St Augustine's Catholic College


Art at A Level

The 2 year, A Level Art course is about deepening personal interest and refining practical and creative skills through sketchbook journals, study sheets and by making final pieces. Edexcel describes the course as one that ‘encourages personal, creative and imaginative approaches to Art.

 The Art exam results have been consistently high in recent years, and a strength of the course is the tutorial approach to teaching that, after the introductory project, allows each student to follow their own tutored program of study. This helps students to challenge themselves to achieve the highest quality that they can.

 Students taking this course need to have a high level of commitment and need to 

  • research thoroughly areas of interest and generate ideas with independence for their projects.
  • enjoy drawing, painting and making and be prepared to challenge themselves through their work - the course is about developing personal responses through practical outcomes.
  • be interested in looking at Art and be prepared to discuss their views.

Coursework (60% of the final mark)

In the first introductory project, students learn various, formal ways to approach drawing studies, and use a broad range of creative processes and techniques to generate a substantial body of work leading to a final piece that they have devised.

 In January of year 12, students start their main coursework unit, the title of which is usually the previous year’ exam paper. These open-ended project titles, have well-resourced starting points from which students begin a personal and thorough, creative investigation leading to another final outcome that is completed by January in year 13.

Examination project (40% of the final mark)

In February of year 13, students start their examination project set by Edexcel. As with the coursework, the theme is explored and developed through sketchbook journals, study sheets and test pieces, in an independent and personal manner. In early May when there is a 15-hour timed test to produce the final outcome devised from the preparatory studies completed over the project.

Beyond the classroom

Learning to appreciate and analyse Art is important part of the course, so students regularly visit museums and galleries, and take part in workshops. In each year, there is a residential study trip (in recent years we have been to Florence, Amsterdam and Paris), that is aimed at providing rich resources for both the coursework and examination projects. There is a dedicated sixth form studio that students make use of outside of timetabled lessons.

What can I do after I have completed the course?

 The main aim of the course is to build a creative portfolio of work that can be used to progress to further courses such as an Art Foundation or directly onto a degree course. Looking ahead to employment, there may be opportunities to work, for example, in local design offices, graphic companies and retail, or to become self-employed. Life skills such as the ability to manage a creative project, to problem solve and to be reflective of ones’ work, are developed further over the course.