Key Stage 3
We approach this subject by encouraging the pupils to develop skills and understanding within two main areas: Investigating and Making Art and Knowledge and Understanding of Art.
Investigating and Making Art
Pupils are taught to develop ideas from direct experience and imagination and to select, record and analyse from first-hand experience. They are also encouraged to keep a regular sketch-book in which they work out their ideas and to experiment in order to extend their knowledge and experience of a range of materials, tools and techniques. Pupils will also be taught how to review and modify their work as it progresses.
Schemes of work change from year to year and what follows is subject to alteration. We concentrate on introducing them to observational drawing in variety of media, including contour and tonal drawing in fine liner and ink pen and pencil work. They have been exploring many approaches to the subject, including some straight observational work as well as more creative interpretations. After Christmas we introduce them to basic colour theory and they start to learn how to use paint. Despite the strongly structured nature of this part of the course, we always encourage our pupils to work in an unselfconscious way so that they do not lose those delightful qualities that are such an important feature of child art. In the Summer Term we continue our exploration of colour materials through the use of paint and collage. When the weather permits, we work outside and investigate the idea of perspective using direct observation.
Knowledge and Understanding
This theme covers the Historical and Critical aspects of Art, Craft and Design. Pupils are taught to develop an understanding of artist’s work, craftspeople and designers, applying this knowledge to their own work. They are also encouraged to respond to and evaluate art, craft and design, including their own and others’ work. We teach Art History in a formal way, from the beginning of Western civilization to the present day.
Key Stage 4
Why study Art and Design?
In GCSE art and design, students are encouraged to develop their technical and imaginative skills in a wide range of media. These include drawing and painting from direct observation, collage, pen and ink, pastel, watercolour, ceramics, digital photography, graphic design, and computer aided work. Competent drawing skills are essential if students are to be successful at this level and a real love of the subject is also most important.
Features of the course
Coursework consists of two units of work over the two years. This involves homework, coursework and a written element looking at the work of other artists. Coursework counts for 60% of the marks. The students will also sit a 10 hour examination known as a controlled test, which makes up the remaining 40% of the marks.
There is an annual trip to Edinburgh, and the art rooms are open at lunchtime for supervised help on most days.
What opportunities for progression does it offer?
Manual dexterity, problem solving, creative thinking, time management, powers of perception, observational skills, contextual art history, understanding of social history, debating skills, intellectual analysis and visual analysis.
Topics for Study: Natural forms and collections
Assessment summary: Internally marked then moderated by an external moderator
Exam Board: AQA
Key Stage 5
Why study Fine Art or Graphic Art?
Art and design allows development of creativity and artistic expression, and is one of the only subjects to be almost entirely practical. Art and design is vital in today’s ever-changing world, where aesthetics are equally as important as function. Indeed, art surrounds us in our everyday living environment; from the buildings we live in, mobile phones used to text, and the clothes on the high street.
Students studying art will explore and develop their artistic skills in a variety of disciplines. Learners will also develop their ability to analyse artwork and think critically about the creative world and apply that knowledge to their projects. The course is designed with further education in mind, so that students who wish to pursue a career in art and design have the skills and knowledge required; many students do continue into highly successful careers in the widely increasing creative industries.
What do I need to know or be able to do before taking this course?
You need to have gained a GCSE grade A or above. You will be required to explore drawing using a variety of methods and media on a range of scales. Students will use sketchbooks/workbooks/journals to underpin their work. This course requires a significant amount of independent study.
Features of the course:
Students will produce practical and critical/contextual work in one or more areas including painting, drawing, mixed media, sculpture, installation, printmaking, film, animation, video, photography, lens-based and/or light-based media. Graphic art students will follow the same course but will produce their development and final pieces using the computer program Photoshop. Their outcomes will be of a graphic nature such as stamp presentation packs, posters or calendars.
Topics for Study
Fine Art: Students should produce practical and critical/contextual work in one or more areas including painting, drawing, mixed media, sculpture, land art, installation, printmaking, film, animation, television, video and photography: lens-based and/or light-based media.
Graphic Art: Students should produce practical and critical/contextual work in one or more areas including illustration, advertising, packaging design, design for print, communication graphics, computer graphics, multimedia, animation, web design, film, television and/or video.
Unit 1 – Natural Forms – Portfolio
Unit 2 – Externally set assignment including a 10 hour supervised piece of work
Unit 3 – Personal Study Project 1000-3000 words
Unit 4 – Externally set assignment including a 15 hour examination
Entry Requirements: Grade A or above in GCSE Art
Exam Board: AQA