Art in the Sixth Form provides the opportunity for students to grow and mature, developing their skills, talents and self confidence. It is a useful course for developing your creativity and helping you to ‘think outside the box’, it also develops your critical and analytical skills and helps you to make connections between various areas of interest. The full A level requires 4 units of work; the first two constitute the AS exam.
UNIT 1 50% of AS
During the first year students pursue only one set theme as coursework, this allows for a depth of individual exploration and experimentation of a variety of media, including sculpture and printing. You will produce a number of final responses reflecting different aspects of the theme as the body of your coursework.
UNIT 2 EXTERNALLY SET ASSIGNMENT 50% of AS
This is in the form of an externally set theme which you will receive in January and your accompanying 10 hour exam will be fairly soon after the Easter holiday.
UNIT 3 60% of A2
This forms the coursework content of the Upper Sixth, the unit aims to develop students ability to generate and develop ideas for their own practical work and a linked personal study from a self-selected focus. We will usually start off with a set theme to generate initial ideas and to form the basis of workshops, expecting students to draw their own personal area of exploration from this. You will be allotted your own workspace in the Sixth Form art room where you can set up your inspiration and work in progress, coming in during any free time to make progress. Each student's work should become highly individual. The outcome should be:-
1 A selection of practical work
2 The personal study will be evidenced through critical written communication showing contextual research and understanding in a minimum 1000 words of continuous prose, which may contain integrated images. The personal study comprises 12% of the total qualification
3 Supporting studies which should relate to both 1 and 2
UNIT 4 EXTERNALLY SET ASSIGNMENT 40% of A2
This is the culmination of the A2 art course responding to an externally set theme which will be given out at the beginning of February, allowing a good length of time for research and development before the 15 hour exam soon after the Easter holiday.
Day trips to London galleries will be arranged to fit in with particular aspects of the work and will usually be on a Saturday. There will often be a major art trip organised for one week of the October half-term holiday. This could be to a foreign city to take in a selection of museums and galleries, building on knowledge of art history and culture as well as developing sketching skills as girls will produce a journal of this visit which can be entered in their coursework.
Holiday time is very important in the Sixth Form for doing research at the start of projects as knowledge of selected artists should be thorough and in-depth, for completing work and preparing for examinations. Themes will be set to the girls at the end of the summer term, before entering the Sixth Form and at the end of the Lower Sixth, so that girls make a very positive start at the beginning of each year.
Some A level students progress to Art College, to foundation and degree courses ranging from Fine Art, Fashion, and Art History through to Photography and Architecture. Application to the courses will need to be accompanied by a portfolio of the student's work, including sketch books, working drawings and detailed studies as well as evidence of art and design experience outside the set A level course. Candidates need to show an enthusiastic commitment to the subject with evidence of individual interest, research and creative thinking.