The Art Department at Stretford Grammar School consists of three members of staff working in 3 Art Rooms. Art is taught to all students at Key Stage 3 and is an option subject at Key Stages 4 & 5. Mr Lea is the Curriculum Leader for Art.
The two members of staff are:
All members of the Art staff are experienced teachers who between them have a wide range of skills and specialisms within the field.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 the students are taught 3 hour-long lessons of Art per fortnight. The students are taught in form groups. At this Key Stage there is particular emphasis on developing students’ confidence within Art, both in terms of using different materials and processes and also in terms of their self-expression.
All projects will have one or more specific techniques for the students to practise, alongside a focus on a particular artist, designer or genre. Examples include ceramic Gargoyles, Art Nouveau using Photoshop, Cubist collages, Tessellating patterns using Printmaking and Fantastic Animals using Coloured Inks. Students are encouraged to develop drawing throughout the Key Stage.
The students complete much of their school work and all of their homework in sketchbooks. These are made available for purchase at the beginning of Year 7 and often last until the end of Year 9. The students take great care of these as they are artworks in themselves.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 the students who have opted for Art will follow the AQA Art & Design GCSE Level course, which is a broad-based endorsement.
The students are taught in 5 hour-long lessons per fortnight. We have two groups in each year at Key Stage 4 and in each of these there are on average 15-25 students. Within the course there is one coursework Component, The Portfolio Unit; and there is an exam Component – the Externally-Set Assignment – in Year 11, which concludes in a 10 hour practical artwork.
At this Key Stage the students will have a good base of confidence and ability, so we take the opportunity at GCSE Level to explore more complex themes and processes, and structure the tasks set to allow the students to develop their own style and preferred methods of generating ideas and artwork. By the end of the course many students are making almost all of their own decisions about their artwork.
The students do much of their coursework in A3 sketchbooks. These are made available for purchase at the start of the course alongside a suite of art materials as an Art Pack. Students are encouraged to take advantage of these discounted materials to help them with their homework tasks throughout the course.
At the end of the course, the students exhibit their work for moderation on large screens in the Atrium. This work forms part of the annual Art Exhibition Evening to which students and their family and friends are invited.
Key Stage 5
At Key Stage 5 the students who have opted for Art will follow the AQA (Fine Art) A Level course. This allows for a wide range of approaches which reflects our students’ work at this stage.
The students are taught in 8 hour-long lessons per fortnight in Year 12 and 9 hour-long lessons in Year 13. We have one group at Key Stage 5 and in this there are on average 4-6 students. Within the A Level course there is a coursework Component, the Personal Investigation; and there is an exam Component – the Externally-Set Assignment – concluding in a 15 hour practical Exam.
Within the A Level coursework Component we run a course of life-drawing. This takes place within timetabled Art lessons and there is no charge. This course is included as it improves the students’ overall drawing ability.
At A Level, the emphasis is on allowing the student to work as independently as possible. Within simple and open-ended themes, the students are encouraged to develop a range of possible outcomes that build upon their previous skills, or use techniques that they wish to explore further. The focus is on individual, personal response, and as such students have produced work in a wide range of forms, including film, photography, fashion design, edible artwork, large-scale three-dimensional artwork and conceptual artwork.
The students work in A3 sketchbooks and journals in addition to the other work produced.
At the end of the course, the students exhibit their work for moderation on large screens in the Art Rooms. This work forms part of the annual Art Exhibition Evening to which students and their family and friends are invited.
The Art Department offers many opportunities for students to further develop their skills and confidence outside of lesson time. There is a weekly Art Club open to all students, a Weaving Club, and the Art Rooms are open every lunchtime for students to continue with current Art work.
Each year the Department is asked by at least one outside agency to produce artwork. In recent years this has included large mural work for Victoria Park, Clifton House Psychiatric Unit, The Environment Agency, the Elephant Parade at the Trafford Centre and Longford Primary School. These commissions are carried out by students from Key Stage 3.
Students have exhibited work at the Portico Gallery in Manchester, Sale West Development Centre and at Sale Waterside.
In addition, the Department has run trips to Salford Quays, Manchester Art Gallery, the Whitworth Gallery, Liverpool, London and Andalucia in Spain.