Art is a curriculum subject for all pupils in Years 7-9. Pupils have one 40-minute lesson per week. In the middle of Year 9, pupils have an opportunity to choose to take Art as an option subject for their GCSE. Our examination board is Edexcel. Pupils in Years 10 & 11 have four 40-minute lessons per week and are taught in small class sizes. During Year 11, pupils have an opportunity to choose to take Art as an A Level option subject. Our examination board is OCR. Pupils in Years 12 & 13 have seven 40-minute lessons per week and are also taught in small class sizes.
Year 7 pupils come to us with a range of ability in Art; we engage them in observational drawing from the start, helping them understand how to look, observe and draw. We teach them the basic skills using line, tone and colour, but more importantly, we teach them to have confidence in what they produce. We look at objects from nature and get the pupils to work in media that they have never tried before. We make them think creatively, vocalise their thoughts and opinions about Art and get them to work three dimensionally producing sculptural outcomes. The year is fun, creative and leads well into Year 8, where we focus on colour.
In Year 8 we look at abstract portraiture and facial features. We experiment with their faces and work is produced using mark making techniques in black and white. Artists are studied to influence outcomes and pupils’ skills are enhanced and broadened to help them become better artists. By Year 9, pupils have a stronger ability to draw and this is continually looked at whilst bringing in new skills in stencilling, spraying and paper cutting. Year 9 prepares our pupils for GCSE. The course is aimed at challenging their own thoughts about modern artists, our society and branding. It takes on a graphic design element and enables boys as well as girls to enjoy the Art course. Our Art pupils have had a full and rounded experience of the arts with an appreciation of artists and other cultures relating to topics they have covered over the key stage.
GCSE Art at Immanuel is a popular option. Pupils who choose to take this subject tend to do extremely well, gaining levels 1-9. We work 1:1 with our pupils at this stage, forming a partnership of creativity so that we get the best from them. Pupils work in paint, textiles, paper craft, graphics and sculpture to find the media that suits their abilities and they refine their work as it progresses making sure that they are meeting the standards. Immanuel College’s Art department has a strong reputation for producing high grades at GCSE, giving our pupils a thorough grounding in artistic styles and techniques.
At A Level our pupils have become more independent, but still receive the support from staff 1:1. At this stage, we encourage the pupils to have concepts behind their work, pushing the boundaries of ordinary art. Seeking new artists to be inspired by and creating work that is experimental and inventive. Our A Level pupils always gain A-A* grades and those that do carry on into the Arts regularly proceed to Art Foundation courses at the country’s top institutions.
Extra-curricular activities include an after school Art Cub for Years 1- 6 on two separate days of the week, a creative club once a week for our Year 7 & 8 High starter pupils and a felting and textile club after school once a week for Year 9 pupils who are interested in GCSE Art. Our GCSE pupils also have the opportunity to attend a construction and paper craft club which is held one lunchtime a week. Our clubs give our enthusiastic, artistic pupils opportunities to work with media they may not get to use in lessons. Our Sixth Formers are invited along to these sessions to build their leadership skills and have an opportunity to impart their artistic knowledge to the next generation. We also invite other Jewish primary schools to participate in one day art workshops at the College and find they benefit hugely from this experience. Every year we run a Chanukah card competition that runs throughout the key stages. Pupils have an opportunity to create and design a card. The chosen winners have their designs published and sold to raise money for charity. Furthermore, every summer we put on our Art & Photography exhibition. Pupils display their work from GCSE to A Level. Parents and other invited guests come along to an evening filled with speeches and an opportunity to view the work. It is a wonderful event showcasing the high standard of work being produced by both departments.