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Art, Craft and Design A Level at Sherburn High School

Course description

Art, craft and design gives you the skills and knowledge to create personal and imaginative work. You can choose to focus on a specialist area of study from a variety of exciting processes and media to suit your individual interests and abilities. This can result in degree opportunities and careers ranging from painting portraits to producing exotic fashion costumes or designing futuristic architecture. If you have an adventurous, creative and enquiring mind and are excited by shaping and determining the visual world around us, there is a career opportunity waiting for you.

Course content

Year 1 – The Portfolio
You will produce a portfolio of work for component 1 which is 100% practical work exploring a range of different media, processes and techniques. Thematic projects enable students to develop individual responses and strengthen skills in preparation for year 13. AS and A-level are practical courses in which you learn by doing, so you will be able to create imaginative personal work. You will develop your creativity and independent thought, learn to express yourself visually and let your imagination flourish.

Second Year Units – A2 Qualifications Personal Investigation
This unit provides you with an opportunity to explore an independent theme of your choice. Alongside your sustained practical investigation and responses, you must produce a written, illustrated essay (1000-3000) words. This is a critical and contextual study that will support your practical work.

The Externally Set Assignment (exam)
This is the culmination of the course. The exam board release a number of themes you will select and respond from the theme of your choice. You are given a preparatory period to produce a sketchbook full of practical investigations and developments supported by influences from other artists/designers. You will have 15 hours supervised time to produce an ambitious creative response to your theme connecting to your development work from your sketchbook.

Study methods
Where timetabling allows we try to group the Year 12 and 13 art students together to create a collaborative studio environment reflecting an art college atmosphere. Students are allocated individual pods to work in the sixth form studio. All students can share ideas and support each other throughout the course. This has a truly beneficial effect on stimulating new ideas and approaches. We want you to develop into independent learners who use their creative skills and are willing to take risks with their work.

Entry requirements

The most important requirement is enthusiasm for Art, Craft and Design. A background in Art at GCSE level is a clear advantage at grade C or above. We will consider students from other creative disciplines or those that can demonstrate ability in this subject area


Year 1
Component 1 - Portfolio
100% practical assessment

Year 2 – A2 Qualification
Personal Investigation 60%
Externally Set Assignment (15 hours). 40%

Future opportunities

A career in the creative industry sector is one of the most lucrative and competitive employment opportunities you can take. Many of our students move on to study a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design or go straight on to a degree course at university. The creative opportunities for employment include: Animation; architecture; art therapy; exhibition designer; fashion design; furnishings; graphic design; illustration; interior design; landscaping; make-up; packaging design; photographer; set design; teacher; advertising; webdesign; sign writing; special effects or in film and television work some will go on to work as an artist.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 10 March 2017
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