This course aims to expand your knowledge and skills in Fine Art. The subject’s main aim is to communicate ideas in an exciting visual form while exploring drawing and painting. This subject requires real commitment, and a willingness to experiment and explore a wide variety of possible solutions is essential. Projects and themes are devised by the course team for the first component and by the examination board for the second component. You will be introduced to a wide range of skills and techniques in printmaking, painting and drawing. You need to be interested in exploring conceptual thinking to create exciting contemporary work. You will study the work of other historical and contemporary artists and use your research to inform your practice. This is an exciting and creative subject that allows for exploration of expression alongside learning the fundamental skills of the subject.
Art GCSE at grade 4 or above is required. Being open to experimentation and to trying new things, as well as having a creative outlook and a willingness to work hard, is highly valued.
Fine Art develops observational skills as well as technical and creative ability in drawing, painting and printmaking. It is good for entry onto any creative or Art & Design based degree course. We have students who are now practising artists, designers, and architects. Students have gone on to study degrees at institutions including Central St Martins, Royal College of Art, London College of Fashion, Royal School of Needlework, UCA (Farnham, Epsom), UAL (Kingston, Camberwell), Manchester Metropolitan, Bournemouth, Falmouth, Brighton, Winchester and UWE (Bristol).
There are 4 assessment objectives which assess how students: develop ideas in response to contextual references, explore a variety of media, record observations, develop ideas and produce final outcomes and evaluations. Assessment is 60% coursework and 40% externally set assignment.
Portfolio Component: Work for this component requires students to research, analyse and establish coherent and sustainable links between their understanding of their own emerging art and design practice with that of historical and contemporary references. This study will be mainly a practical investigation following a theme that will be negotiated with the teacher, but should be of personal relevance to the student. Students will also be expected to analyse and evaluate their work and the work of others. The aim of this component is to develop students’ ability to investigate and research art and design in depth and respond creatively to their findings. Students will also be required to successfully resolve the problems that emerge as an inevitable part of the process of creating art and design work.
Externally Set Assignment Component: The externally set assignment will represent the culmination of the A-Level course. Students will be given a preparatory period during which they will develop ideas relating to their chosen question. After this, students will produce their own work over a 15 hour timed period.
The studio fee of £50 per year covers most of the materials that students will require. Students may wish to purchase additional art and craft materials to develop additional skills within their area of interest. There will be the opportunity to take part in a residential, cultural trip to either New York or Venice.
During your time in Art, Craft & Design you will be given the opportunity to go on trips to galleries and locations to enhance your experience through looking at the work others and engaging in practical activities away from the classroom. We believe that these experiences are vital to your development as an artist and would urge you to take these opportunities whenever you can. To see more photos from our trips please look on our Instagram page.
One of the key experiences we offer is our annual trip to Venice at the start of the second year. The students who come with us get an amazing experience and come back having developed their practice and understanding and with a body of work which really pushes them forward as photographers and artists. Below is a sample of just some of the work produced during or as a result of this trip.
As well as the work you produce for your A level, you will be given opportunities to enter local and national competitions and engage in projects outside of your normal studies. We regularly have talks from universities, artists and companies to give you a broader understanding of future options and if you decide to pursue Art past A level, we will work with you to put together your portfolio and prepare for interviews.
We also offer enrichments within the art department, such as Professional Art Practice, to help develop your skills and give you a broader experience which will benefit your future ambitions. To learn more, please have a look at our enrichments guide.
Our Head of Department, Tom Cops will be happy to help.