Key Stage 3
All students in Key Stage 3 have weekly visits to the art department, where their learning is project and theme based. Every student is issued with a sketch-book which becomes their personal record of collecting source information and investigating ideas using painting, drawing, design and photography. They are encouraged to develop the skills being learnt in the classroom through ongoing independent practice while being guided towards incorporating subject-matter of personal interest wherever possible.
Key Stage 4
By Key Stage 4, those opting to take art are well equipped with the practical skills and subject-based understanding needed to follow the Cambridge IGCSE course in art and design. Again, emphasis is placed on students using their artwork as a means of developing the ability for expressing individual points-of-view. Examination requires sitting two papers, each of eight hours duration – one being broad-based fine art and the other from a design brief. Both papers allow a preparatory period of approximately ten weeks.
In sixth-form, the IB Visual Arts course provides experience in studio work, where students have opportunities to extend their practical abilities through contextual studies, looking at the historical, cultural and social influences on the subject. Final assessments appraise research into comparative studies and a portfolio of practical processes that have been investigated, along with an exhibition of finished works. This pre-university course has been designed to allow students to focus on areas of the creative arts that they may wish to follow at a higher level, such as graphic design, fashion design, photography, illustration, architecture, cinematography or any other of the many specialisms that make up the creative industries.