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Art & Design A Level at Shirley High School Performing Arts College

Course description

In this course option, the student and the art teacher will decide in the first week of September the most suitable A level course from Art, Craft and Design, Fine Art, Graphic Communication and Textiles. Students should already have an understanding of the basic elements of art and some appreciation of the role of art, craft and design in the world.

Course content

The skills that will be developed are varied but include the following:

  • A working knowledge of materials, practices and technology within art, craft and design or fine art or graphic communication or textiles
  • Being able to give visual form to personal thoughts, observations, feelings and ideas
  • Experimental, analytical and documenting skills
  • 2D & 3D work, drawing, mixed media, printmaking, painting, graphic communication and textiles
  • Gallery visits and the use of a sketchbook are essential components of the course

Entry requirements

A strong interest in the visual world, in drawing, painting, sculpture. A willingness to research and develop ideas through observational drawing and analysing the work of artists and designers. The ability to work to deadlines and a high level of motivation. All applicants will need to present a portfolio of work for viewing at interview.

When qualifying to study A level subjects we will accept a ‘5’ as the equivalent grade for the new GCSE 1-9 measure for English and Maths. Most A level courses require a ‘B’ which is the equivalent of a ‘6’. BTEC Level 2 qualifications will only be counted in place of one GCSE subject. This is because they are not considered to have the required breadth of study necessary for the demands of a varied combination of A level subjects.


Work is internally assessed throughout the course and externally moderated by the AQA moderator at the Final Exhibition. In Year 13 students will follow a similar working pattern as in Year 12 but in greater depth illustrating progression.

Year 12

  • Component 1: Portfolio of work = 60%
  • Component 2: Externally Set Assignment 40%. Start February 2018

Year 13

  • Component 1: Personal Investigation and extended essay of 2500 words of continuous prose = 60%
  • Component 2: Externally Set Assignment = 40%. Start February 2019.

Written and verbal feedback is given throughout the course. There is an internal assessment during the Autumn Term.

Future opportunities

This course leads naturally to careers in fine art, graphic design, fashion, advertising and product design. Art and Design courses are also useful for careers in such fields as architecture, landscape design, marketing, publicity, arts administration and the media.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Shirley High School Performing Arts College directly.

Last updated date: 21 November 2017
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