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Carshalton High School for Girls

Carshalton High School for Girls

Carshalton High School for Girls is a highly successful school, judged by Ofsted in January 2023 as ‘Good’ in all categories.

Art KS4

What will students study in Art this year?

At Key Stage 4 there is ongoing focus on students developing a greater independence of thought and skill, more confidence and skill in critical thinking, problem solving, research and analysis, technical skill and experimentation. Key Stage 4 culminates in our students completing a GCSE in Art or Photography.

Students will build on and develop the skills and themes they began to look at in Key Stage 3: their work will include landscape, portraiture, abstract photography and still life; they will be taught traditional techniques and skills but will also be encouraged and supported at all times to innovate and experiment. In a similar way students will be taught about the work and legacy of key artist, but will also be encourage and supported to look further afield to find their own sources for inspiration and research. Drawing skills are foundational to all artistic learning and so these will continue to be a focus for learning and development.

Our teaching at Key Stage 4 draws on the richness of art history, contemporary art and the creative industries, and we support and equip our students to navigate these sources with increasing knowledge and confidence. Integral to our teaching is the rich resource of London’s galleries and related online materials. While we do arrange some trips, students are encouraged to become independent in their exploration of the rich and varied resources to be found London’s museums and galleries.

GCSE level Art or Photography are subjects rich in transferable skills and would suit a wide range of pupils who may be interested in pursuing careers that require skills in critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, independence and innovation, as well as those pursuing the more traditional art related careers in fine arts, design, illustration, architecture, planning, advertising, media, communications, film and the performing arts.

What are the major assessments this year?

The main assessment at Key Stage Four is the completion of a GCSE in Art or Photography. Our students’ assessment is based on their work around 4 assessment objectives. 60% of the final grade is based on a portfolio of coursework while the remaining 40% of the final grade is based on an externally set assignment. Students are provided with individualised, comprehensive feedback at every stage. 

What do assessments test?

The Assessment framework is built around four key assessment objective which are as follows:

  • Assessment Object 1: Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating a sound critical understanding of sources.
  • Assessment Objective 2: Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.
  • Assessment Objective 3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to themes and outcomes as work progresses.
  • Assessment Objective 4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises themes and outcomes and demonstrates a solid understanding of visual language.

What are the expectations of my daughter in Art?

Students are expected to come to lessons well-prepared, with their sketchbooks, art materials and any other project specific resources. Students are expecting to make an effort to understand and practice the concepts and techniques they are taught, and to respond to feedback. We expect homework to be completed and submitted on time, and also encourage and support an ongoing interest and curiousity about Art outside of the student's formal education, through use of home media, the internet and by visiting museums and galleries.

What should my daughter do if she feels she is struggling in Art?

We encourage open communication by whichever means students are most comfortable (usually in person, by email). Students are encouraged to share any concerns or difficulties with their teachers in the first instance, but they can also speak with the head of Art or their form tutors.

How can I best support my daughter in Art?

We would always encourage parents, carers or guardians to be aware of the project work and  homework that the students have in progress, and to encourage drawing practice as well as anything that would foster interest in Art outside of lessons. This could be by considering together the use of Art in everyday life (including entertainment and advertising) or by encouraging or facilitating visits to galleries or Art websites.  We signpost students towards a range of up to date resources and learning opportunities throughout each year.

Whom should I contact for further advice or information? 

Mrs Shah, Head of Department: