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Expressive Arts

Expressive Arts Curriculum Intent

The Expressive Arts curriculum aims to inspire students to embrace a love of learning as well as to obtain skills and knowledge to make them experts in the subjects of Art & Design, Ceramics, Drama, Music and Textiles. We teach a robust and varied curriculum, which enables all to access, achieve and become masters, finding their niche within the Arts. 


At Irlam and Cadishead Academy, we want students to feel welcomed and cared for, in addition to becoming independent and thriving learners. We study carefully sequenced mini projects throughout the years of KS3 across all Expressive Arts subjects, which enable students to experiment in workshop lessons and be independent with personal outcomes.  


The curriculum is sequenced for students to build upon and gain knowledge and skills throughout KS3, with work being developed from KS4 GCSE Art and Design, GCSE Music and BTEC Performing Arts criteria, enabling students to access the KS4 curriculum seamlessly and become masters in understanding the criteria used to make progress.  


We are passionate about inspiring our students with life beyond school, promoting high aspirations for every one of our students. The faculty have fostered numerous community links with local charities and MAPAS, a Music and Performing Arts company in Salford, to develop students character and provide wider opportunities for students learning outside the classroom. The addition of sixth form college links for the arts, provides further opportunities to discuss future courses and pathways with students to support their options.  


The Expressive Arts Department are committed and fervent in promoting strong ethical values, character building and a love of learning. We strive to foster a sense of community with our students, staff and parents, offering co-curricular clubs and safe spaces to students during non-directed time. Our curriculum is rich and diverse, promoting a range of cultures and providing further opportunities for our students to better appreciate the wider world. 



All students at Irlam and Cadishead Acadamy have the right to a broad and balanced curriculum. Within expressive Arts, students are able to develop their knowledge and explore a range of creative subjects, being able to express themselves freely through techniques, sound and/ or movement and expressions. Students are able to build up confidence in various ways of communication from year 7, regardless of their starting point. Through quality first teaching, all students are able to make progress providing lifelong skills.  


Coherence: Knowledge is acquired and developed over time through examples, modelling and linking to prior knowledge through retrieval. The curriculum is sequenced to build upon knowledge and key concepts which are developed again throughout KS3, enabling KS4 learners to have confidence and a thirst to learn. Students are scaffolded to support and encouraged to be Independant learner through challenge and self-reflection. Connections are made between units and year groups with students building upon confidence and empowerment. The curriculums have a starting point of the National Curriculum which is met throughout years 7-9. 


Mastery: The curriculum is designed to provide students with key knowledge as a foundation and is developed and revisited throughout KS3 through focused mini projects. Students have understanding of GCSE criteria which makes the transition into GCSE seamless as they understand key concepts and terminology Throughout KS3, students develop their skills, confidence, subject specific vocabulary and ability to work independently being creative learners. 


Adaptability: All students receive the same ambitious curriculum throughout Exprssive Arts. Through quality first teaching and modelling, all learners are able to access the curriculum, work independently and make progress. 


Representation: The Expressive Arts Curriculum draws inspiration from a range of cultures, countries and time periods allowing students a broad and balanced view of the world. Students ae able to learn from styles and movements to help develop their own opinions and styles and enabling a wider awareness. 


Education with Character: Expressive Arts subjects are empowered by the love of learning in co-curriculum activities and visits. Co-curricular clubs enable students to develop their confidence and resilience and provide students opportunities to share, be creative and become leaders. Students are provided with opportunities of trips and visits, workshops, charity work, performances (viewing and delivering), technical support and clubs amongst others. 

KS3 Art

KS4 Art



KS3 Drama

KS3 Music

KS3 Textiles

KS4 Textiles

Careers in Expressive Arts

It can be difficult to see how your school subjects relate to future jobs. However, when you make your Options choices in Year 9, it can influence and determine your career pathway, and the choices you make in the next stages of your education.

Should you wish to explore careers in Art further, here are some interesting websites to help your research:

Should you wish to explore careers in Drama further, here are some interesting websites to help your research: 

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