The Art department at Wath Comprehensive School is focused on ensuring that all students, regardless of ability, achieve their full potential in Art. Observational skills, recording, experimenting and creating final intentions are all critical elements when making Art. Art lessons are an opportunity for students to explore their visual creativity, allowing them to develop a passion for Art.
Students in key stage 3 receive one lesson per week, though this rises to at least 3 lessons in key stage 4 and 6 lessons at A Level. Classes are usually organised as mixed ability sets in Key Stages 3 and 4, though the exact structure varies depending on the year group and needs of the students.
Key Stage 3
Students begin Year 7 by developing their observational skills in preparation for more thorough exploration and experimentation of 2D media. They will be exposed to a variety of materials and techniques that some students will not have used before. Students then start a project where they are introduced to the four project elements; recording, experimenting, developing and final piece. Throughout the year, students will extend their skills and techniques through the following projects; ‘Still life and Colour Theory’ and ‘Patterns and design in Cultures’
Year 8 students will build upon their year 7 art skills and techniques firstly exploring landscapes and architecture and finishing on a contextual project. The contextual project will allow students to investigate an artist of their own choice to inspire the style and concept of their final piece.
Furthermore, homework is set to support and deepen students understanding of their classwork. The homework tasks could be short tasks or longer projects which take up to four weeks to complete.
Key Stage 4
In GCSE Fine Art, students learn to explore ideas, research, develop observational skills, and create a final piece or personal response to a specific starting point. It is essential that students develop research skills so that they can use appropriate secondary and primary resources (photographs) which link to their chosen artists work. The use of annotations are an important element to the students prep work as it demonstrates the students understanding of their ideas and reasons for selecting particular images and exploring relevant medias. The students coursework comprises of at least 2 full projects which show a thorough understanding of all the assessment objectives. In the last term of year 11, students complete an externally assessed unit, comprising of 7 questions set by the examination board. They have 3 months to create a body of prep work before completing a 10 hour exam to produce a final piece sat in examination conditions.
Key Stage 5
A Level Fine Art follow the AQA Specification. Students are proving to gain consistently high results and we are estimating even better results for our current cohorts. To make full use of the Faculty’s expertise, each class’s lessons are split equally between two teachers. Our department has an excellent percentage of students continue their Art and Design studies at university, some of which stay in contact and visit school to talk to our current 6th form groups.
The two year linear course allows students to create an in depth personal investigation into an area of study that interests them. Student are encouraged to be inspired by multiple artists to help influence the ideas and direction of their personal investigation. As teachers we will work with the strengths of each individual student this could be be using traditional methods such as paint print and pencil or using ICT to create more digital and contemporary artwork.
Unit 1 (personal investigation) is worth 60% of the final grade and is supported by a 1000 word essay. Unit 2 is and externally set paper from the exam board that consists of 7 questions students can use as a starting point. Similar to the GCSE art specification students will get 3 months to create a body of prep work before completing a 12 hour exam to complete their final piece sat in exam conditions.
There is an Art club for Key Stage 3 students, there’s also plenty of opportunities for key stage 4 students to work in the art department during breaks, lunchtimes and after school. A Level students are strongly advised to complete their art work in the department during their non- contact time.
Each year, the Faculty organises a number of trips, including; year 7 trip to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Year 8 trip to the Royal Armouries, Sheffield Park Hill flats and galleries, London galleries and study days run by local universities for sixth form students.
The Art department is housed in four classrooms on the second floor of the main school building. Each classroom contains an interactive whiteboard, visualizer, computers, specialist equipment and art materials. One of the classrooms is equipped for ceramics. In addition, the Faculty has its own set of iPads as well as number of cameras.