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Art

Head of Department/Faculty

Mrs Tara Parker-Woolway
Head of Art
tparker-woolway@commonweal.co.uk

Overview

Art really is an incredible subject.  The next time you have that familiar, overwhelming sensation of stress, when your anxieties turn from passing sensations in the brain to rude house guests overstaying their welcome, I highly recommend breaking out your paints, modelling clay, glitter glue, feathers or pipe cleaners.  “I’m not an artist!” you may say, remembering the grin on your parents faces while hanging your primary school masterpiece on the fridge all those years ago.  But honestly, it does not matter.  Science says so.

It has recently been proven that not only does Art stimulate creativity and imagination whilst raising self-esteem but it can also actively lower cortisol (the chemical created by stress)! So what are you waiting for!

Art is the perfect complement for the fact laden and theory based subjects we undertake at school and for those considering further education it counts equally with other subjects. It is estimated that in 2015 there were 1.9 million jobs in the UK creative industry with the figure rising each year.

In lessons, students can expect to engage with many artistic disciplines, i.e. drawing, painting, mixed media work, sculpture, photography, print making. Students work on projects both individually and in groups.

Tops Tips to do well in Art

  1. Just do it.

    There is no right or wrong answer in Art. The only way we get something wrong is to not attempt it.

  2. Take a pride in your work.

    Believe in it. If you don’t like what you’re doing how can you convince anyone else to?

  3. Go above and beyond.

    The more you do the better you get. If you really want to do well, keep practising your observational drawing and making tones

  4. Take advantage of extra-curricular activities.

    We run clubs and trips for all year groups so where possible, try to involve yourself. Learning outside the classroom is an important part of Art!

  5. Make sure you reflectively annotate your work.

    Don’t just write what you’ve done write how you’ve done it, why you’ve done it and what you would do differently if you were to do it again

The Curriculum

  • All Art classes are taught in mixed ability groups
  • All year groups look at and take inspiration from the work of Artists, Craftspeople and Designers

KS 3

  • Students in year 7 start the year looking at the Formal Elements in Art (line, tone, shape, space, form, texture, pattern and colour).  Projects then continue with a particular focus on creating TONE in different ways with projects such as Gargoyles, Mark Making and Mythical Beasts.
  • Students in year 8 focus on developing their use of COLOUR. Our projects follow the themes of Landscape and Perspective, Responses to Music with Abstract Art and Under the Sea
  • Students in year 9 focus on developing their OBSERVATIONAL DRAWING in preparation for GCSE. Our projects follow themes such as Portraiture, Still life and Arts of other Cultures

KS4

  • Students doing GCSE Art complete at least two projects during Yr 10 and 11.  The first of which is mostly teacher led and takes them through the different assessment objectives for the course.  Projects slowly become more student led over the course of year 10.  The course culminates in an exam project (set by the examining board AQA) in January of yr 11.
  • Themes can follow anything! Natural Organic Forms, The Man Made Environment, Portraiture, Art of other Cultures, Conflict, Decay

KS 5

  • Art A level is a linear course done over two years. Yr 12 is used as a foundation course in which students experiment with media and ideas.  In year 13 students undertake a personal study which informs their own artistic practice and an exam project (set by the examining board) in February of yr 13.

Independent Learning

Independent learning is vital to studying Art. The chance to practise skills outside the classroom is what helps students to really achieve.

In KS 3 students are set homework’s to develop their independent working and research skills, which run in conjunction with their class work.

At KS4 and KS5 students are encouraged to continue with their project work in their own time. Independent work means that they have more ownership over their ideas and practise the skills they would like to develop.

Enrichment and trip possibilities

A variety of Art clubs are run by Art Staff. In the past we have had clubs in: Big Painting, Ceramics, Jewellery making, Watercolour and Photography.

Students are welcome to ‘drop in’ to Art rooms any time to develop their own work.

At KS5 students have the opportunity to attend Life Drawing classes and have an opportunity to do some photography as enrichment.

We believe that having the opportunity to visit Art work and to draw on location is a vital part of the Art curriculum. The trips we have run this year (and envisage running next year):

  • Yr 7 visit to the Cotswold Wildlife Park drawing animals -links to the Mythical animals class project
  • Yr 8 visit to Avebury drawing landscape and the stones -links to Landscape and perspective project
  • Yr 9 visit to the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford- links to Arts of Other Cultures class project
  • Yr 10 visit to the National Gallery and The Tate ModernYr 11 visit to the Saatchi Gallery
  • Yr 12 visit to London to visit galleries

Assessment

Students are assessed at the end of each project (up to six times a year).

There are four assessment objectives within each project

  • AO1 – Looking at and responding to the work of Artists, Craftspeople and Designers
  • AO2 – Experimenting with media and refining and developing Ideas
  • AO3 – Recording ideas, in visual and other formats
  • AO4 – Presenting ideas as a final piece and sketchbook work

The assessment matrix stretches from yr 7 to Yr 11, with a clearly understandable grading ladder.

Teachers in the Faculty

  • Mrs T Parker-Woolway – Head of Art
  • Miss R Worthington