The department is staffed with a highly experienced team of specialist teachers. Each is a professional in their own field of expertise and these combined skills give students a comprehensive range of Fine Art, Illustration and Graphic Design. ‘A’ Level students are taught by two International artists who have exhibited in Fine Art galleries and were trained at The Slade and Central Saint Martin’s School of Art. The Art department is also supported by a dedicated Award winning technician.
All Key Stage 3 study Art for one double lesson a week, on a carousel system. Our course is developed for all abilities and we nurture creative talent over three years. We begin in year 7 by teaching basic drawing skills and as the course progresses students are introduced to painting, printmaking, art history and mixed media work. There are individual studies on colour, composition, line, tone and narrative to help promote creative techniques. Later we study the work of artists and designers to inform our students own work and to raise awareness of the creative environment that exists around them.
At GCSE students’ progress to follow the EDEXCEL Fine Art course. Students at GCSE have 2 ½ hours study per week. At GCSE coursework is 60% of marks and the final timed exam unit is 40%. The timed examination is 10 hours, and this follows an intensive period of preparation. Students will be expected to explore, research and create artwork that is linked to a wide range of artist’s techniques, styles and to develop ideas of their own. In year 10 students visit the Victoria and Albert Museum for a day of visual research into pattern and in year 11 students spend the day at the renowned Curwen Print study Centre near Cambridge. There they create their own dry-point etchings and mono-prints, as Henry Moore and Stanley Jones did; these experiences help to students to understand how art has influenced and shaped modern day culture. Results indicate that our students regularly achieve, on average, 1 grade higher than their target grades as well as giving artistic enrichment.
At A Level there are two units of work in each year. In year 12, Unit 1 is very structured, to facilitate the transition from GCSE to A level. The level of creative integrity is increased and a higher level of art analysis is introduced; this evokes an increased understanding of Art. More complex techniques and greater experimentation of materials combined with a discipline for independent learning are devised to encourage and harness a passion for art, that will equip them for future study. References to the creative sectors in industry are promoted and links with artist and designers are created by the art department for students to access to help facilitate their studies. Securing success in Art.
Results in summer 2018 were excellent, with 16.7% gaining an A*, 33.3 % gaining A* – B and a 100% A* – C.
Every student’s progress is closely monitored by staff in the department, and we give detailed feedback on current attainment and how progress can be enhanced. Assessment is varied and work is assessed on a continual basis. All pupils are assessed at the end of the year with a drawing examination and progress is monitored initially from a Baseline Drawing in September of year 7, and then subsequently against individual targets, throughout the years of study. Continuous dialogue and feedback in lessons ensure that every pupil is aware of their current level of progress. Student’s passion and interest in Art is always encouraged and nurtured at all stages.
The department has two Art studios with wonderful natural light as well as a sixth form studio. The department is well stocked with a wide range of Art materials. At KS3 pupils have a sketchbook which is used for homework and some classwork. Throughout the years all students will work with inks, pastels and water-based paints.
At GCSE and A level, students will have the opportunity to work in mixed media, print-making, sculpture and oil paints.
Work is ambitious, bold and wide ranging, and each year we hold an exhibition of examination work to showcase the students’ achievements.
There are two school GCSE art clubs a week on a Thursday (after school) and Fridays (lunchtime).