Key Stage 3
Year 7, 8 and 9 pupils remain with one teacher for at least a timetabled year and work on at least 3 Units of Work a year with one being a Fine Art Unit, another a Textiles Unit and the third being a 3D Unit. Photography and image manipulation through Adobe Photoshop is also integrated into some of the Units of Work. The department offers a whole learning experience as pupils are encouraged to develop their practical skills, understand their work in relation to Art History which also involves literacy through contextual understanding.
Each activity is supported by examples of good practice, a short class discussion and a practical demonstration from the Art Teacher. Pupils find Art challenging and exciting and their skills and ability develop rapidly. Each year pupils follow a Welsh based Unit of Work. For example, Year 7 complete a mixed-media section based on Chapels. Numeracy is developed through use of space, pattern, form and proportion,
Key Stage 4
GCSE Fine Art, is examined through WJEC. Fine Art offers stimulating and exciting Units of Work in a wonderfully friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Students study a Coursework Portfolio Unit which includes experimenting with materials and techniques and creating a funky research and personal response book, an experimental sketchbook and an A3 sketchbook containing well-presented completed experiments and observations. Coursework portfolio makes up 60% of the marks for their GCSE and then pupils complete an Externally Set Task that makes up 40% of their GCSE mark. Students are allowed to choose their own topic from a list of starting points on the Externally Set Task paper.
Over the two years’ students become more courageous and adventurous and they are soon producing work of extraordinary quality. We frequently have 8 -15 pupils moving on to study Art at AS/A2 level
Key Stage 5
AS/A2 Fine Art is available to open-minded, experimental and adventurous pupils. During Year 12 pupils study a theme based Creative Personal Enquiry which develops artistic skill through experimentation and this makes up 100% of the AS mark and includes life drawing, various scale oil painting, location painting and drawing, printing, collage, water colour, printing and texture studies, photography, ICT manipulation, animation and graphics. During Year 13 pupils study a Personal Investigation based Project and this makes up 60% of the A2 mark and then an Externally Set Assignment exam which makes up 40% of the A2 mark and during the Externally Set Assignment exam pupils choose one from several starting points on which they can base their artwork. Each year we have an A Level Art Show during the summer term that is setup for moderation purposes but also helps promote the achievements of the students and the school. The show is always visually exciting and never fails to impress the public and the pupil population of the school.
Fine Art is a very strong subject that tends to attract delightful pupils. Examination results are well above local and national figures and we benefit from positive feedback about the pupils’ achievements from local businesses, other pupils, parents and exam board moderators. It seems that the department has a renowned excellent reputation that spreads across Wales and parts of England.
Fine Art is equipped with painting and printing facilities and frequently accesses the facilities used by 3D and Textiles. Each teacher is aided by electronic learning devices and rich, vibrant and colourful pupils work covering the walls to help inspire and motivate art students. Students get to work on a variety of scale with oil paints, printing, collage, drawing and 3D construction.