Subjects
at Cockermouth School

Art & Design

Art and Design has the power to deepen, broaden and transform the lives of our students. It is our role to bring to the surface the creativity within students, to teach them to accept themselves and connect with their surroundings. The visual nature of the subject lends itself to be a valuable source of self-expression and discussion in the whole school and wider community. As a department we are keen to introduce our students to the exciting opportunities available within the creative industries.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

In year 7 students are introduced to a broad range of new techniques, materials, artists and themes. These experiences will set the foundations for developing as an effective artist and creative thinker.

Students work through two different topics and engage in practical tasks, discussion, group work and homework projects. Each theme is designed to develop a balance of practical skills, knowledge and understanding. Students experiment with both 2D and 3D formats and explore techniques including painting, printing, collage, textiles and sculpture. Themes followed are Sweets & Treats and Flora & Fauna.

Drawing is seen as a fundamental art skill; in year 7 students begin to develop a more realistic style of drawing and are taught the importance of keen observation, accurate line and use of tone. Base line assessment takes place after the first half term to ascertain how much knowledge and skill the students have developed; this is used to set a target range for the students to work towards throughout Key Stage 3. 

Year 8

During year 8 students build on the skills, techniques, knowledge and understanding introduced in year 7. They are encouraged to refine their work and challenge themselves creatively. Students study two topic areas Transforming Nature and Architecture. Within each topic students explore multiple artists & designers work, investigating their processes and techniques. They will use this knowledge to develop their own ideas for artwork through independent study, group work, written tasks, practical tasks and homework projects. Drawing continues to be developed as a fundamental skill and students build upon their use of accurate line, shape, texture and tone. They will learn the importance of the design process and the different forms drawing, sampling and making can take.

Year 9

The study of Art and Design in year 9 is an exciting time; we ensure that our students are introduced to various Art and Design career paths to inform them if they wish to make that discussion to further their studies beyond Key Stage 3.
Students work through two different topics of Day of the Dead and Selfie. They engage in practical tasks, discussion, group work and homework projects. Each theme is designed to develop a balance of practical skills, knowledge and understanding. Students will experiment with both 2D and 3D formats and explore techniques including painting, graphics, printing, collage, textiles and sculpture. Students are encouraged to express themselves creatively with their artwork and developed their individualism through the different projects; the work of all our students is regularly exhibited in themed exhibitions in the Eco Centre.

Key Stage 4

GCSE ART & DESIGN

GCSE Art & Design Covers a wide range of disciplines. The course develops both artistic and design skills using a variety of art materials, processes and media. The disciplines of ceramics, sculpture, print making, illustration, painting and photography art are explored.  The appreciation of both historical and contemporary artists and designers is an integral part of both the GCSE courses. 60% of the course is made up of two pieces of coursework.

Year 10

Students work from direct observation using an array of still life materials within the theme of Creature Features.  All Art students take part in an art enrichment visit to a local wild life park to gain first-hand information, sketches and photography; this work is then developed into many different disciplines.

Year 11

Students finish their coursework with a project entitled Layers, this broad based theme allows personal expression from a variety of starting points. Students use their newly gain confidence to explore more personal themes. The exam board issues the exam paper in January and a body of work is produced with the guidance of the class teacher until the end of April when the students complete a 10-hour exam piece that summarises the chosen exam brief.

Key Stage 5

A LEVEL ART, CRAFT & DESIGN

This course gives students a rounded exposure to different aspects of Art, Craft & Design allowing them to display their abilities in a variety of artistic disciplines and demonstrate their understanding of these contexts. Students are given the opportunity to develop skills in Photography, Fashion, Sculpture, Mixed Media, Ceramics, Drawing, Painting, Illustration, Print making, Textiles and Graphic Design.

Year 12

The appreciation of the work of other artists is a vital part of the A Level course; 60% of the course is made up of coursework, this forms a personal investigation, decided by the students following an art enrichment visit to a collection of city art galleries. Students produce both a written essay and a body of practical work that covers at least two disciplines from above.

Year 13

The personal investigation practical work is completed by January. The exam board issues the exam paper in February and work is produced with the guidance of the class teacher until the beginning of May when the students complete a 3-day, 15-hour exam piece that summarises the chosen exam question. 

Outside the Classroom

The appreciation of the work of other artists is a vital part of Art and Design education students are introduced to both historical and contemporary artists. There are numerous opportunities to taking part in the Art enrichment visits to both local and national galleries. Only when young people can appreciate their own surroundings and existence can they appreciate a wider cultural experience and begin to learn their own significance. We enjoy close links with both local and national creative communities and cultural institutions and are connected to a wide range of external organisations such as C Art, The Big Draw & The University Of Cumbria’s Art and Design faculty.