Art & Design at Valley Gardens Middle School

Art, design and making embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. Creativity is an increasing prerequisite to success in all industries. Flexibility, confidence, hard work and innovation in tackling the challenges of the modern, fluctuating world are all character traits we actively nurture and develop in the Art & Design Department at Valley Gardens. The high-quality program we offer engages, inspires and challenges all pupils. Our Art & Design curriculum encompasses a broad range of projects and all are underpinned with an ethos that endeavours to equip students with an open mind and the confidence to tackle life’s challenges and to find innovative solutions to succeed.

At Valley Gardens students work with a range of fantastic teachers including a practising, specialist Art & Design teacher with a background in Graphic Design, Illustration and Photography. We are dedicated to ensuring students develop a strong foundation of hand eye coordination and fine motor skills; controlling tools and applying a range of media with thought, care and dexterity. This in turn gives confidence to tackle increasingly challenging projects as they move through our school.

Drawing, painting, art history, ceramics, print and graphic design all formulate a broad but in depth project-based curriculum. Research, developing ideas, experimentation and analysis of process with a final piece prepares students for GCSE and A Level equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, analyse, develop and create their own works of art, craft and design.

As pupils progress, they are encouraged to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. We also aim for students to know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, contribute to global culture and support the creative development across all global industries.

Students enjoy Art & Design, they are happy when they are liberated to be creative. They are encouraged to try new techniques and embrace the mistakes that help them to develop their own, creative solutions. At Valley Gardens we are passionate students should be allowed to learn and develop in a carefully planned, creative and enjoyable learning environment.

Please have a look through our curriculum and homework maps and if you have any questions please contact the department.

Mr Grundy (Head of Art & Design)

Curriculum Overview



Home study opportunities in Art & Design are strategically planned to support project work in the curriculum. Students are expected to complete one home study each half term (Year 6 Spring Term Art home study is optional). This regular opportunity will develop key skills and support progress through the various projects we cover. Research and development may also be given to support their classroom work.

As we know many children love to create at home and any special, extra work produced can be brought in and added to the student sketchbooks at any point. At the end of Year 8 students bring their sketchbooks home; their books are four years of gathering and collating Art & Design and is something I hope students and their families will treasure.

I would like to encourage parents and carers to get actively involved in supporting home study in Art. Please help your children when they need it, you are very welcome to do your own interpretation of the home study brief and send it in along with the student’s work. I believe working together with a trusted adult supports their confidence; to enjoy making mistakes and also understanding the learning process that takes place at this developmental phase, it’s also good fun! Enjoying the ‘journey’ of trial and error with someone trusted while developing an understanding of ‘process’ will reap rewards for the students through all aspects of school and beyond.

Thank you in anticipation for your support and I look forward to seeing your fantastic work.

Mr Grundy

   Mr Grundy’s YouTube channel (click here to access)

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