Welcome to All Saints Art & Photography

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Art Curriculum Intent


Creativity comes in many forms, so we offer exciting opportunities and diverse courses to our young artists. We have pathways in place to ensure pupils who want to explore the subject more, or have designs on a career in the Creative Arts, have a suitable next step to progress to. The All Saints Art & Photography Department invests heavily in KS3 pupils, as they are our GCSE and A Level students of the future.

Our Instagram page (allsaintsyork) celebrates student success every day, and enables KS3 pupils see what our KS4 and KS5 students are working on. This virtual link has inspired many KS3 pupils to study Art and Photography further, as well as attracting attention from global professionals who follow us and comment on posts. A commission from a Danish design company was secured for one of our Year 13 Photographers after they saw her work on Instagram!

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Extensive Provision

We have a traditional darkroom on both sites, as well as professional etching presses. At Upper School we have a photography studio, assorted specialist equipment and a dedicated Sixth Form study area. Printmaking and Photography are very close to the department’s heart, so we are excited to be introducing photo lithography and photo screen printing in the near future. This will enrich student experience and their interview portfolios.



Celebrating Success

We showcase our GCSE and A Level work in ‘TALENT’, our end of year show. With generous sponsorship from local companies we curate a very impressive and professional exhibition across three rooms, featuring work of varied scales and media. We also release our TALENT box set of prints for purchase – these are very popular and include stunning prints of A Level Art and Photography work ready to frame.


Core Art & Design – Year 7 through to Year 9

When our new pupils arrive in Year 7, they often haven’t done much artwork due to regular tests and exams at their Primary School. Our first aim, therefore, is to help them fall in love with Art again! They enjoy one hour of Art per week, and begin with a Foundation Course to sharpen skills, that may be a little rusty, and learn new ones as their confidence grows. We investigate mark-making by designing a fantasy dinosaur, colour theory using Hundertwasser’s exciting landscapes, observational drawing, paint mixing, contextual studies and annotation. We then apply these new skills in completing challenging projects when they are fully equipped and primed to succeed.

Through KS3 we deliver diverse projects such as Perspective, Portraiture, Land Art, Cubist Still Life, Expressionist Print and others. We adapt our projects to challenge the groups we teach and don’t stick rigidly to written plans or calendar dates – we creative types need the freedom to explore ideas and try new processes.


Art Enrichment – Year 8 & Year 9

This course is perfect for enthusiastic pupils who want more Art in their timetable - it gives an additional 2 hours of Art per week, so we can do lots of exciting activities we can’t fit into normal lesson time.

Over the two years, students embark on various projects exploring drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, printing and photography. They get access to the darkroom and professional etching press due to the extra time we have to train them in these specialist areas, and this helps their work become more diverse, experimental and mature. We build their confidence with a variety of materials and introduce large scale work, ceramic glazing, murals, photograms, drypoint printing, Art History and many other exciting activities.

Art Enrichment prepares students for our GCSE and A Level courses and gives them the chance to really express themselves, their interests and ideas. This is a unique opportunity not to be missed!


Early GCSE Sculpture

This is an exciting course where students learn how to develop their creative ideas using a range of sculptural materials including clay, plaster, wire, wood, card and even found objects. It really is a hands-on course and students get very involved with the materials when creating their 3D pieces. The many weird and wonderful 3D creations posted on Instagram are based on natural forms, architecture, seed pods and statues.

For coursework, students produce a ‘portfolio’ unit made up of a series of exciting workshops, showing a broad base of experiences in Art and Design, including drawing, painting, ceramic glazing, sculpture and digital photography. Students then complete an exam where they’re given a number of starting points - they choose their favourite to base their project on! Once they’ve decided on the theme and done some research, they develop their personal response and showcase the many skills and ideas on the way to a fabulous final outcome... it’s a real achievement!

You must take GCSE Art & Design or GCSE Sculpture to study A Level Art

It is also highly recommended for A Level Photography


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GCSE Art & Design

This is an excellent step towards the Creative Arts and offers a chance to explore artistic strengths and interests. We help students with drawing, painting, Photoshop, collage, sculpture, photography and printmaking, as well as teaching research, presentation and time management skills. This will help in many other subjects too.

In addition to one large coursework project, students embark on a personal project of their choice. This can be based on virtually anything - Gaming, Horror, Sport, Horses, Vintage Collage, Fashion Photography, Warhammer, Harry Potter, Abandoned Buildings and Manga have all been successful projects devised by our GCSE students. Students who have studied GCSE Sculpture with us often use their 3D and construction skills to their advantage and create adventurous outcomes.

Many students continue on to study A Level and then go onto University, leading to careers in advertising, animation, architecture and interiors, car design, illustration, gaming, fashion, film and TV, fine art, graphic design, photography, teaching and web design.

You must take GCSE Art & Design or GCSE Sculpture to study A Level Art

It is also highly recommended for A Level Photography

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A Level Art & Design

This course challenges and excites creative students and enables them to make meaningful outcomes exploring drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, digital media and sculpture. We have a spacious art studio with a professional etching press and offer photo lithography as well as screen printing. We also have a dedicated Sixth Form study room.

We tailor our delivery to the needs of the individual using one-to-one tutorials, enabling us to stretch students’ understanding and technical ability. Students also learn from each other and share ideas through regular group discussions and presentations.

Projects are personalised to our students’ interests where possible and at the start of Year 12 they’re given choices regarding media and influences. Titles such as Anatomy and The Natural World lead into specific themes to study and use to generate a personal response. These initial studies develop and expand into mature, personal investigations, culminating in accomplished outcomes. In the first year of the course students complete two projects, one of which is run as a rehearsal exam to prepare them for the second year of the course. Guidance is always available.

Either of the first year projects can form the start of the coursework unit, submitted at the end of the second year. An essay, based on the personal investigation theme to show a broader understanding of the concepts involved, accompanies the coursework unit. The exam unit is set by AQA and offers several starting points to choose from and develop creatively. A preparatory period is followed by 15 hours of supervised time to produce personalised final outcomes.

This course successfully prepares students for direct entry onto an Art Foundation Course and a range of Art related Degree courses such as Architecture, Graphic Design, Illustration and Printmaking.

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A Level Photography

Our course trains students in the art of digital and traditional image making. We have a photography studio with professional backdrops, Photoshop, digital cameras, lenses, filters and a traditional darkroom.

Students first create an exciting sketchbook exploring the use of digital cameras, lenses and equipment used in the production of successful photographs. Assignments such as Structure, (Self) Portraiture, Fashion, Cars, Landscape, Collections and Surreal Editing run alongside technical workshops looking at depth of field / shutter speed and editing. All assignments involve a critical studies element to enrich outcomes.

After exhibiting work in our end of year show, students develop a personal investigation and have full ownership of this. The bulk of the research and photo shoots are completed over summer and the investigation is completed in Year 13 as coursework, accompanied by an essay. The essay is based on the personal investigation and shows a broader understanding of the concepts involved. The exam unit, set by AQA, offers many starting points to choose from and develop creatively. A preparatory period is followed by 15 hours of supervised time to produce final outcomes.

This course successfully prepares students for direct entry onto a range of Photography Degree courses and offers skills for life!

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