The Art and Design Faculty aims to provide a dynamic and interactive learning environment which allows students and staff to develop and exploit their creative talents. The curriculum, at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, offers a broad range of art, craft and design activities, designed to engage students in learning the artistic skills needed to express themselves creatively, take calculated risks and fulfil personal potential. In an environment where creativity is fostered and valued, students of all abilities are able to develop effective communication skills while exploring and developing artistic understanding and practical skill.
Key Stage 3
The Art and Design Scheme of Work at Key Stage 3 ensures that students experience a broad range of art, craft and design activities. A variety of approaches, media and techniques are explored in the classroom and as homework in order to prepare students to for GCSE courses. Over our fortnightly timetable, students have two hour-long lessons of general Art and Design in YR7 – YR9, before they can select an Art and Design subject to study at GCSE level in YR10.
Key Stage 4
The GCSE Art and Design subjects follow the AQA specification and assessment is based on 60% portfolio (coursework) and 40% of marks from the externally set task element.
The development of practical skill through practise relies on an investment of time and students are expected to complete set homework at the start of the GCSE courses and should have an increasingly independent approach to exploring ideas as the course progresses. The knowledge and understanding aspect of the courses ensures that students should be able to research other artists’ work and make relevant links to their own practise. Drawing and annotation are an integral part of all the art and design courses, in line with the AQA expectation that ‘students must record their ideas, observations and insights both visually and through written annotation’. This forms the only written element of the courses as the ‘exam’ is the externally set task, which takes the form of the type of practical work completed during the rest of the course.
A series of tasks and activities are designed to test the students’ artistic abilities on entering Wright Robinson. There is as much breadth as possible in order to ascertain where students’ skills may lie. Students are given demonstrations, direction and guidance where appropriate, but a certain amount of independence is expected when completing classroom tasks, as well as homework.
Key skills covered in Term 1: Mark making, primary and secondary source observational drawing, research, design, colour theory and application of paint.
The skills are re-visited and developed in the following two terms, as students respond to the theme ‘Identity’. Students also have the opportunity to work 3-dimensionally with clay, explore collage techniques, research and respond to the work of selected artists and consider the creative presentation of sketch book pages.
Homework plays a key role in providing evidence of individual abilities, practising skills and gives an opportunity for students to demonstrate practical and creative strengths. It will therefore include a range of approaches – observational work, design opportunities, independent research and literacy/annotation based tasks.
Students respond to the theme of ‘The Natural World’ and start the year completing a series of primary source drawings in a range of media. These will be developed into repeat pattern ideas using a range of subject specific techniques. Students then develop use of media and creative knowledge in a series of fine art responses to the theme of the Natural World. Secondary source material and the work of relevant artists are used to influence and inspire creative outcomes.
Techniques explored: – range of graphic media, collage, print-making and mixed media approaches. In the final term students can experience the development of ideas using digital design processes, textile techniques, working to a graphics based design brief or photographic work.
In YR9 students experience a taste of the four discreet Art and Design subjects offered at GCSE level in Wright Robinson College. Students explore the theme of ‘Texture’ through creating actual textures within a fine art/textiles approach. These surfaces will be developed into implied texture through primary source observational drawing and photography techniques. The drawings and photographs will be further developed in one of our Mac suites whilst exploring graphic design skills. As well as keeping a traditional sketch book, students will present the year’s work in an annotated digital sketch book, as they continue to explore creative possibilities using Photoshop.
The year will also have a careers focus. At relevant points, careers in the creative industries will be explored through discussion, research and task-based approaches.
Throughout the year students are introduced to a range of appropriate materials, processes and techniques reflecting the breadth of art, craft and design. They are given guidance in exploring and experimenting with a range of resources, materials and techniques and are expected to work more independently as the course progresses. Students begin the process of developing the knowledge, understanding and skills of the GCSE in Year 10 through the delivery of units of study which are designed to ensure that the four assessment objectives are fully met. Themes for exploration could be ‘identity’, ‘landscape’ or other starting points which have previously appeared on the AQA externally set task paper.
Units of study for each group are appropriate for a broad experience of domains, disciplines, and approaches. Skills and techniques are revisited throughout the year and new skills are introduced within a student-centred approach.
Students will become increasingly independent in demonstrating their ability to:
- Record – primary and secondary source drawing in a range of media that will demonstrate a more independent approach
- Annotate – considered written notes should reflect understanding of artistic processes and intentions.
- Research – students show an understanding of intention when investigating other artists’ work with considered creative presentation of information and analysis.
- Develop – initial drawings and research are developed in selected media, materials, techniques or processes.
In Year 11 there are three main elements to all art and design subjects. During the first term students are introduced to the art and design ‘exam’ process through the completion of a mock ‘Externally Set Task’. The exam papers, which have a range of starting points from previous years’ externally set task, are delivered to groups in September with clear guidance and examples of how the different ‘questions’ could be approached. Students experience the freedom of selecting what they will explore for the rest of the term before they produce an outcome (or outcomes) in a supervised amount of time. This is usually a 5 hour, day long session so that students will know what to expect in March when they will be expected to complete the ‘real exam’ over the course of two days (10 hours). After being marked as a standalone ‘exam’, this project will then become coursework and possibly selected as part of the portfolio of work (unit 1), which accounts for 60% of GCSE grade.
In the second term the ‘real’ exam paper (AQA Externally Set Task/Unit2) is distributed during the first week of January. Students produce exploratory preparatory work until the middle of March when the 10 hour supervised sessions take place. All work is marked (prep work and the outcome/s) and this Unit 2 element accounts for 40% of the final GCSE award.
In April and May students work on the selection, development and refinement of their ‘Portfolio’ Unit 1. This coursework makes up 60% of the GCSE grade. Marks for unit 1 and unit 2 are submitted to the AQA by the end of May.