Head of Department
Mr Mike Quigley
The Art and Design Department has a central role in the life of St Augustine‘s. We are charged with promoting the visual education of our students through developing their critical appreciation of Art, their technical skills and their creative personal responses to ideas and situations.
Key Stage 3
Year 7 is regarded by the department as the most important year in students’ journeys towards acquiring confidence in this visual language. Recording skills, principally drawing, are central to this progression. Some students may not have had formal, structured, skills development based lessons before at KS2 and many, when they arrive at the College, consider their abilities in low esteem. Homework study focusing on the use of light, shade and shadow (tone) is particularly important in Year 7 and the department asks only that the student battles for half an hour with the difficult set studies and does not give up after 10 minutes. Classwork themes are varied each year to embrace a range of practices and media.
By the start of Year 8 many students who hitherto had seen themselves as having no ‘artistic talent’ will have changed their minds, or at least will have adopted the ‘can do’ culture which pervades. Some students in year 8 now produce homework studies of GCSE A-C standard. The different themes and practices, other than painting and drawing, such as collage, ceramic work, corporate projects and print processes, further develop skills and art terminology is addressed as well as the exploration of art historical sources. Three tests are set during the year examining students’ understanding of Art theory.
The programmes of study begin now to further extend students’ creative thinking skills while working in class. These skills will be essential for any opting to embark on the GCSE course in the following year. Midway through the year about a third of the cohort already have some of the drawing and thinking attributes seen in A to B grade GCSE candidates. Materials and practices not covered in the previous two years are introduced into the schemes of work.
The GCSE Art & Design course aims to enhance the visual education of our students through developing their critical appreciation of Art, their technical skills and their creative responses to ideas and situations. This creative thinking, coupled with resourceful and independent study is essential at this key stage, as it will be later on at A level, further education or employment. The transition from Key Stage 3 is quite dramatic at first but once students begin to harness the artistic disciplines and freedom offered by the course they invariably progress successfully and possess lifelong skills and understanding of Art. There are now more than 80 different B.A. courses offered at Universities and Art Colleges in the growing branches of Art & Design.
Primarily students will understand that their art, as well as all other art, flows from their own personal experiences, interests and concerns. They will come to realise the importance of gathering their own resources related to the themes they are investigating and explore many new types of media, practices and processes on their journeys. Critical study, analysing and responding to other art in their own work, is perhaps one of the steeper steps in students’ learning, but once embraced produces great reward.
There is no timed written exam in Art & Design.
60% of the total marks are awarded for coursework, comprising 2 units of work, each based around a set, open-ended theme.
40% of the marks are for the examination unit, which lasts about four months. The course finishes in the middle of May in Year 11.
In each unit students are required to produce a substantial body of artwork in journals (sketchbooks) and on A1 sheets, They are assessed in relation to how well they have Recorded & Resourced (drawing, painting, 3D work, photography, gathering subjects for study etc), Explored (media ideas, practices and processes), Analysed/Responded to other art and produced a final outcome.
These criteria form the objective ingredients of the assessment but what underpins the most successful students’ work is a sense of industry, struggle, enterprise and enjoyment.
The ‘A’ level Art & Design course offers students the opportunity to expand upon their Fine Art based range of processes and practices. Recording experimentally and expressively is encouraged, with a wide variety of materials available. Installation, 3D work or video are explored by some while others continue to refine their skills in painting and drawing. The art studio is a vibrant and creative environment where students develop and share their work with each other during study time.
The two year A Level course comprises four units of work; the one year AS course, two units.
– Unit 1: A1 Coursework 60% of A1 30% of A Level
– Unit 2: Externally set assignment 40% of A1 20% of A Level
– Unit 3: A Level Coursework 30% of A Level
– Unit 4: Externally set assignment 20% of A Level