Departmental Aims

The Art Department believes that it is the right of every child to be thoroughly informed of both art practice and art history worldwide. It is also the right of each student to be aware of themselves as an artist and to explore their creativity with confidence. Our aim is that no student should leave BMS without having had a real sense of achievement in their own abilities and that all students come to recognise that art is a teachable subject, not one left to talent alone. As a department we endeavour to give students knowledge of art in its cultural and historical context, within a structured approach to art appreciation and understanding.


The BMS Art Department has an extensive range of facilities to allow all students to explore a range of media and art practice. This includes a well equipped printroom with facilities for etching, drypoint, linocut and screen printing as well as photo-etching and photographic silkscreen. The department has two large kilns and enables students to develop work to a very high level, whether coil made or cast and thrown on the potter’s wheel. Most recently we have acquired an enamelling kiln and we are investigating options for slump glass production. We also have darkroom facilities, allowing students to work in black and white using 35mm cameras alongside current photo editing software.

Year 7-9 Curriculum

In Year 7, students will have three Art lessons per cycle. They will be taught within the three main disciplines of: painting, printmaking, and sculpture and drawing. It will be the teacher’s aim to introduce students to a coherent approach to art and its skills and set in place the fundamental elements of art and design. Skills such as colour mixing and use of tone and line will be paramount, as well as art history and imaginative work. The aim is that students will have one study trip per year relating to one of the topics they are studying during the course of the year.

In Year 8, all students have two Art lessons per cycle, during which the main disciplines taught are: painting and drawing, printmaking, textiles, ceramics and sculpture. During the year students will build on what they have learned and experienced in Year 7. They will develop their imagination, art techniques and craft skills. Students will be taught in an atmosphere where ‘learning through doing’ is encouraged.

Year 9 is seen as the foundation year for GCSE. It is considered essential that students complete this year prior to studying GCSE Art. It is expected that by Year 9 students should have mastered the basic skills of painting, printmaking and sculpture and should be able to work with a greater degree of independence. They ought to be able to demonstrate their ability to make good artistic choices based on skills learnt in previous years.

Drawing skills will be developed using different media and students should be able to respond to a subject both through their considered approach to media and the use of observational drawings as a tool to develop an understanding of objects. They should be able to draw from both natural and man-made forms and be able to modify and adjust work as it progresses.

GCSE Curriculum

GCSE Art has many strands and should not be seen as the preserve of simply drawing and painting. Students are encouraged to work across all disciplines and to develop technical skills to the highest level. The aim is to allow students to explore a range of media and to learn how to develop and refine their ideas. Year 10 and 11 students have six periods in each two-week cycle. Students will start the course in Year 10 with a structured project, building on their own individual strengths and aptitudes. Work can be done in any area of study such as ceramics, printmaking, painting or sculpture and students are encouraged to diversify and experience working with different methods and materials. The course demands individuality, creativity and original work.

Co-curricular, Enrichment, Extension and Support

The department offers a host of activities including: weekly lunchtime and after school art clubs, a photography club, trips both locally and internationally, and ‘Art in the Community’ projects for Sixth Form students who visit local primary schools to lead art workshops and skill share. The department also supports a number of students every year who are undertaking HPQs, EPQs and the Duke of Edinburgh Award.