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Art and Design

The Art Department strives to ensure each student, at each key stage, is given the opportunity to respond creatively and imaginatively to tasks across a range of disciplines. We encourage students to hone their existing skills and begin to develop a love of working with mixed media, a variety of materials and new techniques. During their time with us they will develop good technical skills and a creative outlook to problem solving, which has a positive impact across all subjects.

Why choose to come to our school for this subject?

We aim to provide students with the basics of painting, drawing and making at Key Stage 3, ready for the rigours of studying the subject after they choose their options at the end of Y9. Students at GCSE and A-Level comment that they really enjoy the independent choice of theme at both Key Stage 4 and 5, and this diversity has been commented on by moderators of our subjects as being a particular strength of the department.

We offer digital editing facilities, the opportunity to create large scale prints, etchings and paintings, coupled with the opportunity to experiment with mixed media and large scale sculpture and installation. Our students rise to the challenge and, as a result, we have an exciting range of independently creative and diverse responses to projects at both GCSE and A-level.

The new specifications at both GCSE and A-level have meant that we can now give more opportunity to students to undertake workshops and experiment with wider ranges of materials, techniques and processes at the beginning of courses, which students have commented makes them more confident in their own creative processes and more willing to take risks with their own aesthetic.

Our results are consistently high, with 80-90% of our students  gaining A*-C passes at GCSE for both Photography and Fine Art.

in Year 7 

The Formal Elements of Art – Animals. Students will explore:

  • Line, tone, form, colour, pattern and texture
  • Beginning to learn how to sketch and draw in proportion
  • Using pencil to create tone and applying pattern and texture
  • Observational drawing
  • Beginning to learn a basic understanding of the colour wheel
  • Producing a personal outcome

3D project, making hot air balloons and air ships. Students will explore:

  • 3D modelling skills using papier mache to create a hot air balloon
  • Exploring artists
  • Travelling the world and exploring cultures
  • Ending in students creating a personal and informed outcome

Landscapes or the World. Students will explore:

  • Learning about the fundamentals of landscape drawing
  • Drawing from life
  • Large scale drawing with graphite
  • Exploring artist
  • Ending in students creating a personal and informed outcome
  • world landscape African, climate etc

Self-directed/student led project that will:

  • Allow students to implement what they have learned during the year and make choices about what they would like to do and how to develop their own work
  • Provide students with the tools to get used to working independently, ready for GCSE and A-Level

In Year 8 

Formal Elements of Art – World Food. Students will explore:

  • Line, tone, form, colour, pattern and texture, recapped from Y7 but with a focus of food and with increasing complexity
  • A more comprehensive understanding of the colour wheel
  • Observational drawing
  • How artists work
  • Using oil pastel
  • Working in large scale,
  • Ending in students creating a personal and informed outcome

Natural Forms and Print (Natural forms around the world). Students will explore:

  • How to develop a project, building on skills and outcomes, using the work they have produced to inform the next steps
  • Large scale drawing
  • Observational drawing from life
  • How to make a Polyprint
  • Mark making using natural forms
  • How Artists work
  • How to make and print a collagraph print

Wild Beasts 3D project. Students will explore:

  • How Artists work and illustrate wold beasts
  • Drawing beasts, applying the formal elements
  • Using cardboard effectively to build 3D elements
  • Cardboard manipulation
  • Creating a large beast headpiece with elements taken from their discoveries throughout the project

Self-directed/student led project that will:

  • Allow students to implement what they have learned during the year and make choices about what they would like to do and how to develop their own work
  • Provide students with the tools to get used to working independently, ready for GCSE and A-Level

In Year 9 

The origins of Graffiti and stencil art, with a focus on the Formal Elements of Art. Students will explore:

  • Building on their knowledge from Y7 and Y8 students will explore graffiti art whilst applying all the formal elements of art.
  • How artists work
  • How to draw character drawings
  • Using pen and water,
  • Mixing colour
  • How to create a stencil

Faces of the World. Students will explore:

  • Drawing portraits in proportion
  • The techniques of portrait drawing and painting.
  • Self-portraits, culture, diversity and techniques to help realise a range of possibilities.
  • Artist Annette Tjærby Manege
  • Cultural differences within portraiture

Paper cities 3D project. Students will explore:

  • Drawing buildings, learning about proportion, tone and detail
  • How artists work
  • Making 3D buildings using paper and card
  • The cultural differences of cities and buildings
  • Working collaboratively to create class “cities”

Self-directed/student led project that will:

  • Allow students to implement what they have learned during the year and make choices about what they would like to do and how to develop their own work
  • Provide students with the tools to get used to working independently, ready for GCSE and A-Level

GCSE ART and design (fine art) 

(AQA EXAM BOARD)

What will you learn?

You will learn to, independently, develop and create projects within themes of your own choosing, producing a wide variety of art work that meets four assessment objectives and culminates in a final outcome.

You will explore the formal elements through drawing, painting, photography, print-making, digital manipulation, and 3D work. Technique workshops vary each year, but may include learning to use acrylic paint, pencil, pen, watercolour, screen printing, etching, photography, and mod-roc construction.

GCSE students are given much more freedom and make their own choices over the materials they want to use, subject matter, project titles and how they would like to develop their work.

How will this be assessed?

Each project is assessed according to four assessment objectives, and you will be regularly assessed to help you to monitor your progress. There is a deadline for each objective during the year and your work for that objective will be assessed at that time to keep you up to date with your progress.

There are two components to the course. Component 1 consists of workshops and two, self-directed projects, making up 60% of your mark. Component 2 is an externally set assignment worth 40% of the final mark. This will begin on January 1st in Year 11 from a range of starting points issued by the exam board.

beyond the classroom 

Our Extra Curricular activities are constantly expanding and developing. In the past we have organised frequent trips for study opportunities to the Hallam Degree show and Liverpool, Sheffield and Manchester art galleries. We have arranged trips to the London Galleries and worked alongside Music and Drama, as a Creative Art’s contribution to Activity Week in July. We have a growing link to Sheffield Hallam University and have taken Y11 photography students to use the dark room facilities, we have also welcomed lecturers to lead a workshop for Year 11 and Year 12 students with an interest in Architecture. We have also developed strong ties with Chesterfield Art College over the years and attend regular life drawing sessions with our A-Level students that develop observational drawing skills.

There is a planned residential for this year where GCSE students will go Conway for a fully immersive, creative experience. Students will spend the weekend working with artists, taking part in workshops and building their technical ability, confidence and critical thinking.

Each year we endeavour to take part in a whole School Art project, which have included painting murals on the walls of the building. We offer a regular KS3 Art Club where students compete in art competitions, make cards and decorations to raise money and support the Performing Arts department in preparation for their musicals. Each year we have a large number of students who are entered in and win prizes at the Sheffield Young Artist exhibition at ponds forge. This year we will also be getting our Art Club students to produce work for this, to help increase our profile. We also offer catch-up sessions after school on Wednesdays for GCSE and A-level students, where they can receive extra support and guidance on their work.

Future pathways 

Many of our students from GCSE go on to study A-level with us. Of these students at A-level, many go on to study Foundation Art at Chesterfield, preparing them for BA study at prestigious universities throughout the country.

Our alumni include students who have gone on to work for Disney/Pixar and BMW in Germany.

There are many opportunities for students who have studied Art at GCSE and A-level, with many universities seeing a creative subject as the basis for problem solving in degree subjects. Subjects which may not have traditionally had links to creative skill sets are finding their art portfolios are warmly received for careers in subjects like Engineering. Almost all universities accept Art as an A-level for UCAS application, and the portfolio of work produced is a welcome addition at interview to show a range of skills and strengths of the candidate.