Art and Design

Senior school > Curriculum > Art and Design

Gresham’s Art Department covers the whole spectrum of Art and Design. We offer A levels in Fine Art, Photography, Graphic Communication and Three-Dimensional Design.

The freedom within each of these routes allows pupils to produce work which blurs the boundaries between disciplines. The breadth of choice allows each pupil to explore areas of Art and Design which they have a particular interest in and also allows those moving on to a degree in this area to focus on the aspects of the design curriculum which will best prepare them for their chosen specialism.

As a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) subject, our Art Department is now located in the Dyson building.

Pupils are taught the key technical skills to articulate ideas in the most sophisticated way possible while also encouraging a conceptual foundation to the process of making. The department continues to encourage ambition and risk taking and also gives pupils the opportunity to fully exploit the access to facilities within the department. We also generate opportunities for pupils to blur the lines between disciplines and reflect the fluid nature of contemporary Art and Design. This not only broadens the pupils skill set but also provides opportunities for entirely new ideas to emerge which keeps us all on our toes.

We pride ourselves on preparing pupils extremely well for the move onto degree level and in the last few years pupils have left us to continue their education at some of our countries best Art Schools. These include Glasgow School of Art, Central St Martins, The Slade and The Ruskin Drawing School.

GCSE pupils may choose two of the three courses offered here for options. Three Dimensional Design replaces DT as a GCSE in the School’s curriculum.

A level pupils who are focused on a future path within the creative industries can choose to study more than one creative A level. However, it is not possible to study both Photography and Graphic Communication. We would also strongly recommend that all pupils choosing a creative A level should have GCSE experience in a creative subject.

YEAR 9

In Year 9, pupils take part in an intensive eight-week programme in both Fine Art and Design Practice. During this period, pupils have three lessons per week in each of these areas. The course is designed to introduce pupils to the broadest range of experiences possible in recording, making and critical analysis of contemporary practice in both Fine Art and Design. By the end of each rotation, pupils will have a solid grounding of the fundamental building blocks inherent in the creative process. They will gain skills as diverse as painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, model-making, digital photographic manipulation and digital modelling.

In Years 10 and 11, pupils can choose to study a GCSE in Art, 3D Design or Graphic Communication. Due to their similarity, pupils are not able to choose all three options at GCSE, but can choose to take two as part of their options.

GCSE ART

Year 10 and 11 artists follow a course aimed at giving them the skills and knowledge to produce informed, personal and accomplished work. Pupils work across a range of disciplines and media, with drawing from direct observation being central to the course. Reference to masters both old and modern is expected and a willingness to experiment with ideas and materials is welcome. Pupils are expected to take advantage of the art department’s long opening hours to develop their work in their own time.

GCSE GRAPHIC COMMUNICATION

The course introduces pupils to a visual way of conveying information, ideas and emotions, using a range of graphic media, processes, techniques and elements such as colour, icons, images, typography and photographs. Pupils should conduct primary and secondary investigations during their design development, and explore traditional and/or new technologies. The course will be built upon an ethos of risk taking and experimentation which is driven by an understanding of contemporary practice.

GCSE THREE DIMENSIONAL DESIGN

This course is concerned with the designing, prototyping, modelling or making of functional and aesthetic consumer products, interiors and architecture. Pupils should engage with appropriate processes, materials and construction techniques, using maquettes, models and working drawings to help take their initial ideas through to realisation. The course will be built upon an ethos of risk taking and experimentation which is driven by an understanding of contemporary practice.

A LEVEL ART (FINE ART)

Entry requirements: Grade 6 in GCSE Art or equivalent. A level pupils who are focused on a future path within the creative industries can choose to study more than one creative A level. However, it is not possible to study both Photography and Graphic Communication. We would also strongly recommend that all pupils choosing a creative A level should have GCSE experience in a creative subject.

Pupils who study Fine Art will develop skills that encourage innovation and a contemporary approach to the creation of art. Their work will be informed by a broad understanding of current trends and methods within contemporary art as well as a firm grasp of many technical processes. Our pupils become extremely familiar with the process of making and the course is rooted in the acquisition of practical skills fused with a mature engagement with conceptual ideas.

A LEVEL GRAPHIC COMMUNICATION

Entry requirements: Grade 6 in GCSE Art or equivalent. A level pupils who are focused on a future path within the creative industries can choose to study more than one creative A level. However, it is not possible to study both Photography and Graphic Communication. We would also strongly recommend that all pupils choosing a creative A level should have GCSE experience in a creative subject.

Pupils will explore all aspects of graphic communication from the design of typography through to digital animation and everything else in between. They will develop key technical skills in the manipulation of image and colour as well as a broader understanding of contemporary approaches to visual communication. Students will not only be taught how to create impacting and inventive work, but also the importance of presentation in bringing this work to the audience.

A LEVEL PHOTOGRAPHY

Grade 6 in GCSE Art or equivalent. Pupils who are focused on a future path within the creative industries can choose to study more than one creative A level. However, it is not possible to study both Photography and Graphic Communication; pupils would be required to make a choice between those two disciplines. It is also highly recommended that all pupils choosing a creative A level should have GCSE experience in a creative subject.

Pupils will have the opportunity to learn and develop skills in both digital and analogue photography. Pupils are encouraged to be ambitious with their work, and the studio facilities allow pupils to combine photographic techniques with other processes such as laser cutting, cyanotype, heat transfer and sublimation printing. Pupils use their research to inform their own art-making practice. The department has a well-equipped dark room.

A LEVEL THREE DIMENSIONAL DESIGN

Entry requirements: Grade 6 in GCSE Art or equivalent. A level pupils who are focused on a future path within the creative industries can choose to study more than one creative A level. However, it is not possible to study both Photography and Graphic Communication. We would also strongly recommend that all pupils choosing a creative A level should have GCSE experience in a creative subject.

Three Dimensional Design pupils will study the techniques used within contemporary design to generate ideas and then bring these ideas to fruition as fully functioning objects. They will develop skills across a wide range of 2D and 3D processes and also reflect on the work of other practitioners within the realm of contemporary design. Projects are designed to encourage innovation and a risk taking approach to the subject where playing with ideas becomes a natural part of the design process.

IB VISUAL ARTS

Entry requirements: Grade 6 in GCSE Art or equivalent

Pupils will engage in a broad range of elements connected to the production and curation of visual Artwork. The course is designed to allow pupils the opportunity to explore materials and processes from the outset but also to hone their skills in conceptualizing and expressing themes with maturity and depth. The course culminates in a curated exhibition, which is the visual results of each pupil’s creative journey.

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