In Year 7 and 8 students are taught in a series of term long major projects. Over the course of the two years they are introduced to a range of media and processes, including painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, ceramics and digital art. Each project is focused on a theme, drawing on cross curricular links, which students themselves develop according to their own interests, experiments and artist research. Drawing from observation underpins every project and students begin to learn how to visually record their ideas and progress in their visual diaries.
By Year 9 students are familiar with the department, the range of media and processes on offer, how to develop and record their ideas through research, drawing and experiment. They are taught in two blocks of 15 lessons over the year in which they develop their own mini GCSE style project, learning how to move through the stages of experimentation and research to complete a meaningful ‘final outcome’. This offers students the opportunity of following their own ideas and inspiration as well as laying the foundations for those who choose to continue Art in Year 10.
Year 10 and 11
The department presently follows the AQA Art and Design, Fine Art, Subject Specification at GCSE.
The GCSE Art course runs over two years and comprises
Component One (60%) - coursework project and portfolio
Component Two (40%) - externally set assignment
At the beginning of Year 10 the students are immediately immersed I a series of workshops, enabling them to explore new methods, materials and processes, to work collaboratively and, crucially, to develop their creative thinking skills. All this experimental work can be included in their GCSE Component One portfolio. Half way through the year they start the second part of Component One, their own personal projects, which culminate in a ‘final outcome’ just before Christmas in Year 11. This allows them each to follow their own interests and preferences, each student developing their own creative ideas from both observation and imagination. They are introduced to a wide range of artists and art historical ideas in the context of their projects. In Year 11, after Christmas, they complete a shorter Component Two project which culminates in a ten hour ‘exam’ before the Easter holidays.
Alongside their independent project work, students will be taught drawing from life each week and in the Lent term of Year 10 they all participate in the Discover ARTiculation Challenge, a national Art History competition. This is invaluable in teaching the students to think and speak about the art they enjoy
Trips to galleries and visits from artists are an integral part of the course.
Art and Design are taught following the AQA Subject Specification A Level Art and Design: Fine Art
The A Level is based on two components of assessed work:
Component One (60%) The Personal Investigation with written component (60%)
Component Two (40%) The Externally Set Task
The course is taught over two years.
At the beginning of Year 12 the emphasis is on exploring ideas and experimenting with media in an effort to engender creative thinking and risk taking as part of a dynamic creative process. They start the year with a series of open ended workshops in which they are challenged to work with new materials and processes and in new ways.
Alongside the workshops, students have a weekly life class and a weekly Art History class. In the autumn term they each participate in the national Art History competition, ARTiculation, in which they choose a work of art or architecture and prepare a presentation about their response to it. This culminates in a school heat in the Autumn term, the winner moving forward to the regional heats. In the Lent term the Art History classes continue, but this time with reading and discussion
After Lent half term in Year 12 students start their Component One coursework, independently developing personal projects, which culminate in a ‘final outcome’ in January of Year 13. This project enables each student to follow their own ideas, explore their own chosen media and develop a personal vision and voice.
In the autumn term of Year 13 the students complete their coursework projects and prepare for their ‘final outcomes’ in January. They then start their Externally Set Task which culminates in a 15 hour practical examination in April.
Alongside their practical work they will also participate in ARTiculation, but this time focusing on an artist whose work resonates with their own. This allows them to use their presentation as the basis for the written element in their Component One. They are also able to attend life class or request specific workshops, according to their individual needs.
Occasionally students may elect to take AS art and not progress to the full A Level
AS is taught in Year 12 following AQA Subject Specification AS Level Art and Design: Fine Art.
The AS Level consists of two components.
Component 1 – Portfolio (60%) consisting of a selection of work from the workshop sessions, life drawings and an extended collection of work based on a theme or issue.
Component 2 – Externally Set Assignment (40%) Independent project culminating in a 10 hour practical exam.