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. For those who prefer to express themselves through lens based media we offer an A Level in Photography. Students who enjoy learning through vocationally based assignments we provide a level 3 Foundation BTEC in Art and Design. 

Departmental Courses

A Level Art

A Level Photography

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.

Who can I contact for help?

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

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

Unit 1 (AS) Portfolio of Work. This will include a range of personal work that will be carried out in response to a theme that will be set by the school. Towards the end of the course, the student will select a representative body of work that demonstrates the knowledge, skills and understanding that they have acquired during this foundational stage of their studies.

Unit 2 (AS) Externally Set Assignment. In this unit the students will choose from one of 5 starting points from a paper published by AQA. After a period of preparation time, the students are given 10 hours supervised time to produce a personal and creative photographic outcome to their chosen question. As most students are expected to continue on the course to the second year, the year 12 exam unit is used for skills development and exam practice only and does not contribute to the students A level grade.

Year 13

Component 1: 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.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment. In this externally set project the student chooses one of 8 starting points. After researching and generating and developing ideas for 10 weeks, the students are given 15 hours (3 school days) of supervised time in which to produce a practical response which is the culmination of their investigation.            

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.

Who can I contact for help?

Should you require any further information as you prepare to begin your A level in Photography please contact:

Mrs Wells j.wells@poolehigh.poole.sch.uk

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.

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. 

Who can I contact for help?

Mr A Pawley (a.pawley@poolehigh.poole.sch.uk)

Art - Handbooks and Summer Tasks

Updated: 12/04/2021 833 KB
Updated: 12/04/2021 817 KB