KS4 Visual Arts & Design
The Visual Arts & Design department is strongly committed to giving students a broad experience of a whole range of key visual arts and design disciplines at Key Stage 4. We offer an innovative approach to making work through a course that involves both traditional and experimental exploration of materials and concepts. We are involved in exploring new technologies within contemporary practice and strive to give students the essential practical, written and verbal skills in communicating ideas effectively in their own work. The BTEC Tech Award in Art and Design Practice comprises of a number of units over 2 years.
Students follow studies in general fine art and design, introducing students to many of the following areas: drawing and painting, sculpture, photography, graphics and multimedia, animation, fashion, illustration and textiles. There are opportunities for specialising further in some areas later on in the course. The exact units students follow are subject to facilities/staffing and interests of the new intake.
The present BTEC units are:
- Introduction to Specialist Pathways in Art & Design
- Creative Project in Art & Design
- Communicating ideas in 2D
- Communicating ideas in 3D
- Developing an Art & Design portfolio
- Investigating contextual references in Art & Design
- Graphic Design briefs
- Visual Arts briefs
- Art, Craft & Design in the Creative Industries
The key areas students will work across may include:
- 2D/3D Fine Art
This area focuses on traditional and experimental approaches to fine art, including drawing, painting, installation and mixed media, and the use of digital manipulation packages, as well as a variety of approaches to sculpture.
This area covers both traditional black and white and digital photography. They develop an understanding of the darkroom, SLR camera mechanics and photographic concepts such as depth of field, shutter speed and apply this to themed based photographic work. Digital photography includes use of digital cameras and Photoshop to further explore ideas. Camera skills will also be transferrable to all projects to aid visual recording.
- 2D/3D Design
This area involves traditional and digital graphics, new media, animation, jewellery and 3D product design. Students will explore a variety of approaches to typography and create a range of graphics products. Animation involves drawn and digital techniques such as use of Flash software to create a short sequence, as well as traditional drawn techniques involving storyboards, pop-up and flip books.
- Textiles, Craft & Printmaking
This area covers a range of practical textiles techniques across aspects of printed and stitched textiles, embroidery, printmaking, including screen, mono, dye sublimation work. Students will learn how to translate their techniques into final designs through fashion illustration.
- Critical & Contextual Studies and Art & Design Industry Research
The study of others' work is an integral part of this course across all disciplines, and includes studying current professional practice in visual arts and design to ensure students are aware of current industrial developments, and roles and responsibilities in a cross section of the industry. This involves both written analysis and reproductions of work either from first hand experiences e.g. during a gallery visit or from research in books and the internet. This enables students to make connections between their own work and that of others, to further extend their understanding. Students have also gained an insight into a range of industries through visitor talks and workshops.
Students will be introduced to a range of new areas and develop specialist skills in response to a range of briefs. During the course each student is responsible for building up coursework to meet the qualification requirements. The programme is assessed by a range of methods including projects, sketchbooks and both oral and visual presentations.
Throughout the course students build a portfolio of work, which will give them an excellent foundation on which to build at Post-16 level. Throughout, students will have the chance to exhibit their work, both in the school and wider community. In recent years, students have appreciated the opportunity to put on a Year 10 show at Dulwich Picture Gallery and have enjoyed working on cross-curricular projects with other strands.
The course combines written and practical work, individual and group work and aims to use vocational briefs to develop good working practice in a range of situations.
Our facilities are all housed in brand new state-of-the-art accommodation:
- Visual arts & design studios
- Textiles studio
- Photography darkroom and studio
- Computer suites with specialist computer software including multimedia packages
- Print workshop
- 3D workshop
Students successfully completing this course have the opportunity to apply for the Visual Arts & Design route at Post 16, or may wish to study A Levels at a different institution.
How to Apply
Questions to be answered in section 7 of the application form:
a) What art and design techniques or equipment have you used? Why have you chosen these?
b) What ICT programmes or online applications have you used and how? Give examples of how this has developed your art and design work.
c) Tell us about yourself and your experiences in visual art and design. What artists have inspired you and why?
d) Choose a piece of art and design work and describe what you think is effective about it.