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Art A Level at St Augustine's CE High School

Course description

Component 1: Personal investigation
In year 12 students will complete a Foundation stage working in different areas of fine art: drawing, painting, collage, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. This is supplemented with lessons in critical and contextual studies and trips to central London galleries. Students will develop personal responses to the theme Culture and Society. The development of ideas is documented in a sketchbook and the project culminates in an ambitious final piece.
In year 13 students develop their personal investigation further, creating work based on an idea, issue, concept or theme leading to a finished outcome or a series of related finished outcomes. Practical elements should make connections with some aspect of contemporary or past practice of artists and/or photographers and include written work of no less than 1000 and no more than 3000 words which supports the practical work.
Component 2: Externally Set Assignment
The title for the A-Level Fine Art exam project will be released in early February. Students have a period of 8-10 weeks (plus the spring half term and Easter holiday) to develop ideas through preparatory studies before spending two days in the department realising a final outcome as part of the 15 hours, controlled assessment.

Course content

Year 12
Foundation – Culture and Society

Exploring personal ideas independently through 4-week introductory workshops.
  • drawing
  • sculpture
  • painting
  • printmaking
  • film/photography
  • collage
  • gallery visits, artist talks
  • prepare for A2 Personal Investigation.
  • presentations
Critical and contextual lessons to support understanding and written analysis of modern and contemporary art concepts. ‘Ways of Seeing’ John Berger.
Year 13

Personal Investigation, written and practical components
  • 3 strands on chosen theme of interest
  • five-hour HW pieces completed
  • complete first draft of essay
  • Foundation/degree applications
  • complete final draft of essay and present through Blurb books or Photo Box
  • develop and refine area of interest
  • complete final piece(s) mock exam
  • Exam unit


Students receive feedback regularly throughout the course so that they are clear about how to progress and develop their ideas further. Feedback takes a variety of forms: written assessment and next steps advice, self assessment, one-to-one tutorials, and group critiques in which students present their work to their peers.

The coursework unit (Personal Investigation) forms 60% of the overall mark for A-Level. Students begin developing ideas for this in year 12 and complete this component in the autumn and spring terms in year 13. The externally set exam component is completed in the summer term of year 13 and is worth 40% of the overall mark for the A-Level.
Assessment Objective 1 - Develop ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding 
Assessment Objective 2 - Explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, reviewing and refining ideas as work develops 
Assessment Objective 3 - Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions, reflecting critically on work and progress 
Assessment Objective 4 - Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements

Future opportunities

Students who have successfully completed the A-Level in Art have all been able to secure places on foundation diplomas in art and design and/or first degrees in art and design related areas including architecture and fine art. 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Augustine's CE High School directly.

Last updated date: 28 March 2017
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