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The Limes College

Alternative Provision


Art and Photography


The Limes College Art department has always been driven by ensuring that students are enriched and empowered by their own art practice. We are very aware that when students arrive in our classrooms they are not a blank canvas and they have a richness of life experience that will inform their own progression. We aim to build a creative environment that enables students to become self-directed and critically aware of their work, the work of others and the world around them. The higher level thinking that is needed for a creative subject is transferable across curricula and we want this to be visible across the school. We want our students to become creatively and technically competent so that they are able to move on to any destination and be able to thrive.  



As an Art department we offer both Art and Photography across KS3 and KS4. In KS4 this takes the form of AQA GCSE. We have developed a curriculum that has been built around our nine Threshold Concepts for both Art and Photography. These are designed to frame the BIG IDEAS in creative subjects, to deepen critical understanding, open up discussion and encourage independent work. During the teaching of these Threshold Concepts, in KS3 and Year 10, there is little mention of levels, assessment objectives or final pieces. We adopt a more formative low-risk assessment and feedback practice which is focused on repetition to increase automaticity and fluency1. By Year 11, students will be working on their portfolio projects (a specific coursework requirement). For this we have developed a project framework that enables students to progress at their own speed and be more autonomous in their practice. The framework also introduces assessment objectives so that students can fully understand how they are marked and how to progress. With both Threshold Concepts and Project Frameworks students are encouraged to participate in discussions with staff and students to self and peer assess.



At The Limes College, students who take Art or Photography will leave with a GCSE qualification that is recognised by colleges and 6th forms. Beyond this, students will develop a keen sense of self and will gain the knowledge that they have not only a say in what they create but also the impact they have on the world. Being creative promotes a high level of critical thinking; abilities to be self-directed and problem-solving and builds confidence. These traits can be transferred to any aspect of life and are invaluable in further study whether that be in the workplace or in further education. Art and photography students can apply the deeper understanding of art and its context to the world around them and further education. They become creative, intuitive and technically capable individuals, ensuring they are not disadvantaged in any of their destinations. 


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The Limes College, Robin Hood Lane,
Sutton SM1 2SD


The Limes College is part of Alternative Learning Trust which is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Company Number 11788031 Registered office: Sutton West Centre, Robin Hood Lane, Sutton SM1 2SD