Art and Design

Curriculum Intent

A-level curriculum supports students with their progression to a higher education in Art. The curriculum provides an opportunity for students to study artists and themes which relate to their own personal interest or to their future career. Additionally, by experimenting with a variety of art media, students focus intensively on developing their own skills and strengths, by specialising in one or a combination of skills: drawing, painting, print making or sculpting. Students learn how to investigate and analyse an artist on a deeper level, and when possible, see an example of artist’s work by visiting exhibitions as a group or individually.

The Aims of the Department

Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. At Blenheim High School we aim to provide a first-class art and design education, which will engage, inspire and challenge students. We will provide them with the knowledge and skills to be able to create their own works of art, craft and design. Through a process of exploration, experimentation and invention, students will develop as artists and achieve personal success.

As they progress, students will be encouraged to think critically and develop an in-depth understanding of art and design, from the past and present. They will learn how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture and creativity of our world.

We value contemporary art and design practices very highly at Blenheim High School and engage with them as much as possible.

Gallery education is also an important part of what we do. In addition to our own trips, we encourage pupils to visit galleries independently. Those who do, often benefit highly; they are inspired, and what they see informs their work. We also offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities, including portfolio support for Key Stage 4 and 5 students.

We have very good facilities, with three well equipped, purpose built studios and an ICT area. Students also have access to an extensive range of materials and equipment, enabling them to fulfil their potential as artists.

All of these things combine to make our department a forward-looking and exciting place to enjoy and achieve.


Facilities

At Blenheim High School we have light modern facilities and excellent resources including a kiln for ceramic work. On-going artwork is displayed in classrooms and completed artwork is exhibited around the school, enhancing the environment and inspiring the students.

 

A level Art and Design - Fine Art

Course Details

Studying Fine Art is the perfect way to build on success at GCSE and develop practice as an artist to an advanced level. This helps prepare students for further and higher education, as well as explore the working practices of contemporary artists, designers and craftspeople.

Students are introduced to a range of fine art media, processes and techniques, including traditional and new media. They explore the use of drawing for different purposes and use sketchbooks to underpin work. The exploration of images, artefacts and resources is a key and integral part of the course that will be shown through a combination of practical and written work. Work from around the world, both past and present, are explored. Gallery visits are an important part of A level and students are encouraged to regularly and independently visit galleries, in addition to attending school led trips.

Students are required to work in one or more of the following areas and are encouraged to explore how these might, and often do, overlap:

  • Drawing and painting
  • Mixed-media, including collage and assemblage
  • Sculpture
  • Ceramics
  • Installation
  • Printmaking
  • Moving image and photography

Link to Specification

Assessment

Non exam Assessment

Portfolio Personal Investigation. No time limit.

60% of the

qualification

Non exam assessment

Externally Set Assignment. •    Preparatory period plus 15 hours supervised time.

40% of the

qualification

Enrichment Opportunities

Trips to museums and galleries, portfolio support sessions, various exhibitions and competitions, Art Ambassadors scheme.

Student Quotes

‘The best thing about A-Level Art and Design is the freedom to decide on the work you do’

‘We are allowed more independence and creativity. We get to really engage with our chosen subject matter’

Progression

The most common route that students take is a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at art-school. Some successfully apply for degree courses in the arts, or related subjects, without having to complete their Foundation.  Students from Blenheim have previously progressed to some of the most prestigious Art colleges in the country and the Sixth Form has strong links with the University for the Creative Arts

Useful Links

www.tate.org - Tate Modern and Tate Britain galleries, London
www.npg.org.uk - The National Portrait Gallery, London
www.nationalgallery.org.uk - The National Gallery, London
www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk - The Saatchi Gallery, London
www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk - The British Museum, London
www.guggenheim.org - This website takes you to the Guggenheim Museums in Bilbao Spain, New York USA, Venice Italy, Berlin Germany
www.moma.org - The Museum of Modern Art in New York and San Francisco
www.artcyclopedia.com - A comprehensive visual encyclopedia of Art & Design

A level Art and Design - Graphic Communication

Course Details

Graphic Communication A level is intended for those candidates who are interested in an Art & Design course/career which relates to the appreciation of Graphic Communication in advertising, illustration and in the promotion of ideas, information and new images. Graphic Communication is a creative subject that allows and encourages ideas to be formed using traditional drawing, mixed media and computer skills.

 

Students explore relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to a range of Graphic Communication from the past and from recent times. They will create responses to these examples through practical and critical activities which demonstrate understanding of different styles, genres and traditions.  

 

The course involves working to a design brief, identifying and exploring problems, planning courses of action, using appropriate equipment and materials, designing and working in a variety of media including computer graphics involving Adobe Creative Cloud.

Students are introduced to a variety of experiences exploring a range of graphic media, techniques and processes, including both traditional and new technologies. From typography to digital design to illustration and photography, a broad and exciting Graphics course has been developed that focuses on the creative communication of ideas.

Link to Specification

Assessment

Non exam Assessment

Portfolio Personal Investigation. No time limit.

60% of the

qualification

Non exam assessment

Externally Set Assignment. •    Preparatory period plus 15 hours supervised time.

40% of the

qualification


Component 1: Portfolio Personal Investigation: Self-directed study where you choose your own subject theme based on your previous practise. You will develop work based on an idea, issue, concept or theme that leads to a final piece or a series of related final pieces. (60% - sketchbook)

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment: Exam board specified themes with unlimited preparation and development time and 15 hours supervised work where you will produce a final piece/s (40% - exam)

Student Quotes

“A Level Graphics covers different elements and allows students to focus on the more artistic side of design. This course develops your portfolio throughout the year building on your drawing, mixed media and digital skills.”

“I have built a genuine enjoyment and love for the subject and it’s opened my eyes up to the creative industry and what there is to offer. The support and one-to-one guidance is really helpful and the teachers always thrive to make sure we are achieving our potential.”

“Ideas and the ability to solve problems for companies and campaigns are more important than traditional art skills. It is one of the biggest growth areas in the Creative Industries. All sorts of areas are covered from concept art, to branding and advertising, to typography and layout design. It is the commercial aspect of the subject that makes this course so exciting.”

“You get to develop thinking and communication skills as well as the ability to solve problems. Graphic Design A Level provides lots of opportunities to learn new skills working by hand, with tutorials in painting, printing and illustration. Similarly, there is plenty of time to develop digital skills too with layout, typography graphics and packaging workshops."

Progression

An A level in Graphics can be the start of a journey onto a wide range of careers in related areas such as: Web Designer, Creative Director, Photo Editor, Video & Film Editor, Architecture & Engineering Drafter, Graphic Designer, Product designer, Multimedia Artist, Flash Designer, Animation and Art Director. Students can take up places at the UK’s leading Universities for every kind of art and design specialism;

  • Architecture
  • Advertising
  • Branding
  • Events Promotion
  • Animation
  • Magazine
  • App Design
  • Illustration
  • User Experience (UX) Design
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