such as galleries, cities, and landscapes to develop their knowledge and link their learning with the wider world.
Our ambition for all pupils, is to be given opportunities that will offer them the best understanding of how to be successful in 21st Century Britain; we prioritise communication and literacy skills in every lesson using group discussions around the work of artists’ or their own. Pupils will learn to communicate their thoughts and ideas to their peers and to listen to feedback. Pupils will develop their literacy skills through writing in a variety of ways – artist statements, feedback responses, research write ups and annotations.
Cultural capital is provided through a programme of off-site visits and experiences: these consist of gallery visits, visits to a school of Art and more obscure visits such as a supermarket (to research and analyse themes within consumerism/pop art first hand). They will also visit their city of Manchester for a range of purposes throughout the curriculum e.g. When looking at street/political art to gain primary research.
We strive to ensure our young people are developing the skills and knowledge they need to make and implement informed and aspirational career decisions throughout their working life. We do so through; talks from people who work in the arts, researching careers and jobs within the arts – these are linked to projects and skills across the curriculum. This links in with our careers programme where pupils have lots of opportunities to attend career events and learn more about where art can take them in terms of further education and career paths.
We pride ourselves on our high expectations of what our young people can achieve this is celebrated through regular recognition during and at the end of projects through certificates, postcards, and phone calls home. There are also art awards at the end of each year to celebrate achievement.