Shireland Sixth Form


A Level Fine Art

Course Overview

Studying the course

"The arts are integral to our understanding of the world, as important as reading, writing, geography and arithmetic." (Nicholas Serota director of the Tate 2012)

Art, craft and design encourages creative thinking skills and develops visual literacy. Industry’s demands for an increasingly innovative and globally competitive workforce make learning in the subject ever more relevant to young people. The discipline of drawing is at the foundation of other skills in art. It is used as a tool, by which students can analyse, record and translate the world around them. Critical studies enhance and underpin practical teaching, where students engage with artists, designers and architects of contemporary and historically significant, as well as culturally diverse contexts. Analysing wider issues and concepts, developing critical thinking and imitating the processes, methods and media used by artists, inspire students to embrace their own creativity and individual self-expression.

Career pathways

Art and Design is a broad subject that encompasses so many of the exciting and varied skills associated with employment in the creative industries. Through studying this in A-Level, developing creative thought processes and improving technical skills and art critical knowledge, students then open the door to studying the subject further. Foundation studies in Art and Design and then onto a related degree course in which they will produce a range of different styles of work and create their own portfolio. For employment there may be opportunities to work in local galleries, design offices, graphics companies and retail as well as the chance to work as a commercial artist.

Course overview

Pupils will be introduced to a variety of materials, techniques and processes through the delivery of short workshops in photography, painting, print making, drawing and sculpture. They will investigate a given theme, researching work by artists and making contextual links. They will be guided through the project by the teacher and set specific tasks for homework. As the year progresses they will be taught to think more independently, using their skills in analysis, recording observations, exploring ideas, experimenting and developing. They will begin a final piece that is in their chosen material. They will plan and develop their work taking it in their own direction with the guidance and support of the teacher. By the end of the course the pupils should understand the assessment objectives, enabling them to complete their examination unit confidently and successfully. In order to meet the four assessment objectives the pupils will be:

• generating and developing ideas informed by primary and contextual sources
• refining their ideas through experimenting with media, and developing and applying skills
• researching, recording, analysing and reviewing their own and others’ work
• selecting, creating, realising and presenting personally developed outcome(s).

Course assessment

Unit 1: Personal Portfolio in Art and Design this is an internally set theme which is then marked and externally moderated.
Unit 2: Externally Set Assignment in Art and Design this is an externally set theme which is then marked and externally moderated.