Skip to content ↓
St Thomas More Catholic Secondary School

St Thomas More
Catholic Secondary School

What is KS3 Art and Design about?

Most of our pupils arrive with the concept that you are either ‘good’ at art or not, and it is our initial aim to break this misunderstanding. Once this is achieved they can access more readily what art education has to offer: the concept of a good work ethic through production; analysing the visual language we live in; and understanding human values that we might experience.

Beyond the qualities of creativity, self-expression, and communication, art is a type of work. This is what art has been from the beginning. Through art, our students learn that all that they can do is listen, engage and try their hardest - work done to the best of one's ability, for its own sake, for the satisfaction of a job well done.

Students continue to learn and analyse the visual language of the world that surrounds them, through projects centred on art and design as well as graphic communication. Once they know and understand the visual elements they can manipulate them to produce quality work that effectively communicates their intentions.

We also aim to teach values through art, especially when viewing art work, artists or art movements in their context. The arts celebrate multiple perspectives. One of the most important ideas is that there are many different ways to see the world; the arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.


  • Head of Department: Mr T Johnson
  • Teaching Staff: Ms A Hammond, Ms S Lumsden and Ms D Laney (Biddenham site)


What does the course consist of?

The KS3 curriculum aims to cover a wide variety of skills and influences.

The topics in KS3 include:

  • The Visual Elements: Jason Scarpace’s Fish
  • Buildings and architecture: John Piper and MC Escher
  • Typography / Illuminated letter: Robert Indiana and the book of Kells
  • Pop Art: Andy Warhol, Roy Litchenstein
  • African Shield: Mixed Media based on the Kubs Cloth
  • Wire Insects
  • Natural Forms: Robert Chaplin, Jo Spyropoulos
  • Cubism: Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque
  • Refugee Awareness poster: Teesha Moore, Islamic Pattern


What might the subject lead on to?

After A-Level a large proportion of our art, graphics and textiles students choose to study an Arts based subject at university. A few do go to college to complete their Foundation year first, but the majority get a place straight on one of their chosen University courses because of the strength of their portfolios and the depth of their subject knowledge.

In the past these courses have ranged from Fine Art, Illustration, Graphic Design, Architecture, Computer Game Design, Printed Textiles and Surface Design, and Theatre Design.

Although we are preparing our students to be successful creative practitioners and to engage practically in the subject, there are many related careers that they can move into that have art, craft and design as a significant, if not essential starting point. The NSEAD has a very helpful section on their website that offers case studies about various careers within art, craft and design, that include animator, curator and illustrator to name but a few.

Creative and Cultural Skills is the Sector Skills Council for the creative and cultural industries and provides on its website research and analysis into the skills needs of the industry, and through its Creative Choices section, information and advice about creative careers.

Creative Skill Set is the Sector Skills Council for the creative industries to include computer games and interactive media, again, another mine of information about careers and industry needs.