Art Lead Department

Tetherdown, London, N10 1NE

The Fortismere Art & Photography Department 

The Fortismere Art & Photography Department has sustained excellent results at GCSE and A level whilst continuing to use art education as a medium to develop every child’s learning and engagement with the wider world. In 2017 our results far exceeded the national average with 41% of GCSE Fine Art students achieving A*-A and 98% attaining at least a C grade. This trend continued to GCSE Photography and to our A level courses where 34% of our students gained an A*-A grade.

The department provides high quality, well-planned and structured courses that are challenging but sensitive to children's diverse, individual, learning needs. We ensure breadth, complexity and balance in the provision of Art and Photography, value difference and diminish hierarchical notions within Art teaching and learning.

Department Offer:

  • Departmental leadership advice
  • How to develop your team
  • How to intervene with exam classes
  • Incorporating Critical and Contextual Studies into the A level curriculum
  • Developing analysis and academic writing across all keystages
  • Delivering Photography GCSE and A level courses
  • Fine Art approaches to Photography
  • Using e-portfolios to document work
  • How to improve the progress of specific groups
  • Successful extra curricular
  • Managing cross curricular projects
1. Leadership & Staff Structure

The following is a list of departmental responsibilities. Responsibilities for non-allowance post holders are revised annually or as staff changes take place in line with the department’s development plan. Sharing and rotating these responsibilities greatly aids the organisation of the department and gives opportunities for professional development.

  • Melanie Powell Head of Department, line managed by Assistant Head, Art & Photography teacher
  • Guy Holden     Lead in Photography, Photography teacher
  • Rob Woolley     KS4 co-ordinator, Art teacher
  • Alfredo Cristiano Art teacher
  • Anthea Williams Art and Design Technology teacher

Leadership systems and teaching spaces:

  • Line management meetings every 2 weeks during which we follow a whole school self-review cycle.
  • Regular curriculum team meetings.
  • 4 Art rooms
  • 1 Photography room and 1 Photography studio (both Photography spaces are equipped with a suite of Mac computers)
  • Art technician shared with Design Technology (3.5 hours per week)
2. Assessment

The purpose of assessment is to build students' self confidence, their abilities as well as provide information about their progress and achievement. Teachers are constantly assessing students work and setting targets for future development through direct involvement with individuals or as part of group discussions both during and outside lessons. This formative assessment necessarily involves both teacher and student in the process of reviewing and reflecting on students’ progress. Recent research has highlighted that this type of predominantly oral assessment backed by personalised written information is more inclusive and provides better results in terms of short and medium term target setting than formulaic written teacher/self assessment.

All assessment and marking is conducted with a view to improving the learning of pupils and support their rapid progress in Art and Photography, practical and theory. Systems include:

  • School data to monitor progress/ targets/ predictions against student groups
  • Department data collection and tracking
  • GAP analysis after exams to inform planning
  • Effective homework / marking Policy.
  • AfL strategies to support students’ learning and progress
  • Marking strategies that maximise impact on learning planning and minimise staff work load
  • Individual target setting at KS4 & 5
  • ‘Challenge question’ at KS3 allows students to identify how they could improve their work and develop a reflective approach to their learning.
3. Teaching and Learning

All Art & Design staff contribute to a department ethos that creates an effective learning environment in which there is a high degree of student motivation and student participation. Programs of study provide equality of opportunity for all students and use a wide range of teaching approaches to recognise different learning styles.

Art & Photography Department Aims

  • To develop critical and practical visual skills which offer opportunities for continued independent study beyond school. (The principle of building enthusiasm for Art & Photography beyond the classroom is very much part of our ethos and a key to the departments success. As such the department has been and continues to be involved in a wide range of extra curricular activities and highly values opportunities for both students and staff alike.)
  • To work collaboratively to provide a challenging, structured and supportive context for children's engagement with Art, Craft and Photography and raise standards of teaching and learning.
  • To enable opportunities which recognise the needs and shape the aspirations of children
  • To develop a collaborative model for reflective professional practice which sustains and helps evolve the status and value of art education as well as developing individual teacher's professional skills.
4. Behaviour for Learning

The Art & Photography department supports the whole school policy on behaviour and the school's code of conduct is displayed in each room. Good classroom management and challenging, well-planned and resourced lessons are essential to maintaining a positive learning approach by students. This is very much the responsibility of the classroom teacher, however the whole department team have a shared role and investment in ensuring a positive working atmosphere within the department. It is this joint responsibility in supporting colleagues with advice and action with individuals that enables us to maintain the successful learning environment within the art department.
Rewarding students for good behaviour and effort in work are an important part of creating a positive classroom environment for learning. The department follows the whole school rewards policy to ensure consistency.

NRTA lead department costs are £350 per day (£200 per half-day); I undertake to pay this amount on receipt of an invoice from Alexandra Park School; I confirm that the staff member or members who receives support will provide feedback.
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