Hathershaw College




Curriculum Intent


  • To challenge pupils, to think, act and speak. Teaching students to become visually literate so that they are able to read, interpret and find meanings in signs, symbols, codes and conventions.
  • To ensure our students understand how music can support the development of life skills, such as confidence, self-awareness and discipline.
  • To ensure our students understand the complexities of music through analysis of a wide range of genres from different musical and cultural perspectives.
  • To develop students’ critical thinking skills and artistic vocabulary to enable them to formulate their own ideas and opinions when reviewing, modifying and evaluating work and setting personal targets.
  • To enable students to transfer their practical and cognitive skills for realising ideas, to create and make their own work, manipulating materials, tools and techniques.
  • To provide high quality opportunities for all our students to work with creative practitioners and cultural organisation partnerships.
  • To provide instruments, equipment and resources to students, ensuring there are no barriers to learning.
  • To accumulate knowledge, behaviours and skills that a student can draw upon and which demonstrates their cultural awareness so that they may be successful in society.
  • To ensure our students understand the creative processes of different practitioners and encourage them to understand creative practice through knowledge, understanding and production of art in context. Engaging with practitioners and examples of historical art and design from a range of cultural contexts.
  • To develop students to have limitless aspirations of the arts.
  • To enable academic success within the arts alongside creativity and inventiveness, equipping our students with the personal qualities and key skills they need to excel.
  • To ensure that our students have the necessary skills to be able to access the optional arts curriculum at KS 4 and KS 5.
  • To challenge students in all arts lessons to be able to demonstrate understanding and creativity through performance, composition, through collaboration with their peers and evaluation of their work.
  • To provide a high quality and balanced curriculum which promotes students’ understanding of themselves, their identity and personal culture by building on their own interests and prior learning.
  • To offer extra-curricular instrumental lessons to all students.
  • To develop student’s identities, to help them to make sense of who they are and how they fit into the world.
  • To inspire students to develop a love of music and their ability as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.
  • To develop in our students an awareness of how the arts are firmly rooted in culture, its contribution to the wealth of our nation and how the arts affect our everyday life and our being in the world.
  • To develop Students to be positive, creative and emotionally intelligent performers.
  • To encourage our learners to explore and discover in a safe and purposeful Arts environment.
  • To develop an appreciation for theatre and to have a cultural awareness of it.

Curriculum Overview



Students will explore the theme fragments as an introductory element to the course. Students will explore a range of short activities, introducing students to the photography principles, formal elements and technical language. Students will participate in a series of skills based workshops.


Students will gather and document experiences during an organised visit. Using sources to record information, making critical links with the work of others. Students will produce independent research and explore a range of different concepts: Abstraction, realism, distortion, surrealism, close up, viewpoints, contrast and tone.

Mock exam Paper AQA

Students to independently develop a body of work from a self-selected starting point. Students will participate in a series of skills based workshops and document their outcomes.




Students will independently develop the starting point reflections, exploring the work of identified photographers and creating informed investigations, producing written and visual responses.

Students will participate in a series of skills led workshops.

Students will independently develop their ideas, experimenting, reviewing and refining outcomes and investigations.

 Externally set assignment
Students select one starting point and develop ideas through photographic investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources. Students will refine their ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media. Students will present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.      


To download this table, please click below.

Curriculum Overview


Medium Term Plans





Photography SMSC Statement


Within the faculty we are committed to establishing and developing long term cultural partnerships to extend students awareness. We endeavour to present opportunities for cultural engagement, museums, theatres, studios, orchestras, community based music groups, galleries, and creative practitioners. As a MiSST partner school our students have access to classical music education, and a programme of excellence, removing barriers between them and classical music. MiSST unlocks the potential and builds confidence and social skills. Participation and achievements are a source of pride within families.

We strive to develop an appreciation of the arts with students of all year groups. Our schemes of work have been devised to expose students to a wide range of different cultures, beliefs and to assist them in seeing the world from other points of view. For example in year 8 Art and design, students complete a cultural world tour and study the importance of the visual arts within different cultures.

We reinforce the importance of a cohesive, harmonious, law abiding society through images, classroom displays, exhibitions, performances and showcases of work. The arts equip students with the skills and knowledge to face current and topical issues that will also allow them to respond with resilience to future change and challenge within their personal lives and wider world. Our students are encouraged to see the world around them as a source of inspiration, visually, conceptually, politically, spiritually and culturally. The courses delivered within the faculty are dependent on the student’s ability to enquire and communicate their ideas, meaning and feelings. Our students develop confidence and also their understanding of themselves. For example within performing arts, students examine the purpose of performance to inform, educate, raise awareness and challenge and discuss the themes within Oh! What a lovely war. In performing arts students develop an understanding of what is universally right or wrong, covering different angles, perspectives and cultural values. Students develop mutual respect and the views of others.

The arts develop personal management and communication, challenging imagination and creativity and always celebrating diversity. Our schemes of work inspire students to achieve their best in a creative way as well as create their own work. We want our students to enjoy and have a lifelong appreciation of the arts. We encourage independent thinking that will enable students to develop their ideas and intentions. For example within photography we use the weekly hook and connect tool. This tool encourages students to evaluate, analyse and identify their next steps in their own self-development.

The arts are subjects which encourage students to question things that could limit their self-knowledge, self –esteem and confidence –For example, lack of aspiration, discrimination, injustice etc. Personal opinion and justification within the arts are vital skills in being able to progress in the creative process as well as contribute towards a cohesive society. As students’ progress through the key stages they are taught to view their own and others work critically through oral and written discussion. Students respect each other’s opinions and respect the value of working collaboratively.