Taught by: Mrs Zabeena Riaz BA (Hons), Surrey; PGCE.
We are living in a society where visual information plays an increasingly important role. Students should have sufficient knowledge to allow them to understand the effect an image or images can have on them, and on the world around them. They should be equipped with the language and analytical skills to be able to deconstruct the image, and explain how and why it was produced, and how and why it has the effect it does.
In addition to this, making activities are a source of pleasure and can be a powerful method of expression and communication, leading to greater self-awareness and enhanced personal development. Pupils should be given the opportunity and skills with which to express themselves using visual language and to be creative and imaginative within the limitations of Islamic teachings. This does not mean that they are restricted or their creativity stifled, but that they have the chance to enhance their knowledge and use of Western Art with the rich legacy of Islamic Art through the ages.
Aims & Objectives
The art department aims to
• Enable pupils to become visually literate: to use and understand art as a form of visual and tactile communication and to have confidence and competence in reading, evaluating and using visual images and artefacts in historical and contemporary formats.
• Give pupils the knowledge and confidence to identify, critically assess and use the work of other artists, designers and craftsmen from their own and other cultural traditions in art history.
• Develop particular creative and technical skills so that ideas may be realised and artefacts produced.
• Develop pupils’ aesthetic sensibilities and enable them to make informed judgements about art.
• Develop pupils design capability.
• Develop capacity for imaginative and original thought and experimentation.
• Give students the opportunity to explore and celebrate the diverse and rich cultural heritage they share
In keeping with the Islamic ethos of the school, all units of work set at Key Stage three are based on non-figurative work. At Key Stage four students are encouraged to produce more independent work and Art work moves towards becoming a form of self-expression. Students are given the opportunity to study using Western Art as a basis for inspiration and the National Curriculum is followed. Islamic Art is studied as part of the Art curriculum and in cross-curricular collaborations with the Islamic Studies and Islamic History departments.
Art is compulsory in Years 7, 8 and 9 It becomes an optional subject at Year 10, when students can choose to take Fine Art GCSE.
Drawing provides the foundation for all Art activities, so the main focus of lessons at the start of each unit of work at all levels is observational drawing. The Art Department is well equipped and a variety of skills, techniques and processes are covered through the years. These include painting and drawing in a variety of media, printmaking, 3-dimensional work, ceramics, photography and animation.
The school is situated close to central London and travel to national galleries and museums is very easy. Art trips have taken place to the Wallace Collection, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Tate Modern and Tate Britain. In the immediate local environment, Queen’s Park is a short walking distance away and provides a rich resource for drawing from nature.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3, the Art Curriculum is built up of termly units of work that are structured and which follow a theme. There is flexibility in the artists, craftspeople and designers that are studied as well as in the subject matter of each unit; however the same basic principles are applied to each. Each unit consists of a starting point that is a theme or idea; followed by observational study; then the work of an artist or type of art is looked at; then the observational material produced is developed through the same process as the chosen artist and finally a finished outcome is produced that is the product of the unit. This year the themes are:
Year 7: Islamic Art- ceramic tiles; Self-Image; Indian Pattern
Year 8: Islamic Art- watercolour flowers and ceramic tiles; Still life; Environmental Art
Year 9: Animating Art; War and Conflict; Still Life
Key Stage 4
At Islamia Art GCSE follows the Fine Art unit of the Edexcel examinations board. As it is an option at GCSE, group sizes are relatively small so that there is flexibility in allowing students to follow individual themes towards the end of the course. At the start of Year 10, students are building up basic painting and drawing skills whilst following their first unit of work which is usually entitled ‘Still Life’. Following this they choose a self-determined theme on which to build their ’Personal Portfolio’. Units at Key Stage 4 are structured in the same way as at Key Stage 3, with observational material and the study of other artists, craftspeople and designers, followed by development towards a final outcome. At the end of the course, there is an ‘Externally Set Assignment’ which is a theme from which to produce a unit of work set by the examinations board. Both the ‘Personal Portfolio’ and the ‘Externally Set Assignment’ are internally assessed and then externally moderated by the board at the end of the course.
Preparation for the Future
The department has worked in conjunction with other departments in the school and cross-curricular activities and schemes of work have been very successful in the past. The department looks forward to building on these and diversifying links in the future. There are links with History in Year 7, with a trip to Hampton Court Palace and workshop activities relating to both subjects.
This year, the Year 10 students submitted work towards an Inter-faith Art competition run by the Interfaith Centre on Salusbury Road. This was a positive experience for all involved and one that we hope to repeat in the future.