Subject rationale – Why study the subject? What benefits does it bring.
Art is a subject that builds on observational understanding – embedding the ability to see, to understand, to react. Art exists to evoke, whether it is feelings, thought, conversation or change; it is a subject of power. It creates space for personal investigation; one of the few subjects where students can explore their passions through an independent journey of themes and processes. This produces engaged learners that create purposeful work and leave them feeling empowered by their own abilities, knowledge and practice.
Art and Design is a vibrant, dynamic and flourishing Department. Located at the heart of the school, the department comprises five teaching rooms each resourced with cutting edge facilities to ensure pupils are well equipped to succeed. The emphasis is on supporting and guiding creative work in the visual arts; painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture and mixed media disciplines.
Art has an immense presence within the school and wider community: through exhibition of work in multiple sites, as well as greatly received public art installations throughout the academic year. Extra-curricular art club is hugely popular and provides space for our young artists to work on personal projects, as well as building experiences away from lessons for more high ability students. Study trips to London and Birmingham provide further exposure of artists and curation of art in different spaces and contexts.
The Artist in Residence scheme creates a connection for past and present students to work collaboratively to create installation work. Art alumni are celebrated for their creative journeys and careers and present students appreciate the opportunity to see where the subject can lead.
Teaching across the department is passionate and students are aware of their creative practices. As described by students, we are ‘artists who teach’; constantly conscious and responsive to the ever-exciting world of art and alert to how we can bring this into our learner’s worlds.
KS3 curriculum overview
By the end of Year 7, our aim is that all students have been exposed to a range of exciting, challenging and diverse materials, processes and techniques that have created a foundation level of skill and understanding in order to progress as artists. They should have a foundation level of understanding about artistic practices, and how art depicts, documents and reacts to artists' ideas and worlds. They will be able to work under a range of themes to recreate different artists' works, as well as devising their own as a form of response to their findings. Key drawing, painting, print, photography and mixed media skills will be introduced and explored, ready to be embedded in later years. They will have developed strategies for independent questioning, analysis and interpretation that builds their confidence in being curious viewers. Artistic ability will be extended through direct instruction and constant specialist modelling, resulting in experimental and resolved pieces.
Themes studied: ‘Natural Form’, ‘Still Life & Colour’ & ‘Recycled Surface: Folds’
By the end of Year 8, all students will have gained insight into the power of art as a documentation, reaction and storytelling form. They will understand its ability to evoke conversation and change; understand its power. They will have a clearer and more confident understanding of a wide range of materials and processes, surrounding more mature concepts and ideas. They will also have a stronger insight into their own styles tastes and opinions due to thorough analysis and interpretation of works. Students will be able to work with a range of themes to recreate different artists' works, as well as devising their own as a form of response to their findings. Key drawing, painting, print, photography and mixed media skills will be embedded and extended. They will have developed strategies for independent questioning, analysis and interpretation that builds their confidence in being curious viewers. Artistic ability will be enhanced to a higher level through direct instruction and constant specialist modelling, resulting in experimental and resolved pieces.
Themes studied: ‘Collections & Memory’, ‘Architecture & Perspective’ and ‘The Ever-Changing Landscape’
By the end of Year 9, our aim is that all students have a confident understanding of how art comments on, reflects and changes societal structures – with exposure across historical and cultural contexts. They will have experienced a wide range of materials, processes and techniques that link directly to historical movements – yet have been adapted to reflect the modern art classroom. They will have developed their skill working with said materials, and should show proficiency in at least one type of media (whether it be drawing, painting, mixed media or print). They will have developed strategies for independent questioning, analysis and interpretation that builds their confidence in being curious viewers. Artistic ability will be extended through direct instruction and constant specialist modelling. They should then have the right tools to enter into a higher level of art education with the confidence to explore and adapt their own artistic practices based on their previous KS3 studies, prepared for a more sophisticated, mature and independent manner to building their artistic skills and understanding to form a individual practice.
Themes studied: ‘Artistic Movements from 1500 – present day’, ‘Protest Portraits’
KS4 curriculum overview
Drawing, Painting, Mixed Media, Printmaking, Sculpture, Photography, Textiles, Installation and Video
At GCSE there are two units of work; an internally set coursework unit (60%) and an externally set unit (40%) that culminates in a ten hour examination. The Internally set unit focuses on two coursework projects; the 'Natural Form', 'Architecture' or ‘Landscape’ project addressed in Year 10 and the 'Figure, Portrait and Identity' project addressed in Year 11. The externally set unit has a set theme provided by our examining board, AQA. Project work involves:
- Contextual investigation and demonstration of critical and analytical understanding of artists, works and styles
- Diverse material, technique and process exploration, refinement and mastery
- Mastery of visual recording skills across a variety of styles, including (but not limited to: drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media, photography, installation and sculpture)
- Presentation of a personal and informed response in the manner of a large scale / series of individual artworks
KS4 curriculum overview
The Year 12 course consists of an initial workshop programme enabling students to develop skills, knowledge and experience of diverse media, techniques and processes before embarking on a personal project. This is delivered alongside a contextual studies scheme focusing on Contemporary Art. Students are encouraged to critically and visually analyse artist concepts. Artists studied include Anselm Kiefer, Jenny Saville, Gerhard Richter, Robert Rauschenberg and Cindy Sherman amongst others.
In Year 13, students are encouraged to reflect upon their artistic experiences to negotiate their own project. Tutorials provide students with the opportunity to discuss potential concepts and review the strengths and weaknesses of the previous portfolio of work. Exemplar projects include: movement and light, war, text and image, the male gaze and female narratives within literature.
A level Fine Art is a popular and diverse subject where students produce sophisticated and mature outcomes; many go on to exciting arts-based studies and wider career prospects.
The AQA Fine Art course is offered at A Level.
There are two units of work; an internally set coursework unit (worth 60%) and an externally set unit (worth 40%) that includes a five hour development controlled exam. The externally set unit culminates in a fifteen hour controlled examination, see link: https://bishopchalloner.org.uk/sixth-form/curriculum/art-design
There are a wide range of careers available through studying Art: within the art world or much further afield. Companies, business owners and all job sectors look for creative thinkers who can problem solve, communicate their ideas, and produce exciting outcomes – so Art is a great subject to have on your CV!