The Art Department at Audenshaw School has three specialist Art teachers and three fully equipped Art rooms including a specialist ceramic room. All have networked computers, scanners and colour printers.
In Year 7, form groups are taught together as a class of 30 and pupils stay with the same teacher for the whole of the first year. In Years 8 and 9 forms are split in two and taught in mixed ability groups of 15, which allows classes to experience a much wider range of practical activities. These groups complete two major projects with two different teachers over the course of each year.
All KS3 work focuses primarily upon building and developing strong drawing and painting skills but projects also include elements of digital and new media and pupils are introduced to simple 3D and relief work. By looking at the work of other artists, a movement in art or art from another region or culture (e.g. Aboriginal painting) pupils also learn to analyse and evaluate imagery and to articulate their thoughts, ideas and feelings. These are vital skills in a world where visual literacy is increasingly important.
Art is an optional subject at KS4. Boys choose to follow the AQA GCSE Fine Art option in which 60% of marks are awarded for coursework completed throughout Year 10 and 11 and 40% is awarded for a final, externally set exam. Teaching groups do not exceed 20 pupils and all are in mixed ability sets. Boys stay with the same teacher for the whole of the GCSE course and the range and content of the projects on offer changes every year. Often work is based upon images seen during a galley visit offered at the end of Year 9.
At A-level our students follow the AQA Fine Art course and are encouraged to work much more independently. They are increasingly free to select the theme of their own coursework and are expected to experiment with a wide range of materials, techniques and ideas. This course allows students to focus on drawing and painting or to explore a range of other areas such as Textiles, Ceramics, Photography or 3D Design.
Both the AS and the A2 course are split into two separate practical units (coursework and exam) each of which carry equal weighting. Both courses involve much more focused and independently researched critical and contextual studies but the A2 coursework – the Personal Investigation – also demands a formal 3000 word written response.
Results in the department are consistently excellent. The 2012/13 cohort are on track to achieve 80%+ A*-C at GCSE 100% A*-C at A2.
Many of our A level students opt to study Art at degree level.