Creative Arts

The Curriculum Area has a high profile within the Academy. There is imagination and innovation running through all areas of the curriculum and a high level of involvement in extra curricular activities with clubs and exhibitions. We view this as an essential contribution to Academy life and a great benefit to the students and staff alike.

Ethos & Values

In the Creative Arts Curriculum Area we endeavour to foster students' sensitivity to and their understanding and enjoyment of Art and Design. We aim to provide students with skills, knowledge and confidence in each area and develop their enjoyment of Art and Design through an active practical involvement in the creative elements of each discipline.

We feel that Art and Design is an essential element in a balanced education, allowing personal expression, personal development, creative and real practical involvement in the subject. Students gain confidence and a real appreciation of each other's talent.

In the Curriculum Area we are aware that Art and Design is one of the few areas where students take part in the personal creation of their own personal items. This adds even more to the aesthetic value of the subject, giving the students a healthy channel for their creative talents.

The Curriculum Area aims:

  • To develop the students' aesthetic appreciation of a variety of Art forms and to continue to explore this through developments in Art and Design.
  • To provide stimulating visual and practical experiences which provide opportunities for the development of skills.
  • To promote interest, enthusiasm and enjoyment of the subject.

Knowledge & Skills

At KS3 schemes of work cover the core criteria that we believe are vital. The students address four areas of enquiry: competency, creativity, cultural and critical. These are used to build the knowledge and skills required for artist appreciation and practice.

At KS4 we follow the GCSE (AQA) Art and Design Unendorsed programme. This is a popular choice. In 2015, 80% of 146 students made expected progress and achieved A*-;C while 50% made greater than expected progress. Assessment for GCSE is 60% Coursework Portfolio, 40% final examination.

All schemes of work are constantly amended, responding to new developments in Art and Design. We work to projects which offer students the opportunity to explore and experiment with varied and diverse media in order to produce outcomes. Students also look at the history of art and the artwork/design from other cultures in order to enhance their own studies and artwork. Students are encouraged to make creative choices and develop their own ideas in response to artist and designers work.

At KS5 we offer AQA A level Art and Design. In 6th Form students build upon their skills learnt at GCSE to deepen their understanding of artist, techniques and processes. We aim to support students form their own directions and investigations. This discipline provides students the opportunity to explore varied avenues of both traditional and contemporary art and design.

Resources & Facilities

In the lower school Key Stages 3 and 4, we have five well equipped studios and darkroom facilities. In four of the Art rooms we have a bank of computers allowing students to manipulate images using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator techniques. There are two kilns, allowing clay work to be fired on site.

A range of processes and materials are used in all Key Stages including 2D and 3D work. These include: drawing, painting, mixed media, collage, ceramics, wire sculpture, photography and computer aided design.

A Level students are accommodated in their own modern well-lit studio and have use of excellent ICT facilities linked with a colour printer and scanner.

Courses & Qualifications

At KS3 we follow QCA guidelines.

At KS4 the students follow the AQA GCSE Art and Design Unendorsed course. This offers a range of materials for students to increase skills and develop creativity.

At KS5 we offer AQA A level Art and Design which runs for 2 years; a range of skills are developed and a variety of materials are used to fulfil potential.

The A Level programme is intended to deepen and extend the students' own creative skills and their understanding of art practice developing from your GCSE studies. You will have the opportunity to work in painting, drawing and mixed media, sculpture and photography where appropriate. You will be encouraged to experiment and be adventurous in expressing your own thoughts, observations and ideas. Observational drawing is fundamental to an art practice and will form the keystone for each project. Students should then develop their ideas into more experimental and possibly abstract outcomes.

You will work to set themes and be expected to explore, using a variety of materials, analyse and investigate the work of other artists, craft persons and designers to develop personal final outcomes.

Learning Outside The Classroom


We run gifted and talented classes for identified student which help further the student's creativity and practical skills in the subject and provide stimulus for other areas of their work. Art clubs are held to help promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of art. These clubs have the opportunity to move away from specific learning objectives to help create ownership and confidence.

Students are promoted to enter work for Local and national competitions - to which we have had successes.

There are after-academy classes for Coursework development offered to KS4 students. Those who need extra time and one to one support to complete work find this valuable.


The Curriculum Area run an annual visits to National and Local Galleries. This enables students to be exposed to historical and contemporary art work that can inspire an motivate them. We feel that contact to first hand sources and an appreciation of the gallery environment is important.

Where Does This Take Me In The Future?

After GCSE (KS4)
Look at list of jobs.

Further Education
At Tollbar - A Level, 2 years.
At Franklin Academy - AS/A2 level Art.
At GIFHE - the Foundation Course in Art & Design

After A Level
Apply to Colleges, Universities for Further Education and Degree courses.

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Tollbar Academy Principal

Stephen Moon

Tollbar MAT Chief Executive

David J Hampson