Skip to content ↓
Ribston Hall High School

Ribston HallHigh School

Art & Design - Fine Art

Key Stage 3 


At KS3, Art & Design work on a carousel system with Food Preparation & Nutrition. This means that every student gets to experience working with a range of materials/process. This carousel system includes Fine Art, Textiles, 3D and Food Preparation & Nutrition. Each year students will develop skills in the following areas of the design cycle; research, analysis, design, development, practical, testing and evaluation.KS3 aims to develop creative individuals and give them an excellent foundation for the GCSE course.


Year 7:

Lesson 1: Analysing Artwork

Lesson 2: Setting and explaining the Andy Goldsworthy Extended Homework Task

Lesson 3: Colour

Lesson 4: Line

Lesson 5: Tone

Lesson 6: Texture

Lesson 7: Shape and Form

Lesson 8: 3D

Lesson 9: Reflection/Evaluation/Finishing off previous tasks

Year 8:

Lessons 1 and 2: The History of the Self Portrait and Analysing Frida Kahlo

Lessons 3 and 4: How to draw a measured Self Portrait

Lesson 5: Planning and drawing your background to the self portrait

Lesson 6: Compositional Observations using Photography

Lessons 7 and 8: Colour and Emotion

Lesson 9: Reflection/Evaluation/Finishing off previous tasks

Year 9:

Lessons 1 and 2: Career Paths in Art

Lesson 3: Colour with David Hockney

Lesson 4: 3D with Alexander Calder and Isamu Noguchi

Lesson 5: Tone with Cath Riley

Lesson 6: Collage with Kurt Schwitters

Lesson 7: Line and Colour with Michael Craig Martin

Lesson 8: Acrylic with Georgia O’Keeffe

Lesson 9: Reflection/Evaluation/Finishing off previous tasks

Key Stage 4 

Exam board

AQA Art & Design (Fine Art)


Component 1: Portfolio (worth 60% of the GCSE)

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment (worth 40% of the GCSE)

As part of the portfolio, students will complete a series of skills based tasks at the start of the course to build confidence and get them realising all the different ways that artwork can be produced. Following this, the students spend the rest of Year 10 doing the ‘Sustained Project’ in response to a theme. This theme will evidence their full creative journey from initial ideas to the realisation of intentions, culminating in a final outcome.

The Mock Exam project in Year 11 will then further the students’ opportunities to demonstrate, through a past paper question theme, the way they can show ability to draw together different areas of knowledge, skills and understanding from what they learnt in Year 10. After the mock exam project is completed (just before Christmas break of Year 11), the new year starts with the start of the externally set exam paper and students choosing a question from the paper to investigate. They then develop a series of ideas linked to their theme in a preparatory sketchbook before then sitting a 10 hour exam which is when students complete their final outcome.

Many students do notice rapid progress in developing the key art skills between Years 10 and 11 so time is given to students to work on their portfoilio after the externally set assignment is completed. Students are encouraged to visit galleries and exhibitions, particularly if a relevant one is going on that links directly to their theme. Students generally do all their work in a sketchbook that the school provides. There will also be an opportunity to purchase an extensive ‘Art Pack’ at the start of the course which contains many of the key stationery and materials needed for success.


Year 10 

Sustained Projects can include:

Every Day Objects



Organic Forms

Colour and Tone


Year 11

Mock Exam (choice of a series of past paper questions for which the student chooses their favourite) 

10 hour Externally Set Assignment (2 days off timetable to get the final outcome completed)

Key Stage 5 

Exam board

AQA Art & Design (Fine Art)


Component 1: Personal Investigation (worth 60% of the A-Level)

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment (worth 40% of the A-Level)

The Personal Investigation is a detailed insight into an idea, issue, concept or theme, which is supported by written material. The focus is decided independently by the student and following looking at a series of artists/photographers will lead to a finished outcome/series of related finished outcomes. The investigation is usually carried out in an A4 or A3 sketchbook which will hold the investigations into the artists/photographers as well as the student’s initial ideas and further idea development. The sketchbook should show a clear idea journey to the viewer from starting point to final piece. Relevant research into critical/contextual material will help the student make informed choices. The investigation can look at contemporary or past artists, photograhers, designers or craftspeople.

To go alongside the sketchbook will be a 1000-3000 word essay which reflects on how the investigation went and what was learnt along the way. This essay is not marked separately but added to the critical research as part of the marking criteria for the sketchbook – the Personal Investigation is marked as a whole. There is also no restriction on the size of work produced for the final outcome/s.


The course will start with both Fine Art and Photography students doing an initial Autumn Term project which is all to do with skill building, testing and experimenting with new techniques and processes. Each PowerPoint will have a range of tasks to complete which will help build confidence and get students realising the numerous ways you can present work.

Fine Art Sequence of PowerPoints:

1. Introduction to the Course

2. Critical thinking using the SEMI Analysis approach

3. The importance of good layout and composition within your sketchbook

4. Building on tonal work – Monotone pencils and chalk pastels

5. Drawing Techniques – Pointillism

6. Drawing Techniques – Continuous Line

7. Drawing Techniques – Mark Making

8. Drawing Techniques – Mark Making continued – A Patterned Journey

9. Drawing Techniques – Blind Contour Drawing

10. Drawing Techniques – Cross Hatching

Photography Sequence of PowerPoints:

1. Introduction to the Course

2. Critical thinking using the SEMI Analysis approach

3. The importance of good layout and composition within your sketchbook

4. Working with Aperture and Shutter Speed

5. Working with ISO

6. Photographic Techniques – Drawing with Light

7. Photographic Techniques – Further Drawing with Light and using light stencils

8. Photographic Techniques – Experimenting with abstract oil and water photography

9. Photographic Techniques – Developing the use of Focal Points and Leading Lines in your photos

10. Photographic Techniques – Experimenting with colour in your photos

Students will then start getting the Personal Investigation underway in January. To get students researching, each will create an initial PowerPoint which they will present to their peers about 3-4 initial themes and artist research. The student will then think about which one they favour the most and through discussions with the teacher will then finalise the structure of their Investigation with a Statement of Intent. A structured sequence of aspects then need to be incorporated per artist/photographer so that there is consistency and so that students get familiar with the routine. Regular discussions and tutorials will then take place on a one to one basis to check on progress and productivity. 

Extra-curricular opportunities 

Art Club is open to all KS3 students on Friday at 1.40 in D5