Cultural Learning

Art and Design

Art is generally delivered through the Fine Arts (painting, drawing, collage, sculpture and printmaking), and the Applied Arts (ceramics, textiles, photography, graphics and IT). It can be addressed through the broad title of Visual Arts, and contains strong elements of Craft and Design study and methodology.

Pupils in the world today learn as much through visual images as they do through words. The understanding and use of visually communicated information, gathered from as wide range of sources, has become a basic skill.

Pupils need to learn that pictures and symbols can have several meanings, and that different interpretations of them are possible and valid in a modern industrial society and multi-cultural world.

Understanding art is the path towards the visual literacy which every citizen needs in order to maximise awareness and appreciation of the world we inhabit in order to live effectively and productively.

Art at St Mary’s delivers both a practical and an academic element to the curriculum through the processes of development towards the making of objects and artefacts which have within them strong aesthetic qualities. There is also a critical, historical and contextual element to the work that should be fully integrated into the practical delivery of the subject.

The study not only offers a technical and aesthetic element to the whole curriculum, but also opportunity for pupils to respond in a personal and unique way to the natural and manufactured environment. It creates opportunity for expression and imagination in the handling of images, tools and materials. Through the study of images and artefacts from different historical periods and cultures, art encourages awareness beyond a Western dimension.

Art at St Mary’s offers equal opportunity to all pupils through a range of appropriate two and three-dimensional experiences. The stimulus for developing images is invariably neutral in origin and mainly pupil centred. It offers opportunity to achieve success at every intellectual level through a wide variety of materials and processes.

Current projects include

Year 6/7

  • Day of the Dead masks
  • Weaving, Junk Robots
  • Watercolour landscape
  • Land Art
  • Superheroes
  • Logo Design
  • Clay Vessels
  • Egyptian art.

Year 8

  • Norman Art
  • Mosaics
  • Printing cakes
  • North America Native Art
  • Installation

Year 9

  • Illustration
  • Grayson Perry Vases
  • Landscape photography
  • Graffitti

Year 10

  • Individual Projects
  • Pop Art

Year 11

  • Lettering and Logos
  • Exam Prep Work

Pupils at KS4 have the opportunities to follow GCSE Art and Design, Fine Art, 3D Design, Photography or Textiles.





Performing Arts

KS3 Topics:

  • The building blocks of reading and writing music
  • Learning to play keyboard melodies
  • Understanding different musical genres and cultures
  • Introduction to Digital Audio Workshops (garageband)
  • Listening skills and playing music as a band
  • Performance skills
  • Learning about the different instrument families and orchestral arrangement
  • Ukulele workshops
  • Studying important composers and performers from 18th-21st century
  • Accapella and choir
  • Film and television music
  • Radio adverts and jingles
  • African drumming and world music
  • Writing the next Christmas no. 1

KS4 Qualification: BTEC

  • Introduction to job roles and the music industry
  • Creating and marketing a music product
  • Performance skills
  • Introduction to recording music


In Key Stage 3, Pupils should extend and deepen their chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, so that it provides a well-informed context for wider learning. Pupils should identify significant events, make connections, draw contrasts, and analyse trends within periods and over long arcs of time. They should use historical terms and concepts in increasingly sophisticated ways. They should pursue historically valid enquiries including some they have framed themselves, and create relevant, structured and evidentially supported accounts in response. They should understand how different types of historical sources are used rigorously to make historical claims and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.

In year 8, pupils will cover:

The development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509: Did the Norman Conquest change anything?

A local history study: Lewes Bonfire

The development of Church, state and society in Britain 1509-1745: What did Elizabeth I look like?

The development of Church, state and society in Britain 1509-1745: What caused the English Civil War?

At least one study of a significant society or issue in world history and its interconnections with other world developments: Native Americans

Ideas, political power and empire 1745-1901: What was it like to be a slave?

In year 9 pupils will cover:

Ideas, political power and empire 1745-1901: Jack the Ripper

Challenges for Britain and the wider world 1901 to the present day: What was life like in the Trenches?

Challenges for Britain and the wider world 1901 to the present day: What caused World War II?

Challenges for Britain and the wider world 1901 to the present day: Which was the worst war crime of all?

At least one study of a significant society or issue in world history and its interconnections with other world developments: Civil Rights Movement

In year 9, pupils take options to decide which exam courses they wish to pursue further. The Key Stage 4 options are:

GCSE History

Humanities: Creative Craft

GCSE History

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course. GCSE History students must take assessments in both of the following papers in the same series:

Paper 1: Understanding the modern world

Paper 2: Shaping the nation


Subject content

The GCSE History content comprises the following elements: one period study

one thematic study

one wider world depth study

one British depth study including the historic environment.


Paper 1: Understanding the modern world

Section A: Period studies

America, 1840–1895: Expansion and consolidation

Section B: Wider world depth studies

Conflict and tension, 1918–1939


Paper 2: Shaping the nation

Section A: Thematic studies

2A Britain: Health and the people: c1000 to the present day

Section B: British depth studies including the historic environment

Norman England, c1066–c1100


Humanities: Creative Craft

This qualification is designed for learners with an interest in craft and is delivered with our historical past in mind. Pupils will design, develop and make models of historical vehicles, buildings and scenarios.

This qualification aims to:

  • develop a broad understanding of craft
  •  develop a significant knowledge core which spans the vocational sector
  • provide academic and study skills that will support progression within craft and more broadly.

The objectives of this qualification are to help learners to:

  • use raw materials, tools and equipment in a safe and competent manner
  • review their own work, and develop ideas and learning through the craft process
  • develop an understanding of health and safety considerations in the craft environment
  • develop communication skills through a range of media.


Throughout the delivery of this qualification, the following core areas and transferable skills should be evident:

  • the ability to identify hazards and risks and apply safe working practices
  •  skills in planning
  •  skills in the use of craft materials
  •  development of social and moral skills, with an emphasis on environment and sustainable issues
  •  the ability to combine skills with knowledge and understanding to design quality products
  •  development of positive attitudes towards working as a team and co-operation
  •  to manage resources appropriately and efficiently
  •  to manage resources with regard to personal safety and safety of others.