All students study Art and Design throughout Key Stage 3 according to the National Curriculum. In Key Stage 4 and 5 Art and Design then becomes an option subject. Students who are seriously considering a career in Art and Design are encouraged to take the option at both GCSE and A Level.
Every Summer Term Beaconsfield High School hosts an Art and Design Technology exhibition in the Main Hall where GCSE, AS and A2 Level students’ work is exhibited. The event is a celebration of students' work and invitations are extended to all students and their families, school Governors and teachers in local schools.
At KS3 there are art clubs for year 7 & 8 run by the Art prefects. GCSE students in year 11 visit either the Tate Britain or Tate Modern to look at art in context. In year 12 & 13 students (KS5) visit the Saatchi Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, National Gallery or the V & A (destinations vary every year according to students’ needs and themed projects).
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 students are assessed during their project work and at the end of each project. Current Projects for the year are as follows:
- Colour theory, observational drawing
- Still Life and Cubism
- Portraiture and colour/landscape studies
- Pattern/Decoration & mixed media
- Print making
- Portraits and Gargoyles
- Pop Art and Personal Identity
- Cakes and food – mixed media project
- Futurism/Cubism – art in context
Assessment at Key Stage 3: Within a unit of work a minimum of two pieces of students’ work receives a written comment and two pieces receive a written comment and a curriculum level. At the end of the unit the students’ work receives a summative curriculum level and a written comment. The written comments reflect the strengths of the work and identify areas where students can improve further. Students are responsible for setting personal targets every term, relating to the assessment criteria in the unit of work.
Key Stage 4
All students are entered for the AQA examination and are assessed according to the exam board assessment matrix.
As part of the course the coursework (Coursework Portfolio) the work is split into 3 projects.
Projects being studied at present are:
- ‘Natural Forms and the Environment’ – Print techniques, batik, distortion, focal point and compositional skills.
- ‘Surfaces’ – different ways of responding to the theme – realism and abstract multi-media techniques.
- ‘Identity’ – individual lines of enquiry are encouraged for this final unit where students will work to their strengths in preparation for the Controlled Assignment in year 11 and forms the basis for the students’ Mock Art Examination in January.
The terminal examination is set by the board and consists of a 10 hour examination set over 2 days. The preparation and examination work is graded according to the assessment matrix. Students are also awarded a grade at the end of each term, representing their achievement for the term’s work; these go home as bench marking reports.
Key Stage 5
See Sixth Form subjects. All students are entered for the AQA examination and are assessed according to the exam board assessment matrix.
The first year, AS Level, is split into two units – the Coursework Portfolio and the Externally-set Assignment:
The Portfolio unit is divided into 2 projects, the first, focussing on developing multi-media skills; the second, working in to 3 dimensions. The unit will also involve gallery visits in the autumn term.
- The Externally Set Assignment – students are given a choice of different starting points and after a short time a 5 hour controlled period of time (under examination conditions) to formulate initial observations and ideas. Following this students can develop these and subsequent ideas into developmental work and final realisations.
The second year, A2 Level is split into 2 units of work:
- Unit 3 Personal Investigation - a practical based project focussing on the students’ ability to record ideas and formulate gathered information in to a final response to a theme. Accompanying the practical work will be supporting written material. At A2 level students are expected to contextualise research and substantiate their personal views of the work of others, both in practical and written work. The written element is between 1000 and 3500 words and must reflect the students’ practical work.
- Unit 4 The Controlled Test – students are given a choice of different starting points and after a period of time a 15 hour examination set over 3 days where students produce a sustained piece of work or works to represent a final response under examination conditions.