Art

Departmental approach to the curriculum

The overriding aim of the art and design department is to equip students with the necessary skills and tools to be able to express themselves creatively. We have the highest expectations of our students and hope to instil in them a high level of aspiration and determination coupled with an enjoyment of art and design. We foster an inquisitive approach and encourage independent learning.

It is our aim for each individual to strive to achieve their best as they explore, develop and refine new skills, ideas and experiences. Resourcefulness is promoted by encouraging students to work independently, developing practical skills, planning their own projects and problem solving as they go along. The department adopts a child-centred approach which focuses on personalised learning and feedback.

Art is housed in its own separate block and is a visually stimulating and dynamic environment where students experience a broad and varied curriculum.  There are three large specialist art studios each with its own computer and linked interactive whiteboard; one of these serves as an A Level study area. In addition there is a smaller ceramics room including a kiln. There are desktop computers within the department which have Photoshop for use by students. The department also has a set of iPads and digital cameras, and facilities / equipment for ceramics, textiles, batik and printmaking including 2 printing presses.

The art department at Rickmansworth has consistently delivered superb results at all levels and continues to strive for excellence within each year group. We like to share the success of our students and regularly display work both internally and on our online gallery on the School's website. 

The department is supported by an excellent technician.


 

Year 7

In Years 7, 8 and 9 students will complete a series of projects each year. Each project will have a different theme and relevant artists and designers will be used to inspire students to create their own personal responses. A wide range of working practices will be covered including drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, sculpture, ceramics and computer art. There will be an emphasis on drawing throughout the course as this provides the foundations for all creative art activities.

In Year 7 students work on the following projects:

Autumn - Leafy Ricky

The main focus of this project is to introduce students to the formal elements. They will learn about line, tone & colour and there will be an emphasis on drawing from primary sources (natural forms). They will learn skills of line, tonal shading and watercolour painting using layering and blending techniques. In addition students will have opportunities to be creative and use their imagination to develop ideas and create botanical illustrations to show new plant species (class work) and new bug species (home learning). 

Spring - Impressionism 

The main focus of this project is to introduce students to the process of researching artists. They will learn about the key characteristics of Impressionism and produce artist copies working in pastels and paint, with a focus on mark making and brushstrokes. Students will analyse paintings using PEEL and then produce a personal response to Impressionism by taking or finding a suitable photograph and painting in an impressionist style.

Summer- Design and Printmaking

The main focus of this project is to introduce students to the processes of design and print making. Students will record from secondary sources (using a theme within Nature to be chosen by the teacher eg birds / plants / animals). They will then learn how to simplify and stylise their drawings to create a design which they will subsequently make into a press print. Students will learn how to make successful prints and will experiment with colour and ground with the option of constructing a range of collaged prints.

Year 8

 

In year 8 students work on the following projects:

Autumn/ Spring - Fauvism 

The main focus of this project is to build on students’ painting skills which were introduced in Year 7. They will have two opportunities to paint slightly simplified and abstracted portraits. The first is a Fauvist copy in order to practice drawing, colour mixing and paint application before applying these techniques to their own Fauvist style self-portrait. Formal analysis and informal discussion of the Fauvists further student knowledge of historical contexts but also allow for applying ideas about colour theory and symbolism to students own responses.

Spring/Summer - Hybrids

The main focus of this project is to build on students’ watercolour and acrylic painting skills which were introduced in Year 7 and revisited during Year 8 Project 1 Fauvism. They will have two opportunities to paint increasingly more challenging and detailed portraits. The first is an artist copy in order to practice drawing, looking for contrasts between tone and paint application. The second is a development of their Project 1 acrylic painting techniques by painting their own human/animal hybrid in black and white but focussing on contrast, detail and texture.  Formal analysis and informal discussion of hybrids further student knowledge of historical contexts but also allow for applying ideas about colour theory and symbolism to students own responses.

Year 9

 

In year 9 students work on the following projects:

Autumn/Spring - Man-made

The main focus of this project is to build on existing observational drawing skills using  the formal elements (Line, tone & form) and to encourage media experimentation and risk taking.        They will learn about artists by copying their work and through annotation and will have opportunities to respond to artists studied. There will be an emphasis on drawing from primary  sources. (man made objects). They will learn skills of line, tonal shading and working in a range of mark making media including biro, pen & ink, fine liner pen. In addition students will have opportunities to try different printmaking techniques including mono printing and press prints. 

Spring/Summer - Surrealism 

The main focus of this project is to introduce students to a Thematic GCSE style project. The project will follow a similar process to current GCSE projects eg  Introduction using Artist PowerPoint, Artist research to include artist copy, annotation using PEEL, and an artist response, Recording through observational drawing & photography, Idea development, planning and making of a final piece.  Individual teachers will choose to research a second artist and then continue the project towards a second discipline (eg ceramics). 

Year 10 and 11

GCSE in Art and Design (Fine Art)

 

We follow the AQA syllabus for Art & Design: Fine Art GCSE. This is a broad-based course which aims to improve skills and knowledge and offers opportunities to explore a wide range of art disciplines including drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, mixed media and ceramics / sculpture. The AQA course is comprised of two components, Component 1:Portfolio and Component 2: Externally Set Assignment.

 

Component 1:Portfolio

Overview of content

  • You will complete a number of projects set by the school for the personal portfolio. At least one of these projects must show a sustained journey from early ideas, through experimentation with media, to a final personal response.

  • Each project will have a different theme but they may be linked

  • You must include preparatory work  (in your sketchbook) and personal responses (final pieces)

  • You must show evidence of working in one or more disciplines e.g.  Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Photography, Sculpture, Mixed Media

  • You must show evidence of some drawing and have written annotation.

 

Overview of assessment

  • Internally set, marked, standardised & externally moderated

  • Total number of marks is 96 (24 marks for each of the four Assessment Objectives)

  • Your work must show evidence of all four Assessment Objectives

 

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment

Overview of content

  • The externally set assignment (ESA) represents the culmination of the GCSE course

  • The assignment consists of seven broad starting points provided by AQA. You will choose one.

  • The ESA will be issued during January of Year 11

  • You must include preparatory work and a personal response(s).

  • You will have about 8-10 weeks to plan and produce your preparatory work

  • There will be a 10 hour exam (supervised time) for you to produce a personal response. You will not be allowed to add to your preparatory work, in any way, once the supervised time has begun.

 

Overview of assessment

  • Externally set, internally marked and standardised & externally moderated

  • Total number of marks is 96 (24 marks for each of the four Assessment Objectives)

  • Your work must show evidence of all four Assessment Objectives and it must include drawing and written annotation.


 

Students enjoy working in sketchbooks to research artists, develop and refine ideas and skills before producing exciting and personal responses as final pieces of work. Students work on the following projects at KS4. 

 

Year 10 Project Themes: Natural Forms and Portraiture 

Year 11 Project Themes: Beginning and/or End and an Externally Set Assignment 


 

Assessment Objectives 

 

  • AO1: Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.

  • AO2: Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.

  • AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.

  • AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.

Year 12 and 13

 

Year 12 and 13

We follow the AQA syllabus for Art & Design: Fine Art Advanced GCE. This is a broad-based course which aims to build upon and extend skills and knowledge acquired at GCSE level. Pupils have opportunities to work in a range of art disciplines. The course is comprised of two components, Component 1:Portfolio and Component 2: Externally Set Assignment.

In Component 1, students develop work based on an idea, issue, concept or theme leading to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes. Practical elements should make connections with some aspect of contemporary or past practice of artist(s), designer(s), photographers or craftspeople and include written work of no less than 1000 and no more than 3000 words which supports the practical work.

 In Component 2, students respond to a stimulus, provided by AQA, to produce work which provides evidence of their ability to work independently within specified time constraints, developing a personal and meaningful response which addresses all the assessment objectives and leads to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes.

Courses based on these specifications should encourage students to develop: 

• intellectual, imaginative, creative and intuitive capabilities

• investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills, aesthetic understanding and critical judgement 

• independence of mind in developing, refining and communicating their own ideas, their own intentions and their own personal outcomes 

• an interest in, enthusiasm for and enjoyment of art, craft and design 

• the experience of working with a broad range of media 

• an understanding of the interrelationships between art, craft and design processes and an awareness of the contexts in which they operate 

• knowledge and experience of real-world contexts and, where appropriate, links to the creative industries • knowledge and understanding of art, craft, design and media and technologies in contemporary and past societies and cultures • an awareness of different roles, functions, audiences and consumers of art, craft and design.

Assessment Objectives

AO1: Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding

AO2: Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops

AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress

AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements

Long Term Curriculum Overviews

'The Big Picture' Curriculum Map

'The Big Picture' Curriculum Map

This document will provide a visual overview of the department's curriculum from Key Stages 3 to 5. This is in a student-friendly format to support them in their understanding the of the department's curriculum. 

Big Picture Curriculum Map - Art

Assessment

Department Assessment Matrix

This document will provide an overview for assessment for Key Stages 3, 4 and 5.

 

Key Stage 3 Judgement Descriptors

This document will give you an overview of the criteria for Emerging, Developing, Secure and Mastery judgements at KS3 for this subject.

How can you help your child succeed in art?

Students might like to visit some of these places to further their understanding. Most of these are free to attend.

Tate Modern/Tate Britain ? https://www.tate.org.uk  

National Portrait Gallery? https://www.npg.org.uk 

National Gallery  ? https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk 

Saatchi Gallery? https://www.saatchigallery.com 

Royal Academy of Arts? https://www.royalacademy.org.uk 

White Cube? https://whitecube.com 

Helpful websites and further information

KS3 - National Curriculum framework for Art & Design 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-art-and-design-programmes-of-study

KS4 - Specifications for GCSE Art and Design (Fine Art) https://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/art-and-desig

KS5 - Specifications for A level Art and Design (Fine Art) 

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/art-and-design/as-and-a-level/art-and-design