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Art & Design

Curriculum Intent, Implementation & Impact

Art & Design

The Curriculum Area has a high profile within the Academy. There is imagination and innovation running through all areas of the curriculum and a high level of involvement in extra-curricular activities with clubs and exhibitions. We view this as an essential contribution to Academy life and a great benefit to the students and staff alike.

Ethos & Values

In the Art and Design Curriculum Area we endeavour to foster students' sensitivity to and their understanding and enjoyment of Art and Design. We aim to provide students with skills, knowledge and confidence in each area and develop their enjoyment of Art and Design through an active, practical involvement in the creative elements of each discipline.

We feel that Art and Design is an essential element in a balanced education, allowing personal expression, personal development, creativity and practical involvement in the subject. Students gain confidence and a real appreciation of each other's talent.

In the Curriculum Area we are aware that Art and Design is one of the few areas where students take part in the creation of their own personal items. This adds even more to the aesthetic value of the subject, giving the students a healthy channel for their creative talents.

The Curriculum Area aims:

  • To develop the students' aesthetic appreciation of a variety of art forms and to continue to explore this through developments in Art and Design.
  • To provide stimulating visual and practical experiences which provide opportunities for the development of skills.
  • To promote interest, enthusiasm and enjoyment of the subject.

Knowledge & Skills

At Key Stage 3 Schemes of Work cover the core criteria that we believe are vital. The students address four areas of enquiry: competency, creativity, cultural and critical. These are used to build the knowledge and skills required for artist appreciation and practice.

At Key Stage 4 we follow the GCSE (AQA) Art and Design Unendorsed programme. This is a popular choice. Assessment for GCSE is 60% Coursework Portfolio and 40% Final Examination.

All Schemes of Work are reviewed and amended, responding to new developments in Art and Design. We work on projects which offer students the opportunity to explore and experiment with varied and diverse media to enhance their work. Students also look at the history of art and the artwork/design from other cultures in order to develop their own studies and artwork. Students are encouraged to make creative choices and develop their own ideas in response to artists' and designers' work.

From September 2017, we are introducing GCSE (AQA) Photography. This is an exciting addition to the curriculum, allowing students to explore the world around them through digital and alternative photographic process. Students will make creative responses to projects covering a wide area of photographic styles, including portraiture, photomontage, landscape and fashion photography. They will develop skills and experiment with the key principles of composition, lighting, movement and depth of field.

At Key Stage 5 we offer AQA A Level Art and Design. In Sixth Form students build upon their skills learnt at GCSE to deepen their understanding of artists, techniques and processes. We aim to support students form their own directions and investigations. This discipline provides students the opportunity to explore varied avenues of both traditional and contemporary art and design.

Resources & Facilities

In Key Stages 3 and 4, we have five well equipped studios. In four of the Art rooms we have a bank of computers, allowing students to manipulate images using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator techniques. There are two kilns, allowing clay work to be fired on site.

A range of processes and materials are used in all Key Stages including 2D and 3D work. These include: drawing, painting, mixed media, collage, ceramics, wire sculpture, photography and computer aided design.

A Level students are accommodated in their own modern, well-lit studio and have use of excellent ICT facilities linked with a colour printer and scanner.

Courses & Qualifications

At Key Stage 3 we follow QCA guidelines.

At Key Stage 4 we follow the GCSE (AQA) Art and Design Unendorsed programme. This is a popular choice. Assessment for GCSE is 60% Coursework Portfolio and 40% Final Examination.

At Key Stage 5 we offer AQA A level Art and Design which runs for 2 years; a range of skills are developed and a variety of materials are used to fulfil potential.

The A Level programme is intended to deepen and extend the students' own creative skills and their understanding of art practice developing from GCSE studies. They will have the opportunity to work in painting, drawing and mixed media, sculpture and photography where appropriate. They will be encouraged to experiment and be adventurous in expressing their own thoughts, observations and ideas. Observational drawing is fundamental to art practice and will form the keystone for each project. Students should then develop their ideas into more experimental and possibly abstract outcomes.

Students will work to set themes and be expected to explore, using a variety of materials, analyse and investigate the work of other artists, craft persons and designers to develop personal final outcomes.

Learning Outside The Classroom

Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4:

We run classes for identified students which help further each student's creativity and practical skills in the subject and provide stimulus for other areas of their work. Art clubs are held to help promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of art. These clubs have the opportunity to move away from specific learning objectives to help create ownership and confidence.

Students are encouraged to enter work for local and national competitions - where we have had considerable success.

There are after-Academy classes for coursework development offered to Key Stage 4 students. Those who need extra time and one to one support to complete work find this valuable.

Key Stage 5:

A Level study includes annual visits to national and local galleries. This enables students to be exposed to historical and contemporary art work that can inspire and motivate them. We feel that contact to first-hand sources and an appreciation of the gallery environment is important.

The Curriculum Area holds an annual exhibition of GCSE and A Level Art coursework, which is open for public viewing on the New Intake Evening.

Students are encouraged to enter local and national competitions. Students often win various categories and achieve certificates for a high standard of entry.

The Curriculum Area exhibits work around the Academy site and annually for the GCSE and A Level at Parents' Evenings and Open Evenings.

Where Does This Take Me In The Future?

Having completed a GCSE in Art and Design or Photography students can go on to:

  • Study Art and Design at A Level at Tollbar MAT Sixth Form (providing entry requirements are met).
  • Study Art and Design or Photography in Higher Education.
  • A career in design, illustration, printmaking, interior design, teaching, art therapy, art administration, photo-journalism and digital marketing.

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Tollbar Academy Principal

Mr N J Whittle