By Ms Charlotte Owen, Head of Art in Secondary

Our Year 11 GCSE Fine Art and Year 13 A Level Fine Art students are taught how to critically analyse the artwork of a range of relevant art movements and artists. They learn to master applying subject specific vocabulary to create in depth artwork analysis, giving their opinions about the effects of the formal elements applied, whilst also comparing and contrasting the work of one artist with others. These critical thinking, speaking, and writing skills are highly transferable and beneficial to many other subjects and careers.

Our students learn throughout the two-year course how to develop their original concepts and visual ideas, informed by the thorough research of the artists they independently chose in relation to their starting point. These techniques require higher level and lateral thinking – the ability to generate new ideas and think outside of the box. Again, this skill is highly transferable. Many employers state that creative and flexible thinking is a number one skill that they are looking for in prospective employees, no matter the field.

Throughout their course, the students have explored and refined their application of drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, digital art techniques and textiles. We aim to cultivate independence and resilience within the students, so that they can effectively select the media which best suits their concept and skill set. Resilience is vital as a GCSE/A Level Art student, as things often don’t go to plan. Our students have demonstrated excellence in their ability to effectively record their creative process (errors and all) in their sketchbooks through annotation and see their mistakes as an opportunity to learn or go in an unplanned direction.

Year 11’s exam theme this year was ‘Power’, whilst for Year 13 it was ‘Observe, Seek, Challenge’. We are very proud of all students for how they approached the exam preparation period, and indeed the final exam itself.

We really hope that you enjoy looking at and reading about the artwork that has been created by our qualification students during their two-year course. We are so proud of their creativity, their resilience, and their dedication. We were delighted to celebrate their successes on 14 June for the inaugural opening of the 2024 Young Caxton Artists’ Exhibition.