AQA GCSE Fine Art/Photography
Students are taught for 3 hours per week in both Year 10 and Year 11. During that time students work towards completing a GCSE in their chosen endorsement.
The GCSE is made up of 2 components: Component 1 - Portfolio (coursework) 60% of the qualification and Component 2 – Controlled Assessment 40% of the qualification.
The final examination is a 10 hour practical piece, usually completed over 2 days. We also try to give the students the opportunity to work with an artist in resident and/or participate in workshops at local universities and colleges to expand their skills and knowledge.
AQA GCSE Fine Art
The course starts with a very structured prescriptive painting project on Portraiture. This is so that the students understand the assessment objectives to make them into independent leaners. It starts with teaching initial proportions of the face, then experimenting with different media. The artists’ we study are Lucien Freud, Claude Cauquil, Tim Okamura and Ben Tour. All these artists bring different styles of painting from expressive to realistic. We explicitly teach students about these artists so that they are able to develop and be influenced by, and appreciative of, these artists.
The students are encouraged to take photographs to support their work which helps them to make design ideas to take through to a personal outcome.
Architecture- ‘A sense of place’ – this is teaching the disciplinary knowledge of print-making. This project starts by retrieving knowledge on one and two point perspective taught in Year 8 and developing their knowledge through to more expressive drawing styles on different scales. Students are taught mono-printing and dry point etching and shown numerous artists which they then choose 3 to inspire their personal work.
They develop their design ideas looking at the rules of composition in connection with their chosen artists’ and explore different media experimentation. Some students choose to build their confidence using photoshop, initially using simple techniques and tools and then gradually expanding their understanding.
Each project in turn allows more and more time for students to develop their own independent and individual work. David Hockney Joiner - this is a mini summer holiday project, thereby the students research David Hockney expanding on their knowledge however looking at his joiner series and use of photography this time. We re-visit the ideas and concepts of Cubism and look deeper into synthetic and analytic cubism analysing and comparing and contrasting the historical with the contemporary pieces. Students make different series of photomontages from their photoshoots understanding the process Hockney uses to create a whole image using multiple viewpoints. The mock exam project builds upon this idea, as students are only given a starting point, before being guided through a number of stages allowing them to develop their own outcome. This is important preparation for the final externally set examination.
AQA GCSE Photography
During the first year of their GCSE course, students explore 3 broad projects, which develop their understanding of digital photography and the cameras themselves.
They gradually build their confidence using photoshop in the Portrait project, beginning with simple techniques initially, and gradually expanding their understanding. Abstraction builds upon this understanding showing students the breadth of the subject via a wide range of artists’ work both fine art and photography. It also allows them access to the darkroom as well as giving them the opportunity to create pinhole cameras.
Surrealism gives students a chance to clearly see links between contemporary photography and historical art movements. It also allows students to return back to digital manipulation as a focus and really start to develop the fine quality of their own imagery.
Each project in turn allows more and more time for students to develop their own independent and individual work. The mock exam project builds upon this idea, as students are only given a starting point, before being guided through a number of stages allowing them to develop their own outcome. This is important preparation for the final externally set examination.