The popular Fine Art course at Poole High School aims to enable students to develop their ideas and helps them to learn the practical skills they need to turn them into outcomes. During the course, students learn to express themselves in a range of 2 and 3 dimensional materials and to respond to the work of artists and craftspeople in ways which enrich their understanding.
‘A level Art gives me the space to explore techniques and materials in a creative way’ Wiktoria (Yr 12)
‘I love that we get to use different materials and are encouraged to develop our style but also to break the boundaries and step out of our comfort zones and try different materials’ Ali (Yr 12)
A-Level Fine Art
Why study A-Level Art?
By studying A level Art at Poole High School you will be able to extend your skills in traditional 2 and 3 dimensional art and craft as well as learning how to use digital techniques to create imagery. You will learn about the history of art as well as gaining a greater understanding of the work of contemporary artists and craftspeople. On this course will learn how to develop and explore your ideas through observations of the world around you, experiment with a range of techniques and materials and respond to the work of others. A level Art will deepen your appreciation of the visual world and your ability to respond to it in a creative way.
Unit 1: Portfolio of Work. This will include a range of personal work that has been carried out in response to a given theme. It will include first hand observations (drawings and photographs), material experiments and responses to the work of other artists. It will also include final outcomes which are the culmination of the skills, knowledge and understanding gained on the course.
Unit 2: Externally Set Assignment. This is a unit that is based around a choice of topics that have been set by the exam board. After a period of preparation time, the students are given 10 hours supervised time to produce personal creative outcome to their chosen starting point.
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.
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.
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.
Future Opportunities and Careers
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.