AT GCSE level students can choose Textiles, Fine Art or for those extremely passionate about Art, both. Both course have a similar structure and complete two projects and an essay in Year one, and two projects in Year two (one mock exam and one externally set assignment)
The first project the students complete is based on Natural Forms, the title is ‘Twined and Entwined’ (we sometimes visit kew Gardens or make our own hanging gardens from card. They make drawings, prints, colour studies, and paintings from their research. We use Graham Sutherland, Picasso and Georgia O’Keeffe as artists in this project.
The students learn to research a theme, present their ideas and respond to the using visual and written annotation. A series of ‘How to’ guides are being developed which will eventually be viewable from this site.
The second project is based on the local area/ urban life, and we start with some extended writing. The students visit an exhibition with a variety of artists and choose two of the same genre. The develop their analysis and writing skills and discuss the similarities and differences between the two artworks. This becomes the starting point for artwork in the second project.
Practicing the skills learned in the last project, students now learn to refine their ideas more and become more experimental. We expect them to make interesting connections with the world around them, and bring to the table things they have seen, noted during the their week.
With each project the refine their drawing, printing and painting skills. The artists that we look at in this project are Ultra-Red, David Hepher, Peter Doig, and Gerhart Richter (Atlas).
By Year 11, the students have learned a great deal about research a project, collecting resources, developing and refining ideas and making a final outcome. They have developed skills in photography, drawing, painting, printing, ceramics and sculpture. They can now be much more independent in their choices.
They embark upon a mock exam (just a more independent project) and then the final Externally Set Assignment (just a more independent project) . The final pieces are completed in 10 hours under exam conditions, but they can have all the work completed so far to help them. The students often enjoy the exam, finding it peaceful and relaxing to make artwork.