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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.

Curriculum Coverage

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 

At Key Stage 3 students explore drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media, photography, and 3D work.    Through individual and group work they develop critical and aesthetic awareness, responding to the work of artists from different times, places and cultures.  We seek to extend students' potential for achievement, confidence and personal development and ensure that we prepare them for further studying. 

Key Stage 4 

We aim to give a clear structure to the course whilst giving lots of room for creativity and challenging students to develop new ideas.  Students are introduced to artwork from a wide variety of times and places and are encouraged to develop a critical vocabulary so that they can discuss their ideas articulately.  They are encouraged to create a personal portfolio using Assessment Objectives as a structure.  Students can follow one or two pathways; Fine Art or  Photography.  Fine Art students are taught more advanced techniques in drawing, painting, photography, 3D work, alternative and mixed media.  Photography students develop their skills in recording from a range of sources and the ability to communicate the formal elements.  They further explore the functions of the digital camera and editing applications.

Key Stage 5 

Students are given the opportunity to refine their skills through both Fine Art and Photography courses.  Year 12 begins with a six week induction period which aims to ease the transition between GCSE and A Level and which gives students a broad introduction to contextual understanding and professional practice whilst encouraging students to experiment with unfamiliar materials and techniques.  They will then refine their ideas and processes, choosing their own topic to develop into their A Level Personal Portfolio.  Year 13 is a time for students to develop in sophistication.  We challenge students to demonstrate real expertise in their chosen specialism as well as giving the opportunity to lean new skills.  Their work is completely self-directed, supported by workshops and weekly tutorials with teachers.  Our students are highly organised and disciplined.

We aim to develop imaginative, confident and skilled students who have the maturity and judgement to work independently.  Their work is supported by workshops, gallery visits and trips and is a lot of fun.