Aims of the department
Art is both a vocational and academic course, providing all students with a good foundation for a career in Art and associated creative industries. It also provides a whole host of transferable skills relevant to other subjects and careers. Art is used to communicate aesthetic, intellectual and conceptual ideas and meaning, as well as serving as a practical or commercial function. Student’s work is the outcome of personal experiences, thoughts, observations of people, places and things. They will demonstrate an understanding and application of the formal elements and creative skills and will use visual communication sensitively and thoughtfully to document their artistic journey and fully support their intentions. They will learn how to record ideas, observations and insights relevant to their intentions in visual and/or other forms. They will develop their ideas through investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and cultural understanding. Ideas will then be refined through experimenting and selecting appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes. Final outcomes will be presented in a personal, informed and meaningful response demonstrating analytical and critical understanding realising intentions and, where appropriate, making connections between visual, written, oral or other elements.
Both Key Stage 4 and 5 are assessed using the same Assessment Objectives and therefore we use these within Key Stage 3 for continuity, development and refinement opportunities. These are; 1) develop ideas through investigations, 2) refine their work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, 3) record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions and 4) present a personal and meaningful response that demonstrates an understanding of visual language.
Key Stage 3
Students throughout KS3 are encouraged to explore and experiment with a variety of materials and media, expanding their knowledge of technique and skills each year. We strongly value independent thought and seek to build in students the confidence to develop their own ideas. Students will learn how to draw from observation, practically apply their knowledge and understanding of colour theory, refine skills of different materials and techniques, research and explore the work of others and contextually use their work to inform their own ideas and outcomes ensuring that the Formal Elements of Art are in evidence at all times. The current Key Stage 3 Schemes of Work cover projects such as Still Life, Portraiture, Ethnic Art, Natural Forms and Abstraction, Food and the Formal elements of Art including Colour Theory.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4, after an initial time period of refining techniques, materials and skills, students are given a broad brief from which they are able to extend their skills and subject knowledge. We challenge them to work creatively and inventively, sharing a passion for their work and taking pride in their achievements. A range of artists and practices are used to fulfil the critical and contextual element and contemporary art sources are commonly used to give students a current knowledge of the Art world. Students will submit work in the form of several of the following areas of study - Drawing, Installation, Lens-/light-based media, Mixed media, Land art, Printing, Painting and Sculpture. The current Keys Stage 4 Schemes of Work cover projects on ‘Exploring Your Environment’, ‘Past, Present and Future’, ‘Personal Identity’ and ‘Treasures and Memories’.
The course is assessed in two parts - Personal Portfolio (60%) students work towards creating a portfolio of work throughout the 1st 18 months of the course. Externally Set Assignment (ESA) (40%) students are provided with a question paper with a starting point from which they research and investigate over approximately 30 hours, including sitting the final 10 hour practical exam.
Key Stage 5
Students can specialise in either Fine Art or Digital Photography and are required to develop an independent body of work which is self-directed. In Year 12 students are introduced to a wide variety of techniques and consider problems that artists concern themselves with and how artists develop their ideas towards a realised piece of artwork. Initially, students take part in a series of experimental studies in their sketchbooks in order to develop ideas. Through visits to museums and galleries as well as researching the work of other artists, final pieces show a sophisticated response and a real element of control and expertise in their chosen discipline. In Year 13, students are expected to choose a specialism and develop a portfolio of work, personal to them, showcasing their skills and techniques on a chosen theme. They will accompany their practical work with a 1000-3000 word essay discussing the artists that have inspired their work.
At A Level the Coursework Assignment is worth 60% of your total mark and the Exam Assignment is worth 40% of the total mark. Each assignment consists of two parts: 1) Preparatory Supporting Studies - You are expected to complete an annotated sketchbook displaying your prep work. 2) Final Piece - This consists of a timed element under controlled conditions where you will be producing your own work in response to the theme.