The A Level Art and Design course builds on the skills and knowledge gained at GCSE in order to further develop students’ capabilities with a view to studying art and design and pursuing careers in creative industries. Our emphasis is on continuing to foster students’ enthusiasm for art and design, and on further developing intellectual, creative and intuitive capabilities. All students follow an individualised curriculum to develop a long-term project based on their own interests. Time is spent at the beginning of the course to ensure that students develop their skills and get experience of a broad range of different artistic media and techniques, while following their personal project. Students are encouraged to gradually develop independence of mind in developing, refining and communicating their own ideas, their own intentions and their own personal outcomes. We also build on students’ prior knowledge by fostering further understanding of the history of art and design as well as their significance to modern society in the form of careers in art and design and other creative industries.
Each student will develop a portfolio of work for their own project, which includes the same basic elements: drawing, research, experimentation, refinement of work and a final piece. Students will be guided to develop their personal project through experimenting with a wide variety of different media, including printmaking and 3D. Through contextual studies of artists and art history, they will be taught how to understand their work in the context of contemporary society and culture. Students are initially guided through artist research, in order to develop their understanding of how to use subject-specific vocabulary to analyse and assess their own and other artists’ work. They then conduct their own research towards a written essay based around their own artwork, which is 10% of the final grade.
By the end of the course, students will have produced a portfolio for the two A-Level components which will show the coherent development over time based on their personal project and an externally set project. Students will have developed a sophisticated ability to evaluate and refine their work and to contextualise it within broader art movements. Students will also have enhanced their knowledge of the significance of art and design to society and culture, and be able to make confident and informed decisions about their progress to further education or higher education.