Art & Design

Art & Design Course Summary & Expectations

Sustained focus and hard work in BOTH years is the key to passing this A Level. 

This is not a studio techniques course, but rather an individual portfolio development course. Students are expected to develop self-initiative and independent working skills.  Your art teachers are your facilitators for learning across a wide variety of methods, materials, and skill sets. 

COMPONENT 1  / 60%

Autumn Term 1 / Year 1: This Revision and Introduction period of the A Level will serve first year students as a foundation to explore the disciplines of the Fine Art and Art, Craft and Design qualification titles with units covering Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Printmaking, Photography and Digital Media.  Additional skills that fall within the Art, Craft & Design Title will also be explored, depending on student individual themes and interests. Most practical and theoretical tasks are teacher-led.  From DAY 1 you will also study and practise the use of key art terminology, contextual research and personal theme development to prepare for your first practical explorations and sketchbook entries that will become your Personal Investigation.   

DRAWING is a skill that students in ALL art disciplines are required to demonstrate. 

While some revision lessons will be provided, it is highly recommended that students with little or no drawing or basic art studio experience seek out opportunities in their own time, preferably before starting the course.

Spring & Summer Terms / Year 1  and  Autumn Term 1 / Year Two:

The regular upkeep of paper and digital SKETCHBOOKs is critical to success in the course.

The skill building of Autumn Term 1 leads to the individualised Personal Investigation project of Edexcel A Level.  Inspired by personal starting points students will generate practical art work, ideas and research from a variety of sources. From here on, devising projects and learning new skills will be student-led. The teacher’s role is to facilitate and coach the group and each student to achieve the highest level of which they are capable, providing regular feedback and structure through critiques and deadlines.  You will explore a range of media and processes, develop and refine ideas, and present a series of supporting and final practical outcomes (works of art).   Supporting pieces include sketchbooks, and any form of large-scale rough studies, test pieces, maquetes and/or digital material that fully shows your progress through Component One towards a final piece(s) at the end of Spring Term 2.  This final project becomes the starting point for the second year of the A Level course.  

In Summer Term 3, you will also begin the theoretical research that will become the basis of your Personal Study Essay. The Personal Study requires students to show critical understanding of relevant social, cultural and historical contexts, as well as to demonstrate their ability to use technical and specialist vocabulary appropriately. This essay will be completed in the Autumn Term 1 of Year 2.

COMPONENT 2 / The Exam Unit 40%

Spring & Summer Terms / Year Two:

Component 1 ends at the end of January in Spring Term 2. On the first of February in Year 2 Component Two begins. Students are inspired by a NEW theme provided by the exam board to develop and generate practical art work, ideas, and research from a variety of sources. They explore media and processes, develop and refine ideas, and present outcomes related to their unique interpretation of the theme – this is NOT the same theme as Component 1, yet students will continue to work in the same category of art.  For three months you will create and submit a series of supporting studies and a final personal outcome made in the 15-hour set exam in April/May of this second year.  Supporting studies in Component 2 include a sketchbook, art pieces and any other large studies, maquetes and digital material that demonstrates the student’s progress through the term towards the final project created under exam conditions. This exam component is your opportunity to show the in-depth knowledge of contextual studies and expertise in the skills relevant to your chosen category of artmaking.

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