Art at Kimbolton is for everyone. Each child has the opportunity to be creative in painting, printmaking and sculpture during their school career here. We offer a broad, inclusive approach to the subject. Our large rooms and small classes enable us to be ambitious with scale, media and materials. Our beautiful grounds, trips to galleries and residential visits to Burwell House make it possible to take art out of the classroom throughout the year.
Head of Art
First to Third Forms – compulsory for all pupils
Fourth and Fifth Forms – GCSE optional subject
- AQA Art and Design 8201-8206: Fine Art Endorsement
- Assessed via a coursework portfolio (60%) and an externally set assignment (40%), which includes a preparatory period of approximately 10 weeks and 10 hours of supervised exam time.
- At Kimbolton we are fortunate to have four well-equipped art studios, with a kiln, an AO size etching press, and a photography and Mac suite. This allows all of our GCSE pupils to work across disciplines as diverse as ceramics, printmaking, painting and photography
The GCSE course is designed to inspire, challenge and motivate. You will initially explore a variety of media, techniques, and starting points such as still life, portraiture, and landscape. You will be encouraged to develop your knowledge and understanding of art history through written analysis and copying artists’ pieces. The next step is to explore, create and communicate your own ideas within your own art works; these smaller projects will form your first piece of coursework.
During the Spring term of the Fourth Form, you will begin to work on a second major coursework project. Individuality and independence are called for at this point, as you should now be driving your own learning. A good quality project will consist of several sketchbooks of preparation work and experimentation, as well as a large final piece of artwork, completed by December of the Fifth Form. The Externally Assessed Assignment is started in mid-January. You will rise to the challenge of creating an original outcome from one of the six stimuli provided. This project culminates in a 10-hour practical exam, taken in May.
Sixth Form – A Level optional subject
You will be introduced to at least three artistic disciplines, such as Ceramics, Printmaking and Painting. Students in the Lower Sixth year, will develop skills and create one sustained portfolio project (internally assessed). It is essential that you become personally involved in the subject and further your interests by reading art reviews, watching art documentaries and independently visiting art galleries.
We try to encourage this by organising visits to London exhibitions and trips to important cultural centres in Europe. In the Upper Sixth you will create a unit of personal investigation for your coursework unit and produce a 3000-word essay charting the development of your work and the artistic influences upon it. The A Level exam is 15 hours long and sat in May of the Upper Sixth year, followed by an open exhibition in the summer term.
Beyond the classroom: Students will be encouraged to develop their own passions in this subject, with the emphasis of finding their own voice. Activities to facilitate this range from keeping up to date with the articles on art, entering competitions and going to exhibitions. Creating something personal, keeping a photographic diary, or personal sketchbook. Learning to work digitally - use Procreate on your ipad. Getting involved in the School Play, set, costume or Make up design.
If you have ever stood in front of a painting in a gallery and wondered what the story is behind the picture, this could be the A Level for you. We do not expect any prior knowledge from you; it’s helpful if you have studied GCSE Art, but by no means essential. We will begin with looking at the idea of storytelling in a painting and explore art history across the ages to develop an understanding of the use of symbolism and composition. You will discover the backgrounds to artists’ lives and put paintings into their historical context. You will then extend your ideas to gallery curation and explore styles of exhibition materials, as well as getting to grips with desktop publishing packages like Adobe InDesign. No two lessons are the same; if you are interested in Art, History, Politics or Design you should find this course fascinating.
You will develop units of coursework throughout the two years, sitting a taught exam in the Upper Sixth. It is essential that you become personally involved in the subject and further your interests by reading art reviews, watching art documentaries and independently visiting art galleries. We try to encourage this by organising visits to London exhibitions and trips to important cultural centres in Europe. We are unusual in allowing artistic/creative students to study all three of our art-based subjects together.
Beyond the classroom: Keep up to date with the articles on art, and current exhibitions in the Tate Magazine and Creative Review, as well as weekend newspaper supplements in the Guardian, Observer and Sunday Times. Visiting Galleries and Museums on a regular, monthly, basis is key to this course. Visit the Heritage room, learn about the school’s archives. Volunteer at our Castle Open Event, 1st Sunday in November and March each year. This will help you develop an understanding of working within a heritage environment with the general public.
PHOTOGRAPHER The course is based around the development of an individual’s photographic skills. We aim to develop camera craft, a student’s ability to compose a good photo in the camera. You will develop practical skills, learning the fundamentals of photography through workshop style lessons. In addition, you will learn about the history of Photography and research key 20th century photographers. As the course develops, we will explore Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop software packages, as well as the more traditional darkroom techniques.
You must become personally involved in the subject and further your interests by reading art reviews, watching art documentaries and independently visiting art galleries. We try to encourage this by organising visits to London exhibitions and trips to important cultural centres in Europe. In the Upper Sixth, you will develop a personal coursework portfolio and finally an independent exam unit, and your work will be on open exhibition in the summer term.
Beyond the classroom: Students will be encouraged to develop their own passions in this subject, with the emphasis of finding their own voice. Activities to facilitate this range from keeping up to date with the tutorials in digital photography, entering Photography competitions and going to exhibitions. Become a ‘School/House’ photographer – document school life, publish on our school website and/or School Magazine. Take a photo each day – create your own monthly photo book. Consider how you will make this book, printed, handmade, digital?
- View our Sixth Form Prospectus
Regular Trips, Visitors and Competitions
- All Examination groups visit galleries at least once a year.
- In the Sixth Form we take students on a three day residential trip to Burwell House, near Anglesey Abbey. This trip enables students to try life drawing and film making as well as painting, printing and sculpture.
- In the last three years there have been optional art trips to Paris, Florence and Venice, during February half term.
- We have strong links with the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and regularly visit the galleries in London.
- We take part in a cross-curriculum Arts week bi-annually and run an annual Summer Art Competition which is open to all ages.