Studying Art at Bloxham School
Studying art promotes creativity and self-expression, the ability to express opinions and to critically evaluate work, and practical skills in a range of media. Less obvious, but no less important are the character building skills such as resilience, co-ordination and self-confidence which this subject develops.
Art in the Lower School
Lower School pupils study art for one period each week, with the emphasis on building confidence in self-expression, fostering curiosity and developing practical skills. Drawing, painting, photography, animation, printmaking and sculpture are all taught and an exhibition of the finished work is held at the end of the year.
Visits are important to inspire pupils and we offer trips to view works at places such as Compton Verney, the Ashmolean Museum and Pitt Rivers Museum. We also run cross-curricular projects each year exploring how creativity can combine with other subjects to extend pupils' learning.
Art in Third Form upwards
Students continue to study art for one period a week in the Third Form and during this year they decide whether an art GCSE is right for them. There is greater emphasis on sketchbook practice and the development of ideas.
We follow the AQA syllabus in fine art. Pupils continue to develop their skills through a Foundation course training in painting and drawing, printmaking and photography. This work is internally assessed with the best pieces included within students’ Coursework Portfolios.
In the Fifth Form one major coursework project is undertaken, based on an internally set theme. The other component of the course is an externally set exam project. Students are given six weeks preparation time and then sit a ten hour controlled test during which the final piece is produced. These two projects are assessed and externally moderated forming the GCSE grade. Coursework represents 60% and the exam project 40%. Students are expected to attend supervised prep on a Monday evening and drop in sessions on Tuesday and Wednesdays when required.
Throughout the course pupils are encouraged to explore their own ideas whilst also appreciating and analysing other artists' work.
Art in the Sixth Form
This two year course is run as an extension to the GCSE fine art (B grade at GCSE is desirable), and its focus is on experimentation and research skills. After a period of teacher-led instruction, to enhance skills in drawing, painting sculpture, printmaking and digital photography/photoshop CS3 manipulation, a themed project is set for which a high level of independent thinking and initiative is required. The coursework includes a 3000 word written investigation into an area of personal interest.
Keeping an exciting and up-to-date sketchbook is fundamental to the course and a vital record for assessment. Inspiration is taken from trips to galleries in London and Oxford, workshops from visiting artists and the excellent resources facility. A Coursework Portfolio represents 60% and a fifteen hour exam project, which like GCSE has a six week preparation period, is worth 40% of the total.
The course best suits those wishing to go on to study courses such as fine art, architecture, graphics, interior design, engineering but also those intellectually curious individuals who have a desire for self-expression and who see the potential for creative investigation into any subject.