Head of Department: Mrs Garner

Teachers: Miss Brady and Miss Shrubb
Technician: Mrs Blow


The aims of Burnham Grammar School Art Department are:

  •  To enable students to become visually literate: to use and understand art as a form of visual and tactile communication and to have confidence and competence in reading and evaluating images and artefacts.
  • To develop particular creative and technical skills, so that ideas can be realised and artefacts produced.
  • To develop students’ aesthetic sensibilities and enable them to make informed judgements about art. 
  • To develop students’ capacity for imaginative and original thought and experimentation.
  • To develop students’ capacity to learn about and observe the world in which they live.
  • To develop students’ ability to articulate and communicate ideas, opinions and feelings about their own work and that of others.
  • To develop students’ design capability.
  • To develop students’ ability to value the contribution made by artists, craftsworkers and designers and to respond thoughtfully, critically and imaginatively to ideas, images and objects of many kinds and from many cultures.

Key Stage 3

Year 7 - The focus for the year is on the formal elements of art (tone, colour, shape, pattern, form, line and texture).  In term one they explore tone, colour, form shape and line through designing and making a paper mache vessel inspired by something they love.

In term two the focus becomes texture and pattern informed by the world around us. 

Term three's project, based around fish, then enables students to demonstrate their understanding of all of the formal elements but also offers them the scope to express their own creativity.

Year 8- Term one engages pupils imagination as they create their own mythical creature inspired by bugs, animals, bones, shells, feathers and manga.  They learn about proportion, the properties of different media and are introduced to stencil making.

Term 2- Enables students to revisit working in three dimensions as they create relief work inspired by Gaudi. 

Key Stage 4

We currently follow the Edexcel syllabus. It awards 60% of the overall mark for coursework and the remaining 40% for the examination. This syllabus provides enough dimension and scope to allow all interested students to grow and develop into young artists.

Years 9-11

Structures Project- Is a student led investigation into man made and natural structures.  Pupils are encouraged to develop, refine, record and present their projects in a way that is meaningful and satisfying to them. Teachers offer support and guidance to ensure pupils outcomes reflect their potential.

Rivers- Enables pupils to reflect on their locality by introducing them to the work of Stanley Spencer and a variety of experimental drawing exercises.  They are then encouraged to reflect on the significance of rivers to other cultures.  From this point they are free to develop the theme as they choose while staff offer technical and project management advice. 

Key Stage 5

We currently follow the Edexcel syllabus at A level. The course enables students to produce practical and contextual work in one or more area including painting, drawing, mixed media, sculpture installation, printmaking, film, animation and photography. Students will have the opportunity to build upon previous experiences and interests explored at GCSE and are encouraged to be independent in their learning, choosing their own direction. 

Fine Art is produced as an outcome of the student’s personal experience, rather than for a practical function. Work produced will demonstrate the use of formal elements and creative skills and gives visual form to individual thought, feelings, observations and ideas.

Students will show evidence of trying to extend their own and others’ ways of seeing the world. Students look in depth at the work of other artists and advance their use of various media through sustained investigation and experimentation.

Students explore a theme and begin by analysing the work of relevant artists; this involves making regular gallery visits and using the internet for research. Practical investigation starts with students recording what they see and experience, which includes drawing and photography. Ideas are developed through the selection and use of various media, working on different scales. Their final artwork must be a personal and coherent response showing a connection to the work of others. Most units are predominantly practical, although students write an illustrated long essay on a chosen topic in year 13.


Year 10 students visit the Stanley Spencer Gallery, including a guided tour of Cookham.

Various other trips for other years to the London Gallery also take place. 

The department also collaborates with other organisations, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, to enrich pupils learning experience.


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