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Visual Arts: Graphics at The Sixth Form College Solihull

Course description

This course allows students to develop their design, illustration and digital photography skills, as well as introducing a range of computer design software. This is a creative course, with the emphasis on practical project work, supported by analytical and written elements throughout. Essential and meaningful gallery visits will help inform your contextual investigation and support your idea generation. You will also have the opportunity to collaborate on a live brief in which you will be asked to design a poster for the department’s end of year exhibition, gaining invaluable vocational experience. A prize will be awarded to for the chosen designer and the poster will by screen-printed both for display and your portfolio. Your end of Year 12 and Year 13 final outcomes will be exhibited in the department’s end of year exhibition. You will be supported in developing an online portfolio of your work throughout the year which will aid your progression in to both HE and/or employment.

Course content

Year 12
The new specification (introduced in 2015) allows for an introductory, skills based period where students’ work will not be externally assessed. This is a time for experiencing the opportunity of working with a wide and exciting range of materials, media and processes. You will develop skills in areas such as drawing, the use of computers and design related software as well as printing techniques. You will be supported by your teachers, who will be preparing you for the challenge of the personal investigation project, which you will start later on in the year and continue with in Year 13. You will be introduced to a range of contextual inspirations and will develop skills in research and analysis in order to support your practical investigation.

Year 13
The second year is split into two components; the personal investigation project that will be completed by January, and the externally-set assignment, which runs from the start of February to the handing-in day in the middle of May. Both of these projects will be an opportunity for you to follow a personal direction, building on your individual strengths, interests and future progression goals.

Personal Investigation: The personal investigation project, which is practical by nature, leads to a final piece(s) and is supported by a compulsory written element that links the work of other practitioners to the project. In this component you are in charge and with our support you will produce a portfolio of work that reflects your strengths and interests. You will be encouraged to work in a variety of ways, exploring fully the subject you have chosen.

The Externally Set Assignment: Similar to the last component, but working from a series starting points set by AQA, you will produce a portfolio of work that leads to a final piece(s), produced in exam conditions. This work will be personal to you and can be produced using techniques and materials that you have chosen. Students, by this stage, are independent learners, who work alongside the teachers in the department to realise their ambitions and be given support with their chosen progression pathway.

Entry requirements

3 A level Programme:
The majority of our students will choose to study 3 A level courses and will commit to these subjects for the full 2 years. Entry requirements for this programme are:

• At least two grade 6s or B grades at GCSE
• At least a further three grade 4s or C grades at GCSE
• You should have at least a grade 4 or C grade in GCSE English Language AND Mathematics.

Please note that there may be additional entry requirements specific to particular courses – please check each course listing on our website carefully to ensure you understand these entry requirements.

4 A level Programme:
Some very able students may choose to study 4 A level subjects. This will include all students who choose to study A level Further Mathematics, who will pick Mathematics, Further Mathematics and two other subjects. These students must commit to these 4 subjects for the full 2 years. Entry requirements for this programme are:

• At least five grade 7s or A/A* grades at GCSE
• You should have at least a grade 6 or B grade in GCSE English Language AND Mathematics.
• Students picking Mathematics and Further Mathematics will need to get at least a grade 7 in GCSE Mathematics.

A GCSE pass (A-C) in Art, Graphics, Textiles or Design and Technology is essential. Students must be prepared to work hard and have a passion for this subject. A personal approach is encouraged throughout the course and it is expected that students will work in their own time to independently develop their projects. In addition, standard A level entry requirements apply.


The Personal Investigation (Coursework) – 60%
Externally-set Assignment (Exams) – 40%
Examining Board – AQA.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Sixth Form College Solihull directly.

Last updated date: 20 September 2017
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