Welcome to the Art Department

Departmental Courses

  • GCSE Art & Design (Art, Craft & Design) (AQA)
  • GCE AS Art & Design (Fine Art) (AQA)
  • GCE AS Art & Design (Photography) (AQA)
  • Level 1/2 First Award Art and Design (Edexcel)
  • Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Edexcel).

We believe that all pupils are able to enhance and enrich their understanding of themselves and their world through the creation and appreciation of the visual arts, crafts and design.

We aim to provide our students with the skills, inspiration and creativity that they will need to develop as artists, and we hope to engender a love of art that they will take with them into their adult lives.
You can see evidence of the quality of work and talent we foster in the galleries below, and find out more about the department lower down.

Who do I contact for more information?

Mr P Mathlin (p.mathlin@poolehigh.poole.sch.uk)

At Key Stage 3 we aim to provide a series of stimulating projects which provide our students with opportunities to explore new materials and techniques, whilst developing knowledge and understanding. In Year 7 they build the foundation skills in the formal elements of line, tone, colour, shape, texture and form.

There is an emphasis on developing a range of drawing techniques that underpin visual communication. In Year 8 students increase their 3D skills through the design and construction of a ceramic outcome which is inspired by organic forms. They also learn about how artistic styles change across time and cultures which leads them to a creative 'mash up' of imagery. Year 9 students complete a project entitled ‘Life Events’ which explores how artists can tell stories, express emotions and document the things that happen in the world around them.

This unit leads to printing, illustrative and mixed media outcomes. The final unit allows students to diversify their sculptural skills and eventually leads to collaborative 3D outcomes which are based upon a given theme.

Art – GCSE Art and Design

Why study Art and Design?

Studying the GCSE Art and Design course at Poole High School will provide you with an opportunity to develop your 2D skills such as drawing, painting and printmaking as well as 3D skills including sculpture and ceramics. You will also learn how to develop your ICT skills to create and manipulate digital imagery using computer software.

The course will allow you to learn how to develop and refine your creative ideas through the use of first-hand observations, experiments with media and processes and by learning about the work of other artists and craftspeople.
Topics include:

  • A coursework unit based upon observations of the world around us and leading to a personal and unique final outcome.
  • A mock exam unit that allows the students to work within the creative constraints of a given starting point in a similar manner to that of the exam board's controlled test. 

Assessment

  1. Portfolio of coursework (60% of overall grade)
  2. Externally Set assignment- a 10-hour practical exam (40% of overall grade)

Which students do well at Art and Design?

  • …those who have love creating art and craft
  • …those who enjoy learning about art and craft from their own and other’s cultures
  • …those who are interested in communicating and expressing themselves visually

Who do I contact for more information?

Mr P Mathlin (p.mathlin@poolehigh.poole.sch.uk)

Art – BTEC Art and Design

Why study Art and Design?

Studying BTEC Art and Design will allow you to develop your artistic skills through assignments which are similar to those given to the professionals who work in the creative industries. You will learn how to research topics to inform your work, develop and present your ideas in ways that will communicate them to your client and use your practical skills to create final outcomes. This course is vocational which means that apart from developing your art, craft and design skills, you will also learn the skills that are essential in the workplace such as teamwork, planning, problem solving, project management and communicating and presenting information.

Topics include:

  • Researching and investigating sources of ideas in art and design
  • Explore and use art and design materials and techniques to develop visual language
  • Produce final art and design work to a set brief or theme (e.g. theatre set design or a marketing or publicity display).
  • Communicating visually in 3D (e.g. sculpture, ceramics etc.)
  • Communicating visually in 2D (e.g. graphic design)

Assessment

The students’ work is regularly marked throughout the course with guidance given on how it can be improved and refined. At the end of the course the three coursework units work are marked by art teachers and these final grades are then verified by a visiting representative from the exam board. There is also one externally set assignment (practical exam) which is marked by the exam board. At the end of the course the candidates are awarded either a pass, merit, distinction or distinction*.

Which students do well at Art and Design?

  • Those who love Art and are committed to the subject
  • Those who are visually curious and who can think creatively
  • Those who enjoy working on a structured course with simulated and real-life assignments
  • Those who hope to go on to work in the creative industries

What can Art and Design lead to?

  • This qualification can lead students on to a level 3 Art and Design course
  • Some students may go on to complete a Creative Apprenticeship
  • This is a useful qualification for those with ambitions to become graphic designers, photographers or similar

 

GCE Art & Design (Fine Art) (AQA)

Year 12

The first year of the course is foundational and students learn to explore the formal elements of visual art in greater depth. They will also gain a stronger understanding of the ways in which artists draw upon the history of art and the work of contemporary artists for inspiration. During the first year we encourage our students to question their assumptions about what art can be and to challenge their current ways of working in order to move beyond their comfort zone and develop new skills and approaches.

Year 13

During the second year of the course, students are asked to choose a subject that will form the basis of their ‘Personal Investigation’. This unit challenges students to research, plan and manage their own coursework project and is a stepping stone to the skills required for higher education. The outcomes will include a 1000 to 3000 word written component and original artwork that shows the student’s response to their chosen theme. The work in the second year of the A level should include the application of the skills, knowledge and understanding that were gained in the first year. The course ends with a 15 hour practical exam (conducted over 3 school days) that the students prepared for over a number of weeks.

Assessment

The final grade is based on the student’s coursework (usually based upon the portfolio produced in year 2) which is worth 60% and the externally set assignment (15 hour exam) which is worth 40% of the overall grade.

GCE Art & Design (Photography) (AQA)

By studying A level Photography at Poole High School you will learn the technical skills required to produce photographs to a high standard.  You will also develop the knowledge and understanding needed to enable you to construct images with visual meaning and the power to communicate your ideas about the world. You will learn about the history of photography and the ways in which this art form has contributed to our visual culture. On this course you will learn how to develop and explore your ideas through observations of the world around you, experiment with a range of techniques and processes and respond to the work of others.  This very popular course will deepen your appreciation of the visual world and help you to achieve the technical skills to respond to it in a creative way.

Year 12

In the first year of the course students learn how to use the technical potential of their cameras. Exploring techniques such as composition, lighting and digital editing whilst working in genres including portraiture, still life and landscape builds a solid platform upon which to build in the second year of the course. 

Year 13

Unit 3 Personal Investigation. This unit is an opportunity for the student to carry out their own research into an area of photography that is of interest to them leading to a practical personal response. This unit also involves the production of a written submission of between 1000 and 3000 words that clarifies the theme of the investigation, demonstrates the candidate’s critical and contextual understanding of their chosen topic and records the conclusions to their enquiry.

Unit 4 Externally Set Assignment. This is similar to unit 2 at AS but this time there are 8 starting points and the final the supervised time in which the candidates produce their final response is 15 hours.

Assessment

The final grade is based on the student’s coursework (usually based upon the portfolio produced in year 2) which is worth 60% and the externally set assignment (15 hour exam) which is worth 40% of the overall grade.

Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Edexcel)

Students who study this BTEC course will achieve a qualification that is worth one and a half A levels. The course is a great choice for students who enjoy learning about Art and Design through assignments which have a vocational context and all work is set in the form of the simulated work briefs. This course is a logical progression for those students who studied Level 2 Art and Design BTEC in year 11. 

Year 12

The first year of the course begins with an exploration into what the creative process is and how artists use it to generate and develop ideas and solutions within their work. After producing case studies into the subject, the students apply what they have learnt to explore how they can apply the stages of the creative process within their own working practice. In a separate assignment, learners explore contemporary craft design practices and materials, techniques and processes whilst designing and making items. Year 12 will also feature an externally set unit which will be completed in exam conditions. This controlled test will examine the students' abilities to respond critically to the work of artists and designers in both written and practical forms. 

Year 13 

In the final year of the course, In a separate assignment, students will develop their visual communication skills in a graphic design brief in which they will redesign a book cover for a classic novel. In the final assignment of the course, the students will look at how artists can communicate important messages and information. This brief sees the students generating ideas and developing artworks that communicate the threats to the environment which have been caused by humans' impact upon the landscape. 

Assessment

BTEC Nationals are assessed using a combination of internal assessments, which are set and marked by teachers, and external assessments which are set and marked by the exam board Edexcel. The assignments which are teacher assessed are rigorously moderated by standardisation checks from within the school and by the exam board.  Upon completion of the course, students will be awarded either a Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction* Level 3 BTEC. 

The creative industries contributed a record £91.8bn to the UK economy in 2016, which was more than twice the growth rate for the rest of the nation’s industries (source: CIC-Creative Industries Council). Many of our students progress onto a Foundation Course at the Arts University Bournemouth before studying a visual arts degree. Former students have gone on to work as artists, teachers, animators and social entrepreneurs.

Many of the students who study A level Photography at Poole High School go on to study the subject at degree level. There are opportunities within higher education to specialise in such disciplines as documentary, food, commercial photography and photojournalism. Many of our former students have worked in photography upon graduation in areas that include freelance photography, marketing and commercial photography.