Art and Design

(Part of the Art, Design and Technology Faculty)

The Art and Design Department is committed to encouraging and supporting creativity, personal expression and independent learning within the world of Art and Design. We want all our students to develop a secure knowledge and understanding of the Visual Arts which, in turn, inspires them to explore and experiment and investigate through a wide range of media and techniques.

Rationale and aims:

We encourage the students to build on their skills, knowledge and understanding which they have developed in their primary schools.

We aim to develop and strengthen their fundamental awareness of the world around them by teaching them observational drawing skills, how to use a wide variety of techniques and processes, how to experiment with different media, how to develop their imagination, how to appreciate the work of other artists and designers and how to begin to develop a personal style.

We want them to be adventurous, innovative and expressive in their creativity. We also aim to teach them how to experiment with different processes confidently and safely such as drawing, clay, wire, printmaking, silk painting, painting and digital/lens based media.

We ensure that the learning environment is safe and allows all students to develop their skills and discover their strengths and allows them to utilise their own experiences to be creative and independent.

Focus for year 7 students:

In year 7 the focus is on developing the students’ basic drawing skills (particularly observational drawing from primary sources), investigating new ways of working using both 2D and 3D media and techniques and securing their understanding of prior knowledge and skills. We want students to develop their independent learning skills and particularly develop their confidence levels. Year 7 is about building the foundations for them to make progress as they move up through the college.

Focus for year 8 students:

During this year we consolidate the learning that has taken place in year 7 – focusing on observational drawing skills, developing a visual language and developing confidence and competence when using a variety of media. We also start to introduce some more challenging topics – more complex colour theory, symbolism in art and further media to challenge the students and to encourage them to be adventurous and take more risks. Year 8 is about investigating, experimenting and developing skills.

Focus for year 9 students:

Year 9 is a very important year as it allows students to put into practice the skills that they have developed in the previous two years. The projects allow students to investigate, experiment and to use their own experiences to create exciting and original work. This will be especially important for students who have opted for Art and Design at GCSE. Year 9 is a crucial year for strengthening and establishing these skills which will become so important when they embark on their GCSE course.

Focus for year 10:

Those students who have opted for GCSE Art and Design will begin their exciting journey of becoming artists. They follow an Unendorsed Art and Design GCSE Course which exposes them to numerous different aspects of Art and Design, allowing them to display their abilities in a variety of artistic disciplines and to demonstrate their understanding of the Visual Arts.

The course prepares them well for Post 16 Arts Education but is also viewed as an important GCSE by all sorts of employers and colleges as it demonstrates that students are creative and have an understanding of the world around them.

The emphasis is on student-led investigation, personal response and creativity. The students will be introduced to lots of different skills, tools, media and processes which will prepare them for their Portfolio Unit which consists of 60% of their total GCSE grade. This unit will begin in the Summer term of year 10.

Focus for year 11:

The students should now have a wide range of skills, knowledge and understanding at their finger-tips and, as a result, should be confident about completing their Portfolio Unit. The students will be working hard preparing for this Unit and will experience the 10 hour Mock exam towards the end of the Autumn term. This will be done in two 5 hour sessions over 2 days where they will produce the final piece for the Portfolio Unit. In January they will be given the final exam paper for the Set Task and will have at least 6 weeks to prepare for the real 10 hour Exam at the end of the Spring Term. Again we encourage students to be adventurous and to develop a passion for being creative – we want them to be expressive and imaginative, innovative and experimental.

Focus for A level:

Our KS5 students follow an Unendorsed ‘A’ Level in Art and Design which builds on skills and develops in more depth and breadth that sense of Personal Style. They have an opportunity to experiment with a wide range of media, visit galleries and exhibitions, work alongside local FE and HE colleges to explore the latest technologies and processes and to really develop their self-knowledge and their visual knowledge.

We ensure that students work with staff with specialist subject knowledge and skills and we tailor the course to make certain that students can develop their strengths, interests and passions and can really begin to develop their personal style.

Many of our GCSE and ‘A’ Level students have gone on to have very successful careers in the Art World and Design Industries as a result of their initial Art education at TCC and we are very proud of their successes.

We are very lucky to have our own gallery space, Kensa Gallery, which is a dedicated space that allows us to exhibit a wide range of work – from Primary schools, a Staff Exhibition through to GCSE and ‘A’ Level exhibitions. We have also worked with the Faculty to take students to London, to local exhibitions and have utilised the local environment – such as Antony House – to inspire our students’ creativity.