Art & Design

Department Aims

The aim of our department is to promote enjoyment and satisfaction and thereby encourage a lifelong commitment to Art. Our courses work towards achieving the following aims:

  • To challenge, stimulate and maintain student curiosity, interest and enjoyment in Art.
  • To enable students to explore a wide range of materials and techniques
  • To become familiar with a body of artistic knowledge, principles and vocabulary.
  • To be able to work both independently and co-operatively.
  • To enable students to perceive Art as a major cultural feature and understand its role in society and as a career.

Expected Outcomes:

Students should become competent and confident in:

  • Sharing their ideas and feelings;
  • Offering constructive support and advice to each other;
  • Appreciate the diverse range of sources from which artists (craftspeople, designers) from different localities, generations and cultures derive their inspiration and ideas;
  • Record and express their ideas and feelings as they perceive them;
  • Experimenting in an imaginative manner
  • Appreciate the qualities of various artistic materials so as to make appropriate selections when producing images and artefacts;
  • Manipulate those materials, by the controlled use of suitable tools, equipment, techniques and processes, in order to produce intended effects;
  • Producing images and ‘works of art’ that they are proud of.

Key Stage Provision

Key Stage 3

Students are taught in groups of approximately 32 and have a one hour lesson each week.

Key Stage 4

Art is currently in two option blocks in each year. Students are taught in groups of approximately 30 and have 2 hour lessons each week.

Key Stage 5

Students have 4 one hour lessons each week.

What is on offer at each Key Stage

Key Stage 3

Throughout the two year Key Stage 3 course students are generally two in depth projects per year, plus two Deep learning Activities (extended Independent Study Task). The first part of the project is usually exploration of media and techniques, research into artists or movements and development of an individual response to findings. The last half of the project is putting into action all that has been learnt and creating the final piece or pieces. We aim to explore painting, drawing, print, mixed media, textiles and 3D work. Projects follow a range of themes encompassing skills, art movements, environment, culture and self exploration. Units of work are continually revised. This helps to create an environment that encourages staff and students to continue to learn by exploring new skills, approaches and trends in the world around us.

Key Stage 4

Learners follow the OCR GCSE course in Art and Design. This course now includes one internally set controlled coursework component and an externally set project culminating in a 10 hour practical examination. Both components are internally marked and externally moderated.

The Key Stage 4 is now 3 years. In Year 9 we aim to build on skills and confidence. Students will work on collaborative pieces of community art during this year, as well as individual pieces. The Controlled Coursework begins in year 10 and the final, externally set project is undertaken in the Spring Term of Year 11. We are continually updating our units of work to include more contemporary artists and techniques. Projects are written to inspire and motivate students whilst allowing them some freedom to develop the work in an independent and imaginative manner. They are encouraged to identify their strengths and work with these. We have high expectations of all students and encourage them to extend their skills during lunchtime and after school sessions.

Key Stage 5

Learners follow the AQA AS and A2 course. We currently offer Art and Design, Textiles and Photography. The A level course also has 2 components – an internally set practical component which includes a 3000 word written element and an externally set component that culminates in a 15 hour practical examination. Although students are given a theme for each unit of work, they are required to ‘make the work their own’ by developing a personal response. Students are encouraged to work independently in the studio space outside of lesson time.

Accommodation and Specialist Resources

Art and Design is taught in two specialist teaching rooms. The downstairs art studio also houses a drying room and kiln for ceramic work. A sixth form study area, equipped with 5 Apple Mac computers, also leads off this studio. The upstairs studio has a small adjoining room for independent study.

Students have access to 13 computers across the Art Department, all with internet access and specialist software. There are also projectors and whiteboards in both studios.

We have a double height gallery area where work from all key stages is exhibited. There are several covered display boards along the corridors and these also house exhibitions of work.

Extra Curricular Activities

We run an open room policy most lunchtimes where students are encouraged to come and work independently. Students from Key Stage 4 and 5 receive extra tuition during these sessions to further their skills base.

After school sessions are also run two evenings a week for Key Stage 4 and 5 students.

Visits to local and London galleries are organised for Key Stage 4 and 5 students. Skills workshops with visiting artists also take place.