In the Art Department, we strive to realise the artistic and imaginative potential of all our students.
We believe that, with the right stimulus, all young people can develop as creative individuals, who can express their ideas and feelings confidently and skilfully.
We seek to harness their natural energy and enthusiasm, and channel it towards a growing set of skills, knowledge and expressive outcomes.
The Art Department is housed in 2 spacious, purpose-built art rooms, which are equipped to a high standard for the many arts and crafts which we offer: including painting, photography, sculpture, computer-aided design, print-making and ceramics.
At KS3, an exciting and varied curriculum offers students a wide range of media and processes, including photography, sculpture, computer-aided design, print-making and ceramics, as well as providing a solid grounding in drawing skills.
Students learn about the arts and crafts of different times and cultures, and to use the elements of art to communicate what they see, feel and think.
Topics which students cover at KS3 are: The Art of India, Colour, Ceramics, Still Life, Totem Poles, Constructivist Art, The Renaissance, Portraits and Masks.
Students have one hour-long Art lesson, and there is one homework task per week at KS3.
Beyond the curriculum, students have opportunities to work with visiting artists and enter local and national Art competitions. Students’ work is displayed and celebrated around the school and in the wider community.
Art is a popular and successful optional subject at KS4; students have five lessons per fortnight, and build upon their KS3 experience to explore a more diverse range of practices in greater depth, including visits to exhibitions. Students work with greater independence to produce exciting and personal responses in a wide range of media and styles.
At KS4 GCSE Art offers a varied range of exciting courses through the AQA suite of exams; GCSE AQA Art and Design – Fine Art; GCSE AQA Art and Design – Textile Design; GCSE AQA Art and Design – Photography. The Art and Design specification is ‘vibrant and dynamic’ and allow students the opportunity to develop skills in a choice of different media. The courses encourage a love of drawing, experimentation and making, and a commitment to working hard at expressing ideas in original and creative ways, whilst equipping them with the skills to continue the subject with confidence at AS, A-level and beyond.
All Art and Design GCSE options are assessed through the following:
Component 1: Portfolio
A portfolio that in total shows explicit coverage of the four assessment objectives.
- 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.
It must include a sustained project evidencing the journey from initial engagement to the realisation of intentions and a selection of further work undertaken during the student’s course of study.
How it’s assessed:
- No time limit
- 96 marks
- 60% of GCSE
Non-exam assessment (NEA) set and marked by the school/college and moderated by AQA during a visit. Moderation will normally take place in June.
Component 2: Externally set assignment
Students respond to their chosen starting point from an externally set assignment paper relating to their subject title, evidencing coverage of all four assessment objectives.
How it’s assessed:
- Preparatory period followed by 10 hours of supervised time
- 96 marks
- 40% of GCSE
Non-exam assessment (NEA) set by AQA; marked by the school/college and moderated by AQA during a visit. Moderation will normally take place in June.
Future Opportunities and Pathways
A good GCSE Art portfolio enables you to apply with confidence for a range of post-16 courses, such as AS/A Level Art and/or Photography, BTEC in Art, Media and Design, and Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.
Art qualifications are the pathway to professions such as fashion design, graphic design, interior design, product design, web design, animation, advertising, working for television, teaching, and of course, for artists and craftspeople.
For more information please speak to Ms Nicholson.
At Key Stage 4, students are encouraged to attend after-school and Saturday sessions to help them improve their skills, learn new ones, and enhance their grades. Students will also have opportunities to work with visiting artists and craftspeople. GCSE students visit museums and art galleries as part of their course.