Art & Design

If you have any further enquiries, please email Mr Stuart Bannister, Head of Art, at

Why study Art?

Art is a subject that requires a keen interest in drawing and painting and is a challenging and rewarding subject to study at A Level, whether or not you wish to continue to study the subject at University or Art College. It promotes problem solving, experimentation, creativity, image analysis and Art History and helps provide a greater appreciation of the visual world we live in today.

What does the study of Art involve?

The College follows the OCR examining board specification, where students are expected to develop their own ideas, through skilful recording, experiment with a range of materials and techniques and present final outcomes that are clearly inspired by the artwork of others. We provide you with the facilities and support necessary to develop your skills to produce high quality, creative and individual pieces of work. The course will involve classroom study and practical work as well as gallery and museum visits where you will explore the work of a variety of artists. However, you are encouraged to undertake independent research, using various sources of information, including the internet.

Why at Salesian College?

Candidates who have studied GCSE Art will have a very good grounding in the traditions and techniques of a wide range of art, providing them with a sound basis for the demands of the A Level course.

A Level students have their own Art room at the College, which is available to all at any time. The Art room is well equipped and resourced, including computers that can be used for research and experimentation.

What does the course involve?

Year 1. You will develop your own ideas through a project theme of your choice. This will encompass classroom work which will be workshop based where you can explore and experiment with different art ideas, materials and techniques. You will be expected to conduct individual research analysis of other artist's styles and show an understanding of how to apply this to your own work. At the end of the year you will need to submit a portfolio which will demonstrate the breadth and depth of study, selecting your best work as well as showing the ability to develop a project from an idea to a finished final piece.

Year 2. Unit 1. This is a practical unit that includes written elements, in which you are expected to develop investigation based on an idea, issue, concept or theme, leading to a finished piece or pieces. It involves contextual studies which relate your work to other artists and includes preparatory work as well as a written study of no more than 3,000 words. The practical work in your project (60% of your final grade) should demonstrate confident skill and understanding of manipulating a variety of art materials.

Year 2. Unit 2. This is an externally set assignment (40% of your final grade) which will require you to undertake preparatory work, in the format of a practical project, which leads to a 15 hour, examination final piece.

What is expected from Art Students?

A Level Art requires you to undertake a lot of work independently and so you have to be self motivated and enthusiastic about the subject. You will be encouraged to develop your ideas outside the structured lessons, and should therefore be prepared to work at home, having a range of art materials available there. In return, you will receive from the teachers all the support that you need, as well as regular, constructive feedback on your progress.