Apart from its own wide areas of challenge and learning, Art A level is unique in that almost all other subject areas and interests can provide stimulus and starting points for work within the syllabus. This mutually beneficial aspect therefore makes Art an ideal partner for other A level choices. This flexibility provides the opportunity to develop personal responses to ideas, observations, experiences, environments and cultures in practical, critical and contextual forms.
The Art A Level course is designed to provide opportunities for students to explore and develop creativity in a range of media, including; drawing, painting, print-making, ceramics, photography and Sculpture. Whilst this is a practical subject, and as such requires a sound level of practical ability, the course also contains an important academic element, offering scope for all to develop a critical judgement and an awareness of what has been, and is being, created in the world of Art.
The first part of the course enables students to build on the skills they used at GCSE and experience a wider range of media and techniques. They will work on set themes which allow for workshop type sessions to use new skills but also to develop their own work.
In Term 4 of Year 12 students begin an investigation of their choice from a number of set starting points into themes and approaches in Art. This builds their skills to enable them to begin the main unit of the A level, the Personal Investigation. The students are in control of the themes they choose for the investigation and the direction it takes. Work is expected to show development of more personal themes and interests. Work on this unit commences in Term 5 of year 12 in readiness for the start of the new school year. Students will be expected to work with a great deal of independence, using their study periods to complete practical work in the dedicated 6th form are in the art studio.
Examination work is begun in Term 3 of Year 13. Students choose from a number of themes set by the exam board, which are open ended and give the students time and opportunity to develop their own outcomes. Students sit a 15 hour practical exam where they produce a final piece or pieces in April/May of Year 13.
Students are recommended to have achieved a level 6 in GCSE Art or similar Level 2 qualification. Students with a lower grade, or those with no formal qualification, are welcome to submit some samples of work for further discussion about entry to the Art A Level with the Subject Leader.
All applications to Gravesend Grammar School Sixth Form must be made directly via our website. Our sixth form information evening is on Wednesday 13th January at 7pm, applications open on Thursday 14th January.
Often students have taken Art A level simply because they enjoy it and feel that it generally compliments their other subjects; others choose it more specifically; some require it as a joint discipline in a degree course or career path such as publishing, theatre design or event management. There are students who want a career in the very diverse field of Art & Design, some choose to study for a degree at Art College, where specific skills are covered; Photography, Graphics, Product Design, Silversmithing or Architecture for example; as well as more traditional disciplines such as Fine Art and Sculpture. Others may opt to go to University to read Fine Art or History of Art, to follow a more academic pathway. Possession of an Art A level displays to potential Higher Education establishments and employers flexibility and versatility, along with self-awareness and creativity; key qualities in the modern world.