Creative Arts Department – Statement of Intent

At Christ the King Catholic High School the Creative Arts Department combines those subjects with a more fluid and Creative nature, subjects that sometimes require a completely different skill set to the core subjects. This combination of subjects and teachers allows for a greater understanding of the needs and requirements of students with a more practical environment.

Technology: The purpose of the courses within the subject & its place in the wider curriculum.

Design and Technology is about providing opportunities for students to develop their capability, combining designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding in order to create quality products. The subjects that are available at Christ the King Catholic High School are designed to develop key motor skills as well as extend students understanding of the practical working environment. Throughout both Key Stages, students are encouraged to think independently as well as collaboratively. There is a large focus on the iterative design process which encourages students to develop their understanding by a ‘trial & error’ approach to improve their ability to working independently to improve outcomes. The Technology Department aims to build key skills from Year 7 through to Year 9 that will benefit all students moving forward regardless of whether they opt for a Technology subject at Key Stage 4.

Art: The purpose of the courses within the subject & its place in the wider curriculum.

Art, Craft & Design provides the student with the opportunity to experience some of the highest forms of human creativity. Art and Design education should engage, inspire and challenge the students, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create works of art, craft and design. At Christ the King we look to develop the students’ skill progressively to ensure all children can learn and practice as they move through school. As they progress they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of Art and Design. They should also know how Art and Design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and the wealth of our nation. 

Performing Arts: The purpose of the courses within the subject & its place in the wider curriculum.

A study of Performing Arts allows students to express themselves through the arts and develop self-confidence which is a transferable skill for life. Through performing arts at Christ the King Catholic High School students study Music and Drama in a practical way. They are encouraged to develop their independent learning skills through practise, rehearsing and self-development. Students often work in groups, collaborating with their peers to create their own performances. 

Technology at Key Stage 3: Resistant Materials, Food Technology, Art & Ceramics

At Key Stage 3 students have one double lesson each week. Years 7, 8 & 9 follow a carousel route within Creative Arts, they cover: Resistant Materials, Food Technology, and Art and Ceramics. Students will cover a variety of topics across the two departments which provides the opportunity to develop key skills in all areas of creative design. Incorporating Ceramics into the curriculum provides students a wider skill set should they wish to continue into either Art or Technology in Key Stage 4 as a 3D Design GCSE is also an option. 

In Resistant Materials, Year 7 students complete a ‘Graphics’ project which includes designing, making and evaluating, and an introduction to basic materials; timbers, natural & man-made materials and evaluating  their suitability, and there will also be an opportunity to look at the 3D design process with Additive Manufacturing using a 3D printer and how the world of design and engineering is changing. In Year 8, students complete a Product Design project which incorporates design restrictions and problem solving, focusses on 3D design using 3D software and production of a product that they will print using the 3D printer. In Year 9 students complete a ‘Light’ project which will be produced using recycled plastic and in some cases a 3D element which is designed to improve their understanding of the environment, how to re-use materials and reduce our impact on the environment. The project is designed to enable students think about their futures and how we can take responsibility for what we do. All projects are designed to stretch and challenge students of all abilities and develop design and practical skills safely within a workshop environment, while developing key skills that can be transferred to their future careers.

Within Food Technology, Year 7 students develop practical skills using basic and more specialised equipment safely, and develop an understanding of basic ingredients. In Year 8, students investigate the function of ingredients and recipe adaptation, and more complex practical tasks are introduced to further develop their skill set within a catering environment. In Year 9, students study ‘foods from around the world’, which enables a greater understanding of other countries and cultures. A large number of lessons are practically based and are designed to encourage students to become more independent and thereby take ownership of their own learning. Throughout Key Stage 3, students will be developing skills in creativity with an emphasis on presentation in order to stretch and challenge their creativity.

In Ceramics, Year 7, learn the principles of producing clay slabs which includes how clay is fired, glazed and recycled. The students collectively create a Quadtych set of tiles from their own design work. In Year 8, students further develop their existing slab skills and investigate how clay can be joined and fixed to create a slab pot. Year 9 students combine all existing skills and develop a vessel using the coil building techniques which is the most difficult of the three skills to master and is designed to challenge the students from a designing and making perspective.

Within Art in Year 7, students develop the basic skills and key elements of Art such as line, tone, colour and texture, which builds upon prior skills and gain further understanding of new media and techniques. Students learn how to develop a project from concept to conclusion and how to continue to develop ideas and skills. In Year 8, students develop more advanced skills within the elements of depth, new technology and abstraction. Students in Year 9 develop an extended project from portraiture which is taught and assessed as a Key Stage 4 project to enable students to gain an insight into the requirements of GCSE standard ‘Art, Craft and Design’ course on offer as an optional subject at Key Stage 4. 

Throughout Key Stage 3, a variety of extended learning tasks are provided to develop and extend learning beyond the classroom. These tasks are completed for homework alongside each of the projects to enhance existing knowledge and encourage students to research materials, equipment, techniques, and other cultures, artists and skills. These tasks also have an emphasis on the environment and our responsibility to be more careful and considerate of our planet and other people, as well as understanding the importance of sustainability.

Performing Arts at Key Stage 3: Drama & Music

At Christ the King Music and Drama are taught through Performing Arts. Students study Performing Arts at Key Stage 3 and can opt to study Performing Arts as Key Stage 4 gaining an EDUQAS Technical Award in Performing Arts at the end of the course.

At Key Stage 3 students study one lesson of Performing Arts a week. This is rotated half termly between Music and Drama. In Year 7 students study basic music and drama skills and move on to performing short scripts and creating short pieces of improvised drama, and learn to play the keyboard through a study of popular and classical music. In Year 7 Music the students study the instruments and traditional of the Western Classical Orchestra culminating in a whole class ensemble performance. 

In Year 8 students continue to develop their performance skills through a range of scripted and devised drama pieces. In Music they learn about film music and reggae music and continue to develop their instrumental skills through playing pieces related to these areas. Students also study African music using the departments set of Djembe drums.

In Year 9 the students look at a scripted piece of drama in more depth and then perform an extract to their peers which develops their analytical skills. Students continue to develop their devising skills and research topic areas such as homelessness to use in their devised performances. In Music Year 9 students continue to develop their performing skills through learning and rehearsing popular pieces of music. Students move on to studying musical theatre and its traditions which links to the study of Performing Arts at Key Stage 4. In the final half term of Year 9, the students produce a mini project that links to the Key Stage 4 Performing Arts unit 2. Students can create their own performance and each take on a different role in putting the piece together.

Technology: Key Stage 4

Design Technology is a practical based subject area which requires the application of knowledge and understanding when developing, planning, producing products and evaluating ideas. The department currently offers two option choices at Key Stage 4, both options have 3 timetabled lessons per week, 2 practically based and 1 theory based.

WJEC TECHNICAL AWARD IN HOSPITALITY & CATERING LEVEL 1 & 2 is a practical subject consisting of Unit 1 (40%) – which is assessed by an 80 minute written examination in Year 11 and Unit 2 (60%) which is a Controlled Assessment task carried out in Year 11. The theory lessons are based on how the hospitality and catering industry fits into different demographics and students develop a comprehensive range of preparation, cooking and presentation skills in practical lessons. This course can lead onto Level 3 qualifications at college, as well as A-Levels and appropriate apprenticeships. This qualification is awarded on a graded system: Level 1 Pass, Level 1 Merit, Level 1 Distinction, Level 2 Pass, Level 2 Merit, Level 2 Distinction, Level 2 Distinction *.

Homework at Key Stage 4 is focused around creating comprehensive revision resources to assist students in preparation for their written examination in Year 11 as well as bringing the correct and/or appropriate ingredients for practical lessons, which is a requirement of the course.

This is a new course from September 2022, however the main changes are from the grading system and how the Unit 2 is marked. The previous course has proven very successful at Christ the King and students are achieving at or above target in most cases. A link to the course specification can be found here:

AQA GCSE DESIGN TECHNOLOGY 9 – 1 students will complete two projects over Year 10, these will incorporate prototype development, modelling, the use of 3D software and Additive Manufacturing, these projects are designed to develop key skills that students will require to complete their Non-Examination Assessment which they will begin in June of Year 10. The NEA requires students to produce a high quality A3 coursework portfolio (approximately 20 pages which contains many aspects related to industry and a student must develop an understanding of these methods and convey them throughout their design work. Areas such as; researching, analysis of materials, design and development, planning, modelling and evaluating are just some of the areas covered in the students’ coursework. Once completed, a prototype of the student’s work is then manufactured based on the designs in their portfolio. In order to achieve maximum grades both the design portfolio and prototype must demonstrate that the student has really grasped the design process and understood the problem from a user centred approach. Assessment in both areas of study consists of 50% coursework with the other 50% on the final 2hr examination, which is designed to test students in all the areas of the course, particularly with a greater emphasis on Maths in Technology.  This course is designed to lead onto A-levels, Level 3 qualifications and Apprenticeships at further education institutes and is graded on the 9-1 system. 

Homework at Key Stage 4 is focused around using on-line educational resources to embed knowledge of the three areas that students will be tested on: Core Technical Principles, Specialist Technical Principles & Designing and Making Principles. Sites such as Seneca Learning & GCSE Bitesize provide a wealth of information that students are able to access on any device and help to increase their existing knowledge.

A link to the course specification can be found below:

Art: Key Stage 4

AQA GCSE ART, CRAFT & DESIGN: Students who opt to study Art, Craft & Design at GCSE level in Key Stage 4 will then complete two extended tasks which becomes their Portfolio (60% of the total grade) which cover the 4 Assessment Objectives, alongside satellite projects which strengthen their individuals skills. Students will cover a range of disciplines including fine art, printmaking, digital art and ceramics, which will be assessed by an Externally Set Assignment (40% of the total grade) assigned in Spring term of Year 11. 

Homework is an opportunity for the students to extend knowledge of their selected artists, improve their skills and improve work to a higher standard. 

For further information on the GCSE Art, Craft and Design course please follow the link below: › subjects › art-and-design

Performing Arts: Key Stage 4

Purpose statement from AQA:


AQA TECHNICAL AWARD IN PERFORMING ARTS: Through the course the students study 3 units. Unit 1 allows the students to select a performance and a technical skill to create a presentation to ‘pitch’ their idea for a performance. Through this unit they develop their performance and technical skills and work as a team. This unit is assessed internally though a portfolio of work and a recorded group presentation. In the second unit, the students work on creating a performance to fit a brief set by AQA. They can choose either a performance skill or a technical skill for this unit which is assessed internally as a final performance. Unit 3 is a written exam in the summer term of Year 10 or 11. It focuses on the skills and areas covered through units 1 and 2. 

Student learn to study independently and use their creativity to produce performances in Performing Arts. The course can lead to a further study of Music, Drama, Dance and Media.

Key Stage 4 students are actively encouraged to attend various Performing Arts clubs and take part in performances throughout the school year. Trips to theatres to see a variety of performances will be arranged and attendance is encouraged. Peripatetic guitar, drums and vocal lessons are available through Lancashire Music Services.

Extra-Curricular and Extended Learning Days in Creative Arts 

Technology contributes to the schools Extended Learning Dyas as Year 7 take part in a ‘design and make’ task using nothing but recycled materials. This is designed to enhance their understanding of the problems we face with the waste we produce, specifically the 6 R’s, and how we can create a more sustainable future as well as encouraging a flair for design and creativity. Year 9 students benefit from an option session where they receive an insight into the realities of their Key Stage 4 optional subject choices whether Hospitality & Catering, Design Technology, Art & Design or Performing Arts.

At Key Stage 4 students have a number of booster sessions to focus on key areas of their GCSE curriculum, these sessions are designed to enhance and extend existing learning, this occurs across the whole department.

Trips organised by the department are designed to give students an insight into industry, whether it be to see a local employer within the manufacturing industry or see how the hospitality and catering industry work in a real life scenario, visiting the theatre or with trips to UCLan where their student ambassadors allow our students to work with post-graduate photography students and visit their studios.   

Recently we have secured a 3D printer for the department and this has created a link with BAE systems which encourages students to see the importance of how practical technology skills could benefit them in their future careers. Christ the King is always looking to develop links with local employers and industry, which is something that will continue to develop moving forward.

Students are Key Stage 4 will have access to lunchtime ‘catch up’ clubs which allow the students’ to use department facilities in order to progress to or complete outstanding work to ensure they have the best opportunity to achieve their full potential.

Within Performing Arts there are also a range of lunch-time and extra-curricular clubs for students at both Key Stages as well a variety of performances that students are able to take part in. Lancashire Music Services provide excellent links with local music teachers to provide a range of tuition for a range of different musical instruments. 

The department encourages creativity, flair, independence, and a sense of pride in what is produced. Regardless of ability, each student will take ownership of their work and produce products of a high standard from concept to completion while developing essential life skills such as time management, team work, problem solving and the ability to communicate.

Please click here for the curriculum overview