For A Level Art and Design there are 4 courses that can be followed – Fine Art, Graphic Communications, Three Dimensional Design or Textiles. All courses are tailored to the students’ strengths and run alongside each other in the sixth form studio.
The Fine Art course involves the extension of skills in a range of experimental media, drawing and painting, print making or sculpture. The Graphic Communications course involves the use of Photoshop and text in the final presentation of work and can be steered towards packaging and advertising or illustration and communication graphics. The Three Dimensional Design course develops skills in designing 3D spaces such as architectural or interior designs and involves some use of CAD and model making. The Textiles course involves fabric design, working in a range of experimental approaches and develops skills of machine sewing, and needlework.
All students have their own studio space to enable them to develop their skills through independent study and both courses include visits to galleries and related workshops.
GCSE Art and Design or Product Design at grade 6 or above. Students who have not studied these subjects at GCSE level will need to present examples of their work that have recently been undertaken.
In Year 12 students produce a portfolio of work which will include sketch books, work books and journals along with an extended collection of work showing the students’ ability to research and develop ideas. Coursework includes critical analysis, drawing, project development through sketchbooks, experimental studies and resolutions within the disciplines associated with the specialism chosen. The ‘Personal Investigation’ (Component 1) is started in Year 12 and develops through to Year 13 when students build on their personal investigation through a 1000 – 3000 word essay which informs a further portfolio of work and completes the coursework component. The exam (Component 2) takes the form of an externally set project which includes a preparation period of around 3 months followed by a 15 hour controlled assessment.
An A Level in Art and Design, in which ever specialism is pursued, provides foundation skills for a wide range of careers that involve the visual arts, and for many other occupations. Students in the past have gone on to careers as animators, architects, art therapists, costume and games designers, film makers or design engineers.