Normally, all students in Year 9 follow a foundation course in art, which introduces them to the wide scope of the department’s work. At all times the students are encouraged to view their own practical work within an art-historical context. Their practical projects are arranged on a thematic basis, which is related to the work of contemporary and past artists. At the end of the academic year the students may opt to develop their interests as part of the GCSE art course. Drawing is considered by the department to be an essential skill which students must acquire if they wish to pursue art to a higher level.
Years 10 & 11
The department presently follows the OCR Subject Specification in Art. The GCSE Art course runs over two years.
The students develop the ability to research and develop their own creative ideas from both observation and imagination. They acquire a range of practical skills in different media and experiment with a variety of materials and techniques. Work by contemporary and historical artists is studied within the context of the students’ practical projects. Students are encouraged to visit galleries and exhibitions so that works of art can be studied first hand. Organised trips are an integral part of the course. During Year 10 students begin their coursework portfolio project on a theme set by the department within the disciplines of Fine Art. These disciplines may include painting, drawing, printmaking, and digital photography. Drawing is taught and assessed as a core skill throughout the course.
The Lent term in Year 11 is devoted to the Externally Set Task examination project, which is taken within a Fine Art discipline of the candidate’s choice. The final assessment is made from a selection of the candidate’s work completed over the two years, in addition to the examination project.
Years 12 & 13
Art and Design are taught following the OCR Subject Specification A Level Art and Design: Fine Art (H601)
This is offered within the Fine Art disciplines of painting, printmaking and sculpture. Photography, enhanced through digital editing, is expected as a key and highly effective method of collecting material from primary sources and developing ideas.
The A Level is based on two components of assessed work:
The Personal Investigation (60%)
The Externally Set Task (40%)
The course is taught over two years.
Year 12 Autumn term and first half of the Lent term are dedicated to skill building with a primary focus on observational drawing.
After Year 12 Lent half term students begin their A Level Personal Investigation which will be completed by end of the first half of the Lent term in Year 13.
The Personal investigation represents 60% of the marks for the A Level.
There are two elements to the Personal Investigation
Element 1: Practical portfolio (48%)
Element 2: Related Study (12%)
After Lent Half term in Year 13 students prepare for the A level External Set Task
The Externally Set Task is a 15 hour practical examination. Preparation for the examination will begin in the Lent term. In response to a set theme students will be assessed on the planning, and preparation of their ideas, as well as the work produced during the fifteen-hour practical examination, which will take place during the first half of the Summer term.
Some students may elect to take AS art and not progress to the full A Level
AS is taught in Year 12 following OCR Subject Specification AS Level Art and Design: Fine Art (H201)
The focus of the course is on painting and drawing, with additional supporting work in photography and digital editing.
The AS Level is based on one component of assessed work
The AS Externally Set Task (100%)
In the Autumn term, Year 12 students follow the introductory non assessed skill building programme of study. In January Year 12, students will begin preparation for the assessed AS Externally Set Task.
The Externally Set Task is a ten hour practical examination. Preparation for the examination will begin in the Lent term. In response to a set theme students will be assessed on the planning, and preparation of their ideas, as well as the work produced during the ten-hour practical examination, which will take place early during the first half of the Summer Term.
AS History of Art
History of Art is taught to the present Year 13 only
The AQA specifications are followed.
To encourage candidates to develop and communicate their knowledge and understanding of:
the roles and achievements of practitioners
the relationship between society and art
art historical terms, concepts and issues
methods of researching, investigating and analysing
the use of evidence and how works of art are interpreted and evaluated
There are two units examined in June.
Unit 1: Visual Analysis and Interpretation. This unit requires knowledge and understanding of formal characteristics and terminology, and a general knowledge of historical, social and cultural contexts for painting, sculpture and architecture. This unit assesses visual skills and is designed to equip candidates to analyse and interpret the formal visual features and stylistic elements of painting, sculpture and architecture. The unit of assessment contains questions based on photographs of identified works of art in three categories: painting, sculpture and architecture. In each category one photograph is provided and candidates must answer all three questions. Examples will be drawn from Classical Greece to the end of the twentieth century (500 BC–AD 2000).
The mode of assessment is a one hour written examination. Candidates are required to answer all three questions using continuous prose.
Unit 2: Themes in History of Art. This unit requires knowledge and understanding of art historical themes in relation to selected examples of works of Western art and architecture, artists and architects drawn from Classical Greece to the end of the twentieth century. The following eight themes will be considered in relation to specific works of art and architecture, artists and architects.
Subjects and genres
Materials, techniques and processes
Form and style
Form and function
Historical and social contexts
Social and cultural status
Gender, nationality and ethnicity
The mode of assessment is a 1.5 hour written examination. Candidates are required to answer three questions in continuous prose.
The AS course will provide a broad knowledge and understanding of Western Art and Architecture which will prepare candidates for the more focussed study in selected options of the A2 course.
A2 History of Art
Unit 3: Investigation and Interpretation. This unit will be based on an in-depth study of the major painters, sculptors and architects of the Italian Quattrocento, including Masaccio, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Donatello, Brunelleschi and Alberti. We will also make a comparative study of the Northern Renaissance, studying the work of selected Flemish painters including Jan van Eyck and Roger van der Weyden
The mode of assessment for Unit 3 is a 1.5 hour written examination. Candidates will be required to answer two questions in continuous prose.
Unit 4: Investigation and Interpretation. Art and Architecture in Europe and the United States of America between 1900 and 1945. This unit will be based on an in-depth study of the major painters, sculptors and architects of the Modern Period up until the end of the Second World War. The artists will include Matisse, Derain, Picasso, Kandinsky, and Max Ernst. Architects will include Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius. We will study the ideas which underpin major movements in art including, Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism and Surrealism.
The mode of assessment for Unit 4 is a 1.5 hour written examination. Candidates will be required to answer two questions in continuous prose.