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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 approaches to making, good technical skills and a creative outlook to problem solving in the subject.

At each key stage we cover the basic formal elements of drawing, painting, 3D making and craft based working.

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.

In the past, we have scored 100% at AS and A2 and have previously been the highest achieving sixth form Art Department in the country for value added.

We regularly gain 80-90% A*-C passes at GCSE for both Photography and Fine Art.

 

In Year 7

  • Formal elements of drawing: line, tone, form texture, pattern. Working in mixed media and creating large scale group work.
  • 3D sealife project focussed on recycling, re-using and repurposing. Using 3D construction methods in mixed media using recycled materials.
  • Landscape project – in-situ sketching, mixed media, mark making and hand-sewn textiles.

 

In Year 8

  • Drawing the human form and figure: line, form, tone, texture. Mixed media approach.
  • 3D typography project: designing and making a cross-curricular linked thematic word in groups based on reaching their own designs and construction techniques.
  • Sweets project: short project based on observational drawing, mixed media approach.

 

In Year 9

  • Graffiti project: extended large scale group project based on issues themed working.
  • Distorted portraits: portraiture with a twist; an introduction to acrylic painting.
  • 3D shoe project: designing and making with recycled materials.

GCSE ART and design

(AQA EXAM BOARD)

What will you learn?
  • How to produce visual evidence for the four assessment objectives. This will include experience with organising ideas and leaving evidence to score marks for the projects.
  • How to develop your drawing, painting, photography, print making digital manipulation, and 3D skills using a variety of materials including acrylic paint, oil paint, photography, and mod-roc construction via workshops and your own investigations.
  • How to develop your creative skills which will include digital photography and digital image manipulation using Photoshop. There are also opportunities for you to develop film making and stop frame animation skills.
How will this be assessed?

Each project is assessed according to four Assessment Objectives, and you will be regularly assessment to help you to monitor your progress. This will enable you to make improvements during DIRT time if you need to. 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 portfolio projects worth 60% of the exam mark which will include all work done during Y10 and part of Y11. The final project will be 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.

 

GCSE PHOTOGRAPHY

(AQA EXAM BOARD)

What will you learn?
  • How to produce visual evidence for the four assessment objectives. This will include experience with organising ideas and leaving evidence to score marks for the projects.
  • How to use the functions on a digital SLR camera and how to take photographs with consideration for composition, tone, subject, framing, exposure and depth of field. You can also use your phone to take quick pictures for reference.
  • How to develop your creative skills which will include digital image manipulation using Photoshop and other art based processes, like etching, print making and experimental techniques.
  • How to explore the creative possibilities of printing on different surfaces and experimenting with images after they have been printed using techniques like Image Transfer and Ghost Printing.
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. This will enable you to make improvements if you wish. There is a deadline for each objective during the year and your work will be assessed to keep you up to date with your progress.
  • There are two Portfolio (coursework) projects worth 60% and an Externally Set Assignment (exam).
  • This will begin on January 1st in Year 11 from a range of starting points issued by the exam board.

Extra curricular activities

We plan and undertake a range of different experiences throughout the school year, such as frequent trips for study opportunities to the Hallam Degree show each year, Liverpool, Sheffield and Manchester art galleries for Year 10 and Year 11 students studying GCSE with us and trips to London art galleries working alongside Music and Drama, as Creative Art’s contribution to Activity Week in July each year.

This year, we welcomed lecturers from Sheffield Hallam University to lead a workshop for Year 11 and Year 12 students with an interest in Architecture to get together and build bridges (figuratively and literally!) and spur on their interest for combining their passion for Art with a passion for creative problem solving.
In the past, we have organised visits to Chesterfield College to experience life drawing and developed links to Sheffield University’s weekend workshops for Y10s with a passion for the subject out of school.

In addition, we offer catch-up sessions after school on Thursdays for GCSE and A-level students, each week and during half term holidays to target students who need the time and space to continue their creativity out of lesson time.

There are murals in the department and installations in school which have been created by after-school and lunchtime Key Stage 3 clubs and we also took part in the ‘Herd’ project last year, with our elephant being proudly displayed in Sheffield’s ‘Crucible’ theatre. 

 

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.

 

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