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Art & Design (Fine Art) A-Level at Abbeywood Community School

Course description

Fine Art is primarily concerned with personal expression, with producing something individual and creative. The aim of the course is designed to encourage students to develop their interest and enjoyment in the study of Art and Design. Students will develop personal responses to ideas, observations, experiences, environments and cultures, and will work from their own strengths and interests. Students will make personal visual responses in painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, print and installation. This is an exciting course as it allows risk taking and visual problem solving whilst building on traditional techniques and processes. A willingness to take an independent interest in the world of Art by researching, visiting galleries and making inquiries is essential.

Course content

What will I study?

The first year (AS) coaches you in the development of a portfolio of varied artwork. This allows time to experiment with a range of materials, develop ideas, and produce a final piece or series of pieces of work. Starting points will be based on direct observation of your surroundings and a range of natural and man-made objects.

The work produced will show exploration, research, acquisition of techniques and skills. In addition there is an externally set controlled assignment to work on developing an artistic idea into a realisation/ outcome. The second year (A2) will comprise a personal investigation in which candidates develop work in response to an idea or theme of their choosing. Practical work is supported an essay analysing the work of a relevant Artist. Finally there is an externally set assignment which gives further opportunity to hone your skills and demonstrate competence in a particular artistic genre. 

How will I learn?

There will be a range of approaches to learning; most lessons will be practical and skills based using a wide variety of materials, some will involve research, investigation and reflection. Students will also record direct observation, develop ideas and techniques as well as learning to analyse their own work and the work of others in contemporary, historical and cultural contexts. Students could explore some of the following areas: painting, drawing and mixed media, including collage and assemblage; sculpture (including ceramic sculpture), land art, installation and construction; printmaking, relief and screen processes, photography, film, television, animation and/or video. Visits will be made to various local, national and international galleries and studios.

Entry requirements

5 GCSE grades A* - C including English Language and GCSE Art and Design grade C or BTEC Merit grade with a portfolio of supporting evidence


AS is assessed via an externally set assignment with a choice of 5 topics, worth 50% of AS. A Coursework portfolio is developed and is also worth 50%. A2 has an externally set assignment with a choice of 8 topics which will be worth 50% of A2 as well as a Personal Investigation which includes a related personal study 1000 – 3000 words, worth 50%.

Future opportunities

There are many careers in art, craft and design. Most require further study at an Art College, FE or University, with most students taking a one-year foundation course at Art College before applying to degree courses in more specialist areas of Art and Design. Careers where it is useful to have studied Art include advertising, marketing, design, architecture, publishing, media, conservation, restoration, illustration, web design, sculpture, painting and printmaking, in fact any profession looking for creative people.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 27 April 2015

Key information