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Art & Photography

Within Art and Photography we strive to ensure that a student experiences an education that is creative and challenging. One, which allows and encourages experimentation and risk taking both individually and collectively. Students will be purposefully engaged in developing their own ‘Visual Language’. There will be a culture of reflection and a desire to improve within an inspiring, safe and enjoyable environment.

The role of Art and Photography department at Queen Elizabeth’s School:

  • Create an interesting and stimulating environment.
  • Encourage an open – ended approach to creative work.
  • Engender respect for the ideas and the work of others.
  • Encourage discussion and the sharing of ideas whilst respecting the views of others.
  • Provide a wide range of resources so that individuals can discover their particular strengths and develop self-confidence through the acquisition of diverse skills.
  • To enable students to acquire practical, aural, physical and social skills  combined with an appreciation of the work of others.
  • To promote an interest in Art, which will continue into adult life.
  • To enable students to assess their own work through the dialogue with  staff and discover ways forward on an individual basis.
  • To help students understand their course expectations and work to the  best of their abilities at all times.
  • To provide students with opportunities to view Art from first hand as  well as participate on organised workshops.
  • To provide students with extra curricular provision.
  • To work with parents in promoting the student’s welfare and  progression.

Throughout Year 9 all students will experience a dynamic and broad Art curriculum. Students are encouraged to explore and develop the visual elements such as line, colour, tone, form, shape, pattern and texture through marking making, paint, composition, three dimensional design and construction as well as mixed media. Critical and contextual studies are used to support, inform and enhance their learning experience. The student’s understanding and enjoyment of Art and Design is developed through activities that bring together requirements from investigating and making, and knowledge and understanding.

The Year 9 curriculum includes most disciplines available within the department. This provides for a good foundation for those wishing to pursue the subject at GCSE or beyond. A transition project is completed between the end of Year 9 and the start of the GCSE course in Year 10. The subject is popular at GCSE and A Level. A majority of the sixth form students studying Art or Photography A Level go on to full time Art & Design education.

AQA GCSE Art and Design – FINE ART (8202)

Art provides students with a wide range of creative, exciting and stimulating opportunities to explore their interests in Art in ways that are personally relevant and truly developmental in nature.

By choosing to study GCSE Art (Fine Art) students will be able to express ideas visually, promoting questioning and critical study. Final pieces of work along with on-going coursework will demonstrate an ability to use a range of materials and techniques. Students will also be encouraged and expected to research other artists and designers and use these to inform and influence their own work. Although students develop their coursework through structured experiences of skills, observational work and research we also aim to develop individualised, personalised learning as a key part of their experience.

Over the two-year course GCSE students complete a Portfolio of Work, which includes a collection of work from project briefs and initial starting points. Students are expected to work independently, researching a subject, learning about it through recording and responding in a variety of materials and techniques.  The development of their ideas must include meaningful and informed connections with the work of other critical and contextual sources. ‘Portfolio of Work’ which contributes to 60% of the final grade. This is set and marked by the centre and externally moderated by AQA.

Students also complete an Externally Set Task (Exam) in Year 11. Students receive a question paper followed by a preparation period where work is produced in response to their chosen starting point. This is then followed by 10 hours of sustained, focused and supervised study. Question papers are issued from 1 January. Examination work is marked by the centre and externally moderated by AQA. The exam contributes to 40% of the final grade.

AQA A Level Art and Design – FINE ART (7202) & PHOTOGRAPHY (7206)

A Level Art and Photography provides students with a wide range of creative, exciting and stimulating opportunities to explore their interests in Art and Design in ways that are personally relevant and truly developmental in nature. Art and Photography develops visual awareness, creative skills and aesthetic judgement. Students will gain practical experience in the visual language of colour, tone, line pattern, shape, texture, form and construction, as well as gaining knowledge of important artists and designers.

Students are welcome to work in the department before and after school as well as during non-contact time for private study, adopting the working ethos of post 16 students. A Level students are also invited to attend a range of activities and workshops.

Personalised learning is key to the success of our KS5 courses. In the start of Year 12 students are encouraged to develop their technical and research skills and to work outside of their comfort zones.

A Level students complete a Personal Investigation, which is a major project that shows them working through a range of Art and Design experiences. The focus of A Level is to produce and demonstrate:

  • evidence of planning and preparation
  • a related personal study (3000 words)
  • final pieces that show considered personal responses

Students also complete an Externally Set Assignment. Students receive an exam paper on 1 February or as soon as possible after this date. From this paper students are expected to choose one starting point from which they will generate appropriate work for submission. Students must realise their work in a controlled time period of 15 hours.

The Personal Investigation and the Externally Set Assignment are assessed holistically through all the Assessment Objectives.

Students are required to:

  • record direct observation from primary sources;
  • develop ideas and techniques appropriate to their chosen specialism(s)  and produce work that constitutes a personal, informed and meaningful  response;
  • learn to analyse both their own work and the work of others in  contemporary, historical and cultural contexts;
  • produce work that is appropriate to their intentions.

Examination work is marked by the centre and externally moderated by AQA visit to the school.

Examination results have been consistently good over the last few years with students continuing to study at Further and Higher Education. The Visual Arts offers an expanding and exciting range of careers for creative talented individuals in a growth area in the UK economy. Students can progress to a Higher Education course in wide range of Visual Arts specialism’s such graphic design, animation, film and new media, fine art, 3D design or sculpture. To progress to a Visual Arts degree students would normally be required to take a Foundation Diploma in Art & Design to enable them to choose the next level of course from a well-informed base.