A-Level Art and Design
What does the course aim to do?
The course encourages a broad approach, which allows candidates to develop a sound grounding in a number of areas while still exploring the subject in depth. The specification builds on the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired through the GCSE Art course.
The aims of the course are to encourage candidates to:
- develop intellectual, imaginative, creative and intuitive powers; investigative, analytical, experimental, technical and expressive skills, aesthetic understanding and critical judgement;
- develop knowledge and understanding of the role and achievements of artists, craftspeople and designers in the past and in contemporary society.
What will I be studying?
In the early stages of year 12 you will work in all four areas offered at Canon Slade (Fine Art, Graphics/Illustration, Textiles and 3D Studies). As the course progresses you will choose two areas to study in more depth over the remainder of the course.
You produce coursework on a theme of your choosing in your two areas of study. There is no limit to the amount of work you can produce providing you have outcomes from both areas. Your work must include one short written component which relates to your theme (up to 3,000 words).
Externally Set Task
Responding to a theme set by OCR, you will produce coursework in both your areas of study and one outcome from either area. This outcome must be produced in 15 hours.
How will I be assessed? (OCR)
All units are assessed by the Art Department and moderated by an external examiner. Coursework accounts for 60% of the overall mark, Controlled Assignments account for 40%
Where will it lead in the future?
An excellent qualification for College of Art & Design Foundation Courses which lead to an Honours Degree in a chosen area of study. Ex-pupils have gone on to study Architecture, Teaching, Marketing, Print Management, Interior Design, 3D Design, and various media and communications-related courses. Others are employed in the Graphics, Fashion, Textiles and Advertising industries. The A Level is accepted by most universities.
How will I study?
There will be taught courses in practice and theory. You will undertake practical work in the Art Studios by completion of projects in line with your own interests and the demands of the specification. Written preparation for the Personal Investigation is collated through notes, background reading and gallery visits to places such as Paris, London, Liverpool, Manchester and Bradford. You will be expected to keep sketch books to record visual information.
What will I need to do myself?
Practical homework assignments are flexible in time and can vary from one to six weeks. Essay writing and reading tasks are also set. You should keep strictly to homework deadlines if you aim to reach the highest level. Extra time spent in the Art Studios will be of benefit to all students – the best students tend to spend at least three hours in addition to lesson time working on the subject.
Why should I come to Canon Slade to study Art & Design?
From very early in the course you will be encouraged to pursue your own ideas and interests through your work. In recent years students have explored topics as diverse as personal identity, battery farming, the ages of woman, detective films the bubonic plague, terrorism, science fiction, public transport, sport and fairy tales.
Staff are always there to offer advice, support and direction when needed. The department has strong links with other institutes of higher education, notably Wigan and Leigh College and UCLAN. Well over half the students who complete the course progress to study an aspect of art or design at University. This year a number of students are studying Architecture. Results are very good—in recent years a number of students have been awarded 100% for the practical aspects of the exam. Finally, it’s fun! Hard work, there is always plenty to do, but it is very rewarding.
As well as studio based work you will usually be given the opportunity to visit London and Paris over the two years to pursue gallery based studies, visit places of interest (Camden, Spitalfields) and be inspired.
Additional information from Mr A M Lee