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Art A Level at Don Valley School and Performing Arts College

Course description

AS Level Art, Craft and Design builds upon GCSE or BTEC Art. It aims to expand your skills through a series of intense theme-based projects and critical studies visits. The skills covered within the course include drawing, painting, digital photography, 3D and illustration. The course leads to an AS qualification which can stand on its own or lead to A2, the full A level qualification.

Course content

AS Art, Craft and Design – Year One

This broad course is aimed at students who have studied GCSE Art and achieved a grade C or above or BTEC students who have achieved a Merit or higher who wish to study Art further. For this you will produce two units of work.

  • Unit 1 (50% AS)

This unit explores a range of media, techniques and art practice, you will be required to produce a portfolio which shows evidence of your ability to explore the work of others, record ideas, experiences and insights using a range of media and techniques, develop ideas and produce final outcomes informed by your investigations

Portfolio Projects

Natural Form: working with a practicing ceramic artist using drawing and visual research to create 3-D responses to the work of contemporary ceramicists

Light and Shadow: drawing, painting, 3-D, photography and ICT work in response to the work of Sugimoto and Morandi

Tim Burton: exploring illustration techniques to create an illustration for Burton’s poems.

  • Unit 2 (50% AS)

This unit takes the form of a timed test (5 hours) responding to a theme set by the exam board plus preparatory studies. You will choose the style of art practice you wish to follow and respond appropriately to that brief.

  • Externally Set Assignment. Project themes chosen from those set by the Exam Board to complement work done in the Portfolio Projects
A2 Art, Craft and Design– Year Two

The second year of study is about building on skills and ideas developed during the AS course to produce creative, mature and technically proficient work showing personal commitment, flair and individuality. For this you will produce two units of work.

  • Unit 3 (50% A2)

Personal Investigation. Site Specific Artwork: producing a piece of work as a legacy for the college which explores the theme of ‘the school experience’ in response to the study of the work of other artists.

This unit allows you to develop a personal project, from preparatory studies to a final piece, based on a theme. It involves producing contextual studies which relate your own work to other artists/ designers using. You will produce a 1000 word (minimum) written element for your personal investigation project.

  • Unit 4 (50% A2)

Externally Set Assignment: You will choose your own project theme chosen from those set by the Exam Board to complement work done in the Personal Project.

This unit is in the form of a timed test (15 hours) responding to a theme set by the Exam Board producing preparatory studies and leading to a finished piece of work. Again you will build on existing skills using the style of art practice of your choice.

Throughout both courses you will have clear feedback from your teachers about your progress and you will be encouraged to develop your work and ideas outside of lessons.


Entry requirements

A minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade C or better. No more than two applied courses can count towards this total and each applied course counted has the equivalence of only one GCSE, regardless of its nominal size. In addition, students must achieve the specific entry requirements which may apply to this course.

Future opportunities

The skills acquired will be essential for students who see themselves as painters, graphic designers, fashion and textile designers, film makers, interior design consultants and for career paths where an Art background is becoming increasingly relevant in advertising, publishing, architecture, museums, theatre or Art gallery work.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Don Valley School and Performing Arts College directly.

Last updated date: 30 June 2015

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