Curriculum Leader:

Mrs S Arrowsmith

Department Introduction:

Art is delivered through the Fine Arts (Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, Sculpture and Collage) alongside the Applied Arts (Ceramics, Textiles, Graphics, Photography and ICT). Critical and contextual studies are addressed to aid visual literacy, knowledge of processes and materials, enable discussion and inspire visual responses in an informed and critical fashion. Art is in a strong position to bridge other school subjects, taking inspiration and reference material from them to provide a wider picture and help to underpin study. We live in a visual world exposed to a whole host of imagery, symbols and social culture. Our students enjoy opportunities to express themselves, interact with stimulus and think critically.


Department Aims:

Develop visual literacy and awareness. Develop particular creative and technical skills so that ideas can be realised and artefacts produced. Develop students' aesthetic sensibilities and enable them to make informed judgements about art and design with understanding in the broader context of contemporary society. Increase students' capacity and desire to observe and learn about the world in which they live. Develop individual's articulation and communication of ideas, opinions and feelings about their own work and that of others. Motivate students to achieve their true potential in art and design. Develop individual's capacity for imaginative and original thought and experimentation. Ensure individuals understand criteria for assessment and how to improve or develop their own achievements. Help students to develop positive relationships.

Key Stage 3:

The Year 7 program aims to form a foundation for all girls to improve basic skills in Art and to develop powers of observation, recording and appreciation of media and techniques. Links with artists' work help to inform technique and broaden awareness of colour mixing and colour application. Year 8 are introduced to perspective, De Stjil and portraiture to name just a few themes that are explored through the year. Most of the projects encourage cross-curricular links, personalised learning and feature both practical, research and written tasks. The Year 9 course allows a portfolio of work to develop that explores a variety of techniques and investigations under one broad title, allowing for more sustained project work as a fore-runner to GCSE. Each class experiences 2-D work as well as a 3-D aspect and additional design briefs encourage consideration of art for particular purposes and audiences. Students are challenged to re-visit any particular aspect of the course in the summer term so as to plan, develop, refine and resolve a piece of work of their choosing.​

Key Stage 4:

Students follow the AQA syllabus in Art & Design: Fine Art. During the course students are introduced to a range of working methods, techniques, artists' work and subject matter. Students in year 10 are encouraged to explore a range of themes to develop sustained work in preparation for their assessed portfolio, worth 60% of the course. Developing strong observational drawing skills and thoughtful, personal responses to artists’ work underpins study throughout the course. Work produced addresses four elements of Art and directly links to the assessment criteria; • Recording ideas through drawing, photography etc. • Reacting to the work of artists, using the information to develop their own work • Exploring media, refining skills and ideas • Using supporting studies to produce a final realised piece(s).

Key Stage 5:

This course follows the AQA Art & Design: Art, Craft and Design syllabus. Students are introduced to a variety of experiences exploring a range of fine art media (painting, drawing, mixed media, sculpture, installation, printmaking and lens or light-based media). Staff-led starting points encourage a focus on observational drawing, experimentation with media and a developed understanding and appreciation of artists' work from a range of contexts. Students need to be creative thinkers and problem solvers as well as being committed to visual enquiry and high standards of presentation. Through sustained portfolio work that is carefully selected, organised and presented, individuals generate refined and resolved personal work in their particular area of interest. The second portfolio of work is developed from starting points issued by AQA and terminates with a 10 hour examination session to develop personal and meaningful work. An eight week period following external exams allows staff to encourage new ways of approaching media and subject matter without the constraints of external assessment. At this time students experiment further and establish ideas for development into Year 13. Parallel to this experience, students complete the overview of Art History and Critical & Contextual Studies. ​ At A2 level more emphasis is on independent enquiry following tutorials with staff. The coursework unit includes up to a 3000 word written study on a chosen aspect of artists' work that connects with and informs practical work. This allows for in-depth study of an area of personal interest. The course concludes with a 15 hour externally set assignment and a celebratory exhibition of work by all A-level students. Visits to the University of Wolverhampton School of Art & Design Degree Show, the city's Museum and Art gallery and a selection of London or Liverpool galleries feature throughout the course

Extra-Curricular Activities:

Opportunities for lunchtime sessions vary throughout the academic year. We regularly offer drop-in sessions for students to access materials and equipment, develop personal work or homework tasks. Both lower and upper school students have enjoyed Sculpture Club, Pin-hole photography and Knitting Circle to name a few. A large group of girls across the school community gave their time and efforts in designing the Centenary Garden and worked closely with the sculptor to design the two artworks that feature in there. GCSE and A-level students are encouraged to access artworks first hand as much as possible outside of school. Regular visits organised by the department include the annual visit to at least two London galleries along with a local exhibition or curated guide to the collection at Wolverhampton Museum and Art Gallery.