The art, design, and photography department at Gloucester Academy aims to introduce students to the most varied forms of human creativity. We believe that students should be inspired and challenged, becoming equipped with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent, and create their own works of art, craft, and design.
As pupils progress through years 8 and 9, they are presented with a set of projects and encouraged to explore a wide range of creative disciplines. Students are taught to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design in order to produce original and independent work. Becoming independent learners who are not afraid of making creative mistakes is an integral part of preparing for GCSE art.
Students should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity, and wealth of our world.
Select year group
Cycle 1: Proportions and Art Theory Students will learn about the proportions of the human face and develop their ability to use shade, tone, detail, and layers through a variety of techniques. They will explore colour theory and portraiture through various artists, such as Chuck Close, and develop an understanding of art history.
Cycle 2: Illustration and Imagination & 3D Sculpture Students will learn about the world of commercial illustration and its various disciplines. They will learn about the importance of imagination through 3D sculpture, recycling, and how illustrative art crosses many styles and techniques, such as Art Nouveau.
Cycle 3: The Scientific Artist Students will explore the use of art through the history of scientific research, looking at artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Ernst Haeckel. Students will also explore the technology that has been developed to create scientific imagery, from microscopes and telescopes to satellites. Work will take various forms, from figurative to abstract. Students will also develop their knowledge of abstract art and explore the petri dish art movement.
Cycle 4: Street Art In cycle 4, students will immerse themselves in the world of Banksy, Space Invader, Keith Haring, and Shepard Fairey. They will look at the concept of icons, the impact of pop art upon the art world, and how the idea of the readymade changed everything.
Cycle 1: Other Cultures Students will explore the Mexican visual culture of lucha libre. Students will look at various design examples and develop their own lucha libre character. They will then learn about handwritten typography and develop their own event merchandise. This project will focus heavily on printmaking and may extend into paper engineering, allowing students to produce two-dimensional promotional material as well as a three-dimensional paper-engineered Mexican wrestler.
Cycle 2: Perspective and Optical Illusions Students will engage with the technical aspects of perspective and learn to develop an accurate sense of depth and dimension. Monochromatic colour, optical illusions, and tessellations will allow students to explore colour, shade, and line as means to create abstract and figurative works.
Cycle 3: WW1 & Painting This project will help students learn the fundamentals of watercolours and acrylic paints inspired by works from war painters from the WW1 era. This projects seeks to drive their curiosity and reflect about the past and its consequences on the present day.
Cycle 4: Personal Project This project is a bridging project to GCSE level work where students will seek to understand the needs of GCSE assessment criteria and create pieces that will range in outcomes based on their investigations.
GCSE Art & Design (Unendorsed)
Coursework Unit 1: 60%
At GA, we follow the unendorsed course that allows students to create a rich and varied set of projects based on themes we have chosen. Art and design is a holistically assessed process based on four assessment criteria known as assessment objectives.
Current Themes: Cities & Man-made vs Nature
We set homework early on to investigate and research (AO1) a series of artists, craftspeople, and designers that inspire students to create a visual journey of ideas that involves experimenting (A02) recording via studies in various media such as painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, mixed media, printmaking, and photography (A03). Both projects result in a final outcome (A04).
We have chosen these two themes as starting points to be interpreted individually by students, much like a brief given in real industries such as graphic design, fashion, and the contemporary arts. By the end of the unit, students should have a minimum of two projects that meet the assessment objectives fully, using a wide range of media that is relevant to their intentions and brings resolution to their ideas.
External Task Unit 2: 40%
This unit is an externally set task in the form of a paper with unknown question briefs. Students have a much shorter period of time to choose a brief and work on a portfolio that leads to a final outcome that is created in a 10-hour exam over two days. Everything they have learned in unit 1 drives this process. The ability to generate original and creative ideas, drawing inspiration from other artists, working from photographs, and direct observation leads directly into their planning for a final outcome.
At the heart of The White Horse Federation is a belief in using collaboration to provide a first-class education to a wide range of children. This means that every child understands what they are capable of, and can collectively strive for excellence.