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Art & Design (Fine Art) AS & A Level at Biddenham Upper School and Sports College

Course description

Do you enjoy exploring ideas and looking at things in a different way? At Biddenham we offer a broad-based course exploring practical, critical and contextual work through a range of 2D and 3D processes and media. The course is practical in nature and will give you the ability and skills to appreciate the visual world and respond in an imaginative and personal way.

If you have an adventurous, creative and enquiring mind and are excited by shaping and determining the visual world around us, then there is a career opportunity waiting for you. The course prepares students for employment and/or further studies beyond A Level Art and Arts related courses.

There are four units in this course, two taken in the Lower Sixth and two in the Upper Sixth. The Lower Sixth areas of study lead to an AS in Art and Design and this can be taken as a stand alone subject or as half of the full A Level Course.

Course content

There are three routes on offer:


Fine Art
Drawing, painting, mixed media, Sculpture and digital photography

For the first term you will experience all three subject areas and be introduced to a range of associated skills. As the course proceeds you will be able to select the direction that you want to study in more depth. The three routes are linked by emphasis and similarity in terms of CREATIVE THINKING. Drawing techniques will be on aspects of visual investigation and used for the development of ideas.

In lessons the skills developed will be varied: Among them will be a working knowledge of materials, processes and techniques. Imaginative powers and critical abilities will be developed experientially.

Lessons will involve drawing/photographing various stimuli for the formation and development of visual ideas. You will practice various techniques and then experiment to extend and apply these skills. This creative process is annotated to interlink practice and critical thinking, e.g. what makes Modern Art Modern? and takes the form of a visual diary.

AS and A ‘Level are practical courses in which you learn by doing. You will learn a range of practical techniques and processes and develop your creativity and independent thought; learn to express yourself visually. Whatever practical area is chosen it will be underpinned by drawing techniques and the investigation of relevant art and design theory to support the development of ideas. Art and Design in a great companion to all other subjects as imagination and problem solving skills can give you insights for your other studies.


A Level
AS Unit - One: Personal Investigation (60%)

Unit Two Externally Set Assignment. (40%)

The lower sixth year will be building up skills. In the Upper sixth year students will write a Personal Study and pursue more personal lines of enquiry.

NB: Students who have not studied Art for 12 months or more will need to complete a portfolio of tasks which would be independently assessed.

The best foundation for success in Advanced Subsidiary and Advanced GCE in Art is a good grade at GCSE. However, if you have aptitude for the subject, if you are creative or good at drawing you may have the basic skills to succeed. However, this course is not an easy option and you should be prepared to work hard at developing your abilities. You should have an understanding of the basic elements of art and also some understanding of the place of art and design in the world, its history and its purpose. Above all you should have enthusiasm for the subject.

Future opportunities

There are many careers in Art and Design. You may want to take ‘A’ Level Art, Craft & Design for its’ own sake or perhaps to form the basis of a future specialist interest or as part of a range of other subjects. You might wish to go into a job where it is useful to have had experience of Art and Design or where you will need to use some of the skills developed during this course. These might include careers in such fields as advertising, marketing, design, architecture, publishing and media. The study of art can also help you develop transferable skills you can take into any career or job.
Many students go on to study the Foundation Course in Art and Design before specialising in Art or Design at Degree Level.

Further information

Course contact: Mr A Kavanagh,

Exam board information: http//,craft&design/specification/

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Biddenham Upper School and Sports College directly.

Last updated date: 04 November 2016

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