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Art, Craft and Design A Level at Nailsea School

Course description

This course will encourage you to develop your artistic and creative responses to a range of subject matter and themes. Whether your main interest is in painting, clay modelling or design, the course can be adapted to suit your creative interests and skills. Over the two years you will be expected to plan, resource and develop projects in an increasingly independent manner, showing that you can work meaningfully with a number of different media to communicate your ideas. You will also explore the use of drawing for different purposes, using a variety of methods and media.

Course content

There are two units of work to complete each year. In Year 13 these are ‘Component 1: Personal Investigation’ and ‘Component 2: Externally Set Assignment’.

You will be expected to demonstrate skills in your chosen area of study within Fine Art (painting, mixed media, printmaking), Graphic Communication (design, illustration, graphics), or Three-dimensional design (sculpture, ceramics, environmental design) etc A high level of commitment is needed, as you will be expected to work with independence, and guide the direction of your projects, with the support of your teachers.

Art, Craft and Design students are expected to make regular trips to local galleries, and keep sketchbooks that document your contextual investigations, drawings, and developing ideas.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements are a grade 4 and above at GCSE Fine Art or 3D Art.

Entry to the Sixth Form is not automatic, but depends on:

Achieving 5 grade 4s or above for entry to level 3 courses and meeting the individual entry requirements of your chosen Level 3 courses.


During the Personal Investigation you are required to conduct a practical investigation into an idea, issue, concept or theme supported by written material (between 1000-3000 words). The Externally Set Assignment is published by AQA in February of each year, and following a preparatory period of work students will undergo a 15-hour (3 day) supervised exam, during which you will culminate your investigation.

Future opportunities

  • Foundation Course Diploma in Arts/Media Arts (diagnostic courses designed to help students to target a specialist area for study within the Arts).
  • Degree level courses in Fine Art, Illustration, Media Arts, Animation, Textiles, Graphics and Architecture.
  • Careers in any number of creative industries; galleries, education, design, media, advertising

Further information

Former Student:

A Levels: Textiles, Art, History

Level 2 Courses studied: Overall I was very pleased with my GCSE results as I achieved all grades above a C in all my subjects. I was particularly pleased in receiving an A in Fine Art, an A* in Textiles and an A* in History as these were the subjects I wanted to take onto A Levels. I was presently surprised at these grades but I did work hard all year while completing my art and textiles coursework units and revised thoroughly for my history exams at the end of year 11. From receiving my GCSE’s it did not change my choices for A Level as I was happy with the grades I received.

Reasons for taking course: I took Textiles, Art, History and Psychology at AS Level and I have carried on Textiles, Art and History through onto A2.

I chose Fine Art because I have always been passionate for this subject from a young age. I plan to carry the subjects Art and Textiles through into my further education and future job.

What I liked about this course: The course is very independent, allows you to do almost any type of art and also enables you to learn new and advanced techniques. If you have any interest in possibly wanting to get involved in a career that could include art, I would highly recommend taking this subject. The teachers are experienced, easy to talk to and always are there to help with your developing project.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 28 November 2017

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