International Journal of Art & Design Education

Fairwater Comprehensive School: Art & Design in a Secondary School Curriculum

Volume 2.2   1983



An essential need for educators in Art & Design is the communication of information, both verbal and visual, about the policies, organisation and activities, which are affected in diverse institutions. This paper is intended to show the place and the function of Art & Design in the curriculum of one truly comprehensive school - Fairwater Comprehensive, opened in 1971 in purpose-built buildings in Gwent, Wales. The paper describes the course, which employs a method of presentation that moves away from the traditional vertical model of learning towards a lateral model. Shared experiences in the first two years are designed to help individual students to deal adequately with their own sensibilities. A range of external examinations is properly catered for, and educational visits are an integral part of the course. The author discusses the need to clarify concepts, define strategies and foster curriculum development, with attention equally focussed on the distinctive as well as the general and related aspects of the subject. The article is illustrated with a small but typical sample of the pupils' work.