Key Stage 3 – Years 7, 8, 9
Here at St Mary’s, Art an integral and valuable subject in the balanced curriculum offered to all students at KS3.
Many different themes and activities are used to keep students inspired and challenged. Students make progress through their own discoveries and reflections and often find they are surprised and delighted by their own abilities.
During the course of their projects students work learn observational drawing, colour skills, illustrative techniques, working with clay and other three dimensional media, fine art printing, collage, small sculpture and computer art. We are often invited to work on collaborative ‘one off’ projects with and for our local community – a source of pride and achievement for our students. Each unit culminates in a piece of work which will grow out of the themes and skills that they have been building and is often displayed in school.
We study artists who we choose with care to excite and show a number of routes to a successful art project; artists we have looked at recently include Chuck Close, Quentin Blake, Paul Klee, Banksy and the graphic designer Neville Brody.
Years 10 and 11 (GCSE)
Students can opt to take GCSE Art in Years 10 and 11, following the AQA Art, Craft and Design specification. This is a popular course and gives students the opportunity to experience a wide range of materials, techniques and processes and develop their own particular style and interests. They are introduced to a range of art, craft and design from past cultures as well as the present. Their response to these examples is shown through practical and critical activities and students are required to build a portfolio of work for the collection and processing of visual information and ideas.
The GCSE exam comprises of an externally set question or ‘starting point,’ where students can choose their own theme and have a period of time to produce initial research, preparatory sheets and sketchbook work in preparation to complete a final outcome during the 10-hour exam, which carries a weighting of 40%. Students also have to submit a portfolio of coursework based around two projects which carry a weighting of 60%.
Students taking GCSE will have many exciting opportunities to support their Art and Textile studies by visiting galleries, museums and exhibitions locally and further afield such as the Tate Britain, Tate Modern, V&A in London and the Saatchi gallery and from time to time we have the opportunity to go even further afield; in the past students have visited The Sagrada Familia, Picasso Museum and the Miro Museum in Barcelona.
Many students take pride in their artworks being displayed throughout the school and in the annual schools Expo at Hereford Art College and other local exhibitions. The department is also involved in the designing and creating the stage set and costumes for the school’s drama production. We give the pupils opportunities to work with professional artist in workshop both in school and out – a great opportunity to learn new skills direct from practitioners.