We are a very successful department that thrives on new challenges, discovering contemporary and innovative artists/photographers and practising a wide variety of techniques.
We have three Art professionals that bring to the department a plethora of skills, experience and enthusiasm. We have three specialist Art rooms and one Year 12/13 private Art/Photography study area with a Photographic studio and a Mac computer suite.
The department prides itself on offering an excellent array of pupil experiences, including many trips and visiting artists. Within our Fine Art specialisms, we practice printmaking, observational drawing, installation, painting, mixed media, textiles etc. We also offer A Level Photography which has brought to the department new technologies and exciting outcomes.
The Art Department strongly believes in the value of Art for every student. We encourage creative thinking, artistic expression and strive to boost self-esteem. We motivate, inspire and challenge students of all levels. We develop students’ visual and communicative skills, enabling them to express themselves through a visual language. We nurture students to become well rounded, independent and imaginative individuals.
We aim to provide every student with a broad knowledge of art skills and art history. We continue to raise the profile of Art and Photography and extend the ‘reach’ of the Art Department within the School and local community.
We aim to ensure that all students:
produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences
become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques
evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design
know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.
Key Stage 3
Year 7 Curriculum
Year 7 provides a foundation year for pupils working in a specialist area, increasing their confidence and skills within a range of processes and techniques. It begins with a drawing course which leads into paint, printmaking, collage and other media. Experience across a number of projects is supported by reference to the work of other artists, styles and cultures. This phase of the course is concerned with establishing good practices and building a visual vocabulary.
Year 8 Curriculum
In Year 8, pupils continue to develop the skills and techniques already covered and extend their ideas into a more independent form of expression. In practical work, this will include drawing, painting, three-dimensional work including clay. They continue to consider the cultural and contextual aspects of the subject and apply this knowledge more fully in their own work. Peer and self-assessment are key factors throughout to help the pupils understand their goals more fully and to increase confidence.
Year 9 Curriculum
All pupils in Year 9 will develop a wide range of skills, through experiencing the use of a variety of materials and techniques. Our work covers a variety of practices, from observational drawing, painting, print making, three-dimensional techniques to fashion design. These skills are further enhanced by the study of the work of artists, craftspeople and designers. Our Art and Design course builds progressively as a means of enrichment, understanding and enjoyment within a well-defined structure of knowledge and practical skills. As such, it provides a sound basis for pupils to make informed choices at a later stage.
Pupils follow the new AQA Fine Art GCSE 2-year course, which builds on work done at KS3. Within the 4 Assessment Objectives, pupils will:
AO1: Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.
AO2: Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.
AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.
AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.
Throughout the year, our department endeavours to provide the pupils with a wide knowledge of contemporary artists. We offer an exciting yearly visit to an Art gallery, which provides inspiration for their Identity coursework project. We also organise in-school printmaking workshops such as linocut and monoprint to broaden the pupil’s media and skills repertoire.
We run lunch time and after school GCSE Art clubs for pupils to advance their work under the guidance of an art teacher. We provide a richly and regularly resourced Art Department that encourages creative exploration and the development of pupil’s individual styles. Pupils are also frequently informed of the latest local and National exhibitions and encouraged to make independent visits to Galleries, Museums and Art Collections in order to help inform their work and broaden their knowledge.
Entry requirements: GCSE grade 6 in Art
Alongside the practical expertise you’ll develop in your studies, you will also learn transferable skills valued in both higher education and the world of work:
Analytical | Creative problems solving | Working independently | Research methods | Understanding how context shapes meaning | How to communicate effectively.
The analytical and creative problem solving elements of the course will support you in a range of subjects from History, English, Business or Film Studies through to Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. Fine Art also teaches you how to learn from your experiences and work independently – skills valued by employers and higher education institutions alike.
The AQA A Level course in Fine Art lasts two years. It consists of two components:
Component 1 – Personal investigation 60% of total A Level mark. Students conduct a personal investigation based on an idea, issue or theme supported by written material. This includes written and practical elements.
Component 2 – Externally set assignment 40% of total A Level mark. Students select a starting point from eight questions set by AQA and preparatory work will take place between February and May. Students undertake 15 hours of unaided/supervised time.
Both components require students to participate actively in their course of study, recognising and developing their own strengths and sustaining their own lines of enquiry. Students are expected to complete independent research, record, photograph, experiment, evaluate and modify ideas to extend thinking and inform their own artwork. All work presented for assessment must show coverage of each of the four Assessment Objectives. There will be two assessments each year. Each component is externally moderated in June.
Once you have built up a good portfolio of work you will be ready to develop your art studies further. Many students go on to do a one year foundation course at Art College. Students then make a selection as to which degree course (BA) they would like to follow. After a degree course, they can take up jobs in a wide range of areas, from architecture to furniture design and from jewellery design to photography. If you have any questions about the course, please look on the examination board website – www.aqa.org.uk – or contact a member of the Art Department.
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