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Art (Fine Art) A Level at Plymouth High School for Girls

Course description

Most of the information we receive about the world is visual. Design and aesthetics are a crucial aspect to the world in which we live. A Level Fine Art provides students with many subject-speciÚc skills, standing pupils in good stead to work in creative industries (these industries make up a third of UK’s economy and depend on visual literacy).

Fine Art creates students who have a strong sense of their own identity – by exploring and making individual decisions on areas of interest, students begin to understand themselves better, knowing what inspires, motivates and interests them.

Fine Art allows students to understand how they Út into the world around them, by engaging with artwork and ideas of others, both from the past and from today. Fine Art empowers students, showing them that they can be active participants in their world.

Fine Art gives students the conÚdence to manage their own projects – to make critical decisions in order to move forward. These skills transcend the subject, as they teach students that, through hard work, by taking informed risks and by making eÙective decisions, they can take their skills to very high standards – that they have within themselves the ability to achieve excellence.

Course content

Unit 1 – Personal Investigation - Extreme Emotions (60%) - initially teacher-led leading to pupil led Únal outcomes.

Unit 2 – Externally Set Title Assignment (40%) - pupil-led project with teacher support.

Unit 1 – Personal Investigation - Extreme Emotions
- The Úrst coursework unit looks at how a wide range of artists across time have sought to describe diÙerent human emotions through their artwork. Students will be introduced to a huge selection of diÙerent artists, ranging from legendary artists of old to today’s stars of the Art world. Students will be taught speciÚc concepts and techniques mainly that fall under the Extreme Emotions title in four Art disciplines. The 4 disciplines are: Drawing; Photography; Painting; Mixed-media.

- At the end of the programme of study under each discipline students will need to present a Únal piece that demonstrates their ability in that discipline.

- To complete the project students are challenged to create outcomes that demonstrates their ability, developing an area of strength/interest from earlier in the project. Students will then reÛect on their strengths, successes and areas of interest and choose one area covered under the four disciplines that they would like to develop further. Students will develop their skills towards producing a Únal piece/series of pieces that reÚne their skills to even higher levels.

- Students must attend a compulsory 8 week Life Drawing course in school during the Autumn term from 16:00 until 18:00 on an allocated evening. There will be a charge each session which will go directly to the life model. The Life Drawing course strengthens both students’ skills and portfolio considerably.

- A key component of the Personal Investigation is the written essay, where the students demonstrate their ability to research and investigate a speciÚc area of Art under a title of their own choosing in between 1000 and 3000 words.

- In November we will take in Personal Investigations for a pre-mark and students will complete a month of drawings that beneÚt their projects while we mark their work. We then give the projects back to students in December and students respond to our advice, reÚning their Artwork to even higher Únal standards

Unit 2 – Externally Set Exam

- A deep and thorough personal project developed from an externally set title over an 8-week period, led by the student with teacher guidance.

- Students will receive the exam paper and decide on their own area of study. Students will then lead their own project and will develop their work (students develop skills or areas of interest from the previous Unit) to a Únal piece undertaken in exam conditions for 15 hours (3 school days).

- All development work is produced with the teacher’s assistance, except for exam Únal work which is undertaken in controlled conditions which is unaided.


Students applying to study the course must have achieved a grade B or above in this subject at GCSE. If the course is oversubscribed then a B does not guarantee a place as those with the highest GCSE grades will be given priority. All students will undertake a trial period (1 st 4 weeks). We welcome applications from enthusiastic students with a commitment to study and a passion to engage with the visual world around them.

Future opportunities

A Level Fine Art is necessary and relevant to many courses and careers including Advertising, the Media, Fashion & Textiles, Cultural studies, Film, Game, Interior, Graphic Design, Architecture, History of Art, Museum work and Teaching. Fine Art is also recognised in professional areas that require hand/eye co-ordination, e.g. surgeon/dentist. A full portfolio of work will be produced which can be tailored for entry into any Visual Arts course.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Plymouth High School for Girls directly.

Last updated date: 03 March 2017

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