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Art and Photography
The Art department is a vibrant and creative area that is open to all pupils in the school. We help pupils to experience all aspects of art and grow throughout the key stage years. We have a high uptake at GCSE and A Level in both Art and Photography courses.
At KS3 pupils are introduced to many discipline areas from painting to print and ceramics to photography. We enthuse the pupils through a range of projects where they will engage with art in its widest forms to develop visual and contextual understanding. They are also encouraged to express themselves in visual forms throughout. At the start of each year, pupils are taught a focused six week module where fundamental drawing and painting skills are thoroughly explored, pupils then undertake an assessment based on the skills learned.
This course is for any pupil that has an interest in art and a desire to express one’s self visually. They do not have to be the best drawer or painter but must have an enquiring mind that wants to understand and explore the visual world. Over the GCSE course they will work on a range of projects which will vary from year to year but which will cover a range of discipline areas. Drawing and painting are the main focus of the course and every project will build from these skills.
A Level - Fine Art
In the Sixth Form the students may opt for fine art, photography or both. The art course is a development from the GCSE and works on building the students' understanding and interpretation of contemporary art. Students start the course by learning traditional oil painting techniques and brushing over other technical skills. They then go on to develop their own project based on a theme. In the A2 course they will learn more about the conceptual side of art and be asked to develop their own course of study with help and guidance from the teacher.
A Level - Photography
Students need no prior experience for the photography course and are taken back to basics to learn how to use the camera as a tool and how to create a successful image using the formal elements. They start using a digital SLR and are taught how to edit an image using Photoshop. They are later introduced to traditional techniques of darkroom practise and have the opportunity to explore different types of cameras and lenses. They also develop their own project by looking at a range of artists and photographers to produce a final exhibition in the Summer Term. During the A2 course they look more at the conceptual side of photography and how to present their work within a gallery setting.
In all of the above courses there is an examination in the Summer Term where the students have a set amount of weeks to develop a project to a final outcome. The exam is 40% of the final marks and the coursework 60%.
There are many opportunities for pupils to get involved in art outside of lessons. At lunchtime there are clubs, which include ceramics, photography, craft club and film club. The department also runs after school classes in life drawing for Years 11 to Upper Sixth in the Autumn and Spring Terms. We run competitions throughout the year and also encourage pupils to enter into competitions nationally.