Art & Design

Mission Statement: 'Art has the role in education of helping children become more like themselves instead of more like everyone else', Sydney Gurewitz Clemens



During art lessons at Aston Fields Middle School, our intent is that all pupils have the opportunity to work within a variety of visual areas: drawing, painting, sculpting, printmaking, mosaic and other art, craft and design techniques. Pupils will develop their critical analysis and evaluation skills of other artists, designers and craft makers whilst also exploring the value of historical and cultural influences. Personal creativity, character and individuality are actively encouraged throughout their experiences in art.


Pupils are taught many of their lessons in our purpose built Art and Design block. They have access to a huge variety of resources and mediums and benefit from the teaching of specialist art and design teachers. The curriculum is designed to ensure pupils have a broad and balanced view of art, which stretches far beyond just painting and drawing. The artists studied are selected carefully to allow pupils to explore their passion for the subject and again broaden their horizons and provide a greater cultural understanding of Britain and the rest of the world.

Below is a brief outline of the courses followed in each year.

Year 5

Expressive Arts

Pupils take part in an Expressive Arts carousel providing them with the opportunity to work in different mediums such as: textiles, creating mythical creatures, exploring colour and researching Rousseau. This carousel builds on their experiences from first school and enables pupils to broaden their understanding of artists, designers and craftspeople.


Year 6

Art & Design

Pupils continue to explore art across different mediums through four nine-week art and design projects. This includes a nine-week fine art unit studying an artist and exploring his/her life and work. This leads to a final developed piece. The approach and techniques used will depend upon the chosen artist.

During Year 6, pupils research mask making from different artists/designers, cultures and periods. They will analyse shape, design, materials and pattern, building on from their work in year 5. Pupils will develop their analytical skills by identifying similarities between a range of periods and designs. Different mediums will be explored in order to emulate and create a range of different masks. Pupils will have the opportunity to work independently and collaboratively. For their final piece, pupils will produce a mask design of their own with an African influence made using clay.



  Theme 1 Theme 2 Theme 3
Year 7

Elements of Art

Extended project based on Colour and Space

The Natural World

Outdoor art - linked to Lickey Hills visit - Andy Goldsworthy


Endangered Animals/Hipster Animals

Observational drawing







Observational drawing

Collagraph printmaking/painting

Mixed media


Art history and culture

Year 8

Elements of Art

Extended project based on Optical Illusions - Tints and Shades



Positive/negative space

Oil Pastel/Painting


Amazing Architecture/Bugs and Beetles

Lino printmaking

Observational drawing


Pop Art

3D Modeling

Mixed media

The Figure in art

Observational drawing

Life Class

Mixed Media


Creative opportunities at Aston Fields Middle School have included:
Additional opportunities

Autumnal Photography Challenge

Remembrances Workshop Day

Annual Christmas Competition

Summer Doodle Challenge

Year 8 Art Club

Year 8 Life Class Workshop

Honorary work of Queen Elizabeth II - British Stamp Collection



Year 7

Pupils start the year completing a six-week basic drawing course. During each week, pupils will complete a series of activities designed to enable them to experiment and explore a particular theme. This is intended to give a grounding in composition, line-making, proportions, shading, texture and colour.
In the autumn term, pupils will also participate in an outdoor educational visit to the Lickey Hills where they research Andy Goldsworthy and gain practical sculptural experience in the forest. Our pupils will study elements from the natural world and take inspiration from their observational sketches to create a piece to celebrate autumn. Pupils will use and combine, drawing, painting and oil pastels.

Continuing the theme of the natural world, pupils will research and design a piece celebrating British wildlife/endangered creatures. Skills used include researching, sketching and observation. Pupils will then apply a variety of techniques to complete their final piece. Also, they look at the work of artist Julie Moore and develop an accompanying acrostic poem.

The final unit for Year 7, allows pupils to explore the self-portraits of both traditional and contemporary artists. Sketchbooks are used to experiment with different techniques and record information before they complete a final piece using mixed media.


Year 8

Pupils begin the year by revisiting skills from Year 7 and complete a more advanced six-week ‘Elements of Art’ course: pupils use primary sources to develop skills and techniques in sketchbooks.

Pupils will then develop their observation and sketching skills further before introducing lino-printing techniques. Pupils are encouraged to develop their designs by evaluating and reflecting upon their ideas. They will then research the lino making process prior to producing a suitable design.

Following this, Year 8 pupils will complete a mini Pop Art project where they research the works of well-known artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Keith Haring and design and create a 3D model inspired by the Pop Art movement.

The final project is ‘The Figure’. The focuses of this unit include detailed observational drawing of the figure using both primary and secondary sources; producing a 3D sculpture; and the use of mixed media. Artists studied for this unit include Alberto Giacometti and Henry Moore and Nikki de Saint Phalle.



Pupils in all years benefit from the ability to explore art in all its forms. They make excellent progress and this is demonstrated through their finished work, much of which is displayed throughout the school. In addition to this, the school recognises the greater value of the Arts and pupils benefit from an inclusive approach which allows all pupils to build their cultural understanding. As well as a love of art and an appreciation of its history, pupils develop a critical understanding of art and artists, are able to communicate what they like and do not like and understand the benefit of art for their mental health and wellbeing. As a department, we are exceedingly proud of the work they produce and the connections they make.


Art & Design

Pupils continue to explore art across different mediums through four nine-week art and design projects. This includes a nine-week fine art unit studying an artist and exploring his/her life and work. This leads to a final developed piece. The approach and techniques used will depend upon the chosen artist.

During Year 6, pupils will research Paul Klee and discuss the characteristics and style of his work. They will develop a crayon etching using the features demonstrated by the artist such as symbols, specific colour schemes and line making. Pupils will use their analytical skills by comparing and analyzing similarities between two pieces of work. For their final piece, pupils will produce a water colour background and ‘take a line for a walk’ whilst referring to and representing a piece of well-known literature.

Following the fine art unit, pupils will continue to build upon their skills when designing and producing designs in other mediums including textiles, food and using our resistant materials room to create mosaics.