Why Choose Fine Art?
As technology advances, creative development is sought after in many varied career paths. Studying Fine Art enables students to develop skills to interpret the world around them in imaginative ways. You will acquire a working knowledge of Fine Art methods and practices, documenting the process using a variety of recording processes to produce a personal response using a range of traditional and experimental methods including oil painting, printmaking, sculpture and digital art. You will obtain analytical skills; develop a visual vocabulary documented in a variety of mediums, gain confidence in interpreting the work of others, their place in history and impact in the modern world in addition to conveying your own ideas about your practice.
What will you learn?
Students will produce two units of coursework during the first year, which are based on students’ interpretation of a passed A Level exam paper. Initially staff will deliver workshops, introducing students to a range of drawing, painting, printing techniques and sculpture techniques; students are encouraged to take their own photographs or work from life, translating these sources using the methods learnt in the workshops. As the course develops, students work independently in sketchbooks, identifying their strength in a particular discipline and investigating professional artists’ work and exploring their methods. You will learn to develop your creative ideas to produce a final piece in a format that demonstrates your artistic strengths.
In addition to the practical work, you will produce an essay based on your choice of theme. To support students in the personal study, the department deliver monthly sessions based on current exhibitions in London galleries. Students visit the exhibitions, reflect on the artists’ work and discuss the concepts in group sessions.
The second year of the course comprises another coursework unit and an Exam unit, which is 40% of the final mark.
Why study Fine Art at Ashmole Sixth Form?
Fine Art is delivered in a 6th Form studio that students are permitted to work in during their study periods. The studio is equipped with a wide range of materials and equipment relating to drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking. You will have access to computers, photography equipment, digital art tablets and a Kiln room for ceramics.
Students are encouraged to enter their work for National and Local Art exhibitions; each year a number of A Level students’ work are selected for the National Students’ Art Exhibition and we enjoy excellent community links with the Bank of Cyprus, who annually select work to be exhibited the local branch and their Head Office.
To further develop Year 13 students’ knowledge concepts within the Exam Unit, an outside facilitator has delivered a workshop, discussing theories with students, introducing conceptual artists and exploring means of incorporating these into their own work. Furthermore, students have enjoyed a visit to the Saatchi Gallery, a group discussion on the exhibition and a workshop relating to the exam theme.
For more information on subject content structure please click here for the Sixth Form Information Booklet.
For admissions criteria for each subject please click here for the Sixth Form Prospectus
"I chose to study Art at A Level because it gives you the opportunity to have creative control over the work you produce, as well as communicate your concepts across in an expressive way. I like that there are little boundaries when it comes to your projects, so you get to produce art that showcases your individuality.
Everyone produces original work, which shows off their creativity as well as their take on the project. Art classes are very enjoyable and focused as everyone is working on their own projects, which reflect their concepts and views on certain topics. You can really embed ideas that you are particularly passionate about in your projects, from current affairs to historical events. The department exposes you to a range of media that you can work with so you are never restricted to a particular medium. You are constantly looking at the work of other artists and using their work to influence your own, whether that be through their style of work, the media they use or their concepts. When it comes to your artwork, you are given a lot of independence, although you are still given the advice and guidance of the teachers about what direction your project is heading.
I have really found the exhibitions and galleries we visit out of school interesting as they open your mind up to different art forms as well as helping you to form a more critical view on art. Whilst having class discussions about exhibitions we have visited, you get to share the opinion you have formed and it is interesting to hear about other people’s interpretations, which usually vary.
As an ambassador for Art, I have helped with events like Secondary Transfer and Sixth Form Evening, talking to students in younger years about the subject. After A Levels I hope to go on to do a degree involving Art and go on to have a career in a creative field. Art is a fantastic subject choice for A Level as it really gives you the freedom to express your creativity."
"I am a Year 12 student currently studying Art. I chose Art as a subject because it allows me to explore my creative side and exhibit my artistic skills. Art offers you the opportunity to extend yourself and step out of your comfort zone through experimenting with various medias, textures, surfaces, tools and many more. Art gives you the chance to think of a concept of your choice relating to the theme, and then have that illustrated in front of you. What stands out in Art that you would not find in many other subjects is the level of authenticity in work produced as everyone has a different mind-set, which means by the end, everyone will have an innovative art piece, completely different from the others.
One part that I feel has become very beneficial to me is going out and visiting art galleries and exhibitions, whether they be local or into Central London as I have been able to take inspiration from famous or upcoming artists. The visits have really taught me how to find original concepts that I hope to apply to my own work. It also takes you out of where you live and what you’re comfortable in to whole new surroundings that could be used as part of your artwork as well. In the department, I take the role as ambassador to help with events after school, such as the Sixth Form Options Evening and Secondary Transfer, specifically speaking to younger years about Art as an A Level, and what it entails over the period of two years. After my A Levels, my plan is to further study at a UAL university taking a degree in Fashion Communication or Journalism.
I think Art is a very good choice for A Level. It Is 60% coursework and 40% exam, which means you work mostly in your sketchbook and occasionally out of it until you are to produce a final piece. This gives you a lot more freedom for the duration of the project, as you will be able to produce all kinds of work relating to the theme. I have also noticed that the seminars that take place relate to the essay section that we will do in Year 13, which means we are more prepared for the future tasks. Personally, I think the most important thing about Art is that you make your idea your own as all the teacher gives you is a title and then you create a whole project out of that. The Art teachers are very good at giving you a level of independence in what you do, which is a new concept in the step up from GCSE to A Levels."
To hear from our former students click here