Welcome to the Visual Arts Faculty

Director: Ms Claire Pennington (teaching Art & Textiles) Contact details: cpen8383@johnmason.oxon.sch.uk

Teachers in this Faculty:

Ms Sara Othen (Deputy Director; teaching Art & Food & Nutrition)

Ms Tina Herringshaw (Assistant Director; teaching Textiles & Art)

Ms Julie Hickson (Head of Food & Nutrition)

Ms Amy Prior (teacher of 3D Design & Graphics)

Ms Julia Pritchard (teacher of 3D Design & Graphics)

Ms Liz Neville (teacher of Graphics)

Ms Sarah Neyland (teacher of Art)

Ms Samantha Ponting (teacher of Graphics and Art technical support)

Ms Lisa Brooks (Food & Nutrition, technical support)

Mr Richard Hoyle (3D design technical support)

At John Mason School Visual Arts consist of:

Art and Design (KS3-5)
Graphic Design (KS3-5)
Textile Design (KS3-5)
3D Design (KS3-4)
Food & Nutrition (KS3-4)

The Visual Arts Faculty prides itself on providing our students with a wide range of opportunities within and beyond the curriculum in a creative and inspiring environment. The study of visual arts subjects encourages creative thinking, problem solving, perseverance and an understanding of various processes, techniques and materials to create a range of innovative and exciting outcomes in a variety of disciplines.

At John Mason we embed key skills in art, craft and design from Year 7 onwards, building students who are able to question, think, record, analyse and plan and create. Our Faculty has an inclusive approach to learning with Creativity and Independent Learning at the heart of all we do. A strong emphasis is placed on equipping students with independent study skills to succeed in our subject areas at high standards and life beyond school, including research, investigation and presentation skills and managing their time, resources and workload.

Our own 06 Gallery is a professional space to exhibit art and design work and showcases our students’ accomplishments as well as offering exhibition space for local and national artists and ex-JMS Art and Design post graduates. We offer a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities and community projects to enrich students’ experience, enjoyment and development in all Visual Arts disciplines.

In short, the ethos of the Visual Arts Faculty is

To inspire engaging visual learning, creative thinking and independent practice
To teach practical & organisational skills, problem solving and resilience
To provide an enriched curriculum promoting value to Art & Design subjects, inspiring confidence, artistic vision and drive.

Art and Design

“Our aim is to enable the study of Art and Design to unlock the creative potential of each individual, yet foster a strong sense of team work and mutual support; qualities essential both to personal development and to our society as a whole”. Claire Pennington – Director of Visual Arts, Teacher of Art and Design and Textiles.

Art and Design at all key stages encourages creativity in an environment where students are encouraged to experiment and explore ideas without fear of failure. Art and Design is so much more than self-expression, and we provide the opportunity to share our enthusiasm for the rich art history and culture our world has to offer.

Art and Design at Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 students are taught in mixed ability classes by exploring key elements of line, colour, tone, shape, form, pattern and texture which underpin all areas of art and design. Students cover a variety of disciplines including paint, printmaking and 3D.

Year 7: Students cover keys skills of observation, colour, form and tone through a still life project. Sketchbooks are at the core of learning to teach students the importance of experimentation and the design process as well as creative presentation of ideas. In the summer term students go beyond realism to discover the work of Eric Carle and his collage illustrations before designing their own handmade paper response.

Year 8: After the foundation teaching in Year 7, students are introduced to portraiture and stretch their abilities using paint, colour and tone through a series of varied artworks and artistic techniques. Sketchbook work again focuses on key skills and demonstrating problem solving and abilities to review and refine their work.

Year 9: After opting for Creative Arts subject ‘majors’ in Year 8, students now have a slightly increased amount of study in their 3 selected arts disciplines. Fine art students follow a more personal GCSE-style project exploring varied techniques and mixed media to increase skill banks and familiarize themselves with GCSE criteria and assessment ready for a higher level of study.

Fine Art at Key Stage 4 Syllabus: Edexcel GCSE Fine Art

Our highly popular KS4 Art course offers comprehensive tuition in all key artistic genres – portrait, still life, landscape, architecture and abstraction, working in a range of drawn, painted and 3D mediums. Sketchbooks are used to record personal visual journeys. Projects start from broad themes that students personalize to suit their own interests and ideas. At the end of the course the students’ achievements are celebrated in our Visual Arts Summer exhibition.

Fine Art at KS5 Syllabus: Edexcel AS & A level Fine Art

At Key Stage 5 students develop personal expression, aesthetic pleasure, imagination, sensitivity, conceptual thinking, practical skills, analytical ability and historical and cultural awareness through a rigorous and diverse course, with a long established 100% success rate of students gaining entry into their first choice Art & Design degree or Art Foundation course. Projects again cover broad themes that students create individual responses to, and include the options to work in a wide variety of mediums from painting and drawing, printmaking, sculpture, installation and assemblage, animation and film, digital illustration and mixed media.

At the end of the course, students mount their own exhibition to display their work, learning about professional display and promotion of their own arts practice.

Design & Technology

“Our philosophy is to foster original and surprising solutions to problems and tasks, as well as teaching contemporary and traditional skills. A student-centred ethos encourages the development of personal creative intelligence.” Tina Herringshaw – Assistant Director of Visual Arts & Head of KS3 Design Technology.

Design & Technology is divided into four disciplines; Graphic Design, Textile Design, Food & Nutrition and 3D Design.

New technologies are an important part of teaching in all subject disciplines. Our well-equipped workshops, kitchens and design studios offer students the ability to use professional equipment such as Apple Macs and our Laser cutting/engraving machine. Our aim is to nurture contemporary design whilst teaching the fundamental ‘hands on’ traditional approaches. We believe that we are developing a truly innovative subject area which continues to support students through further education into areas such as the National School of Furniture, Costume Design, Advertising & Marketing, Catering and Architecture.

Design and Technology at Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 students study all four areas on a carousel system to learn and develop key skills in a wide range of applications. Projects at all Key Stages employ a variety of skills - including research, design, planning, experimenting, making and evaluating.

Food & Nutrition at Key Stage 3:

Year 7: This “Healthy Eating” project includes key learning topics on health and safety, basic nutrition, healthy eating, basic food preparation and cooking, foods from around the world, and the impact of world food production on the environment (air miles, organic food production, and carbon footprint)

Year 8: A “Food on the Move” project covers further learning on health and safety, plus the nutritional needs of key groups of people, the functions of ingredients, methods of cooking and the preparation and baking of pastry dishes, cakes and bread.

Year 9: Preparation for GCSE. Throughout the year students learn about health and safety, nutrition, healthy eating, balanced meals, the functions of ingredients, the principles of food science, and the sourcing, preparation and cooking of ingredients to produce appetizing and nutritious meals on a budget.

Textiles at Key Stage 3:

In Year 7 students cover keys skills of template making, using interfacings, applique and printing through a fine art textiles project. Sketchbooks are at the core of learning to teach students the importance of experimentation and the design process as well as creative presentation of ideas. Students are also introduced to fundamental skills of how to use a sewing machine and iron safely.

Year 8: After the foundation teaching in Year 7, students are introduced to surface embellishment and stretch their abilities using a variety of hand embroidery stitches, couching, buttons & beading through creating a 3D textiles ‘Sugar skull’. Sketchbook work again focuses on key skills and while learning about the Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’ festival, they demonstrate problem solving and the ability to review and refine their work.

Year 9: After opting for Creative Arts subject ‘majors’ in Year 8, students now have a slightly increased amount of study in their 3 selected arts disciplines. Textile Design students follow a more personal GCSE-style project exploring varied techniques and mixed media to increase skill banks and familiarize themselves with GCSE criteria and assessment ready for a higher level of study. Current projects include a 3D cultural house sculpture and a mixed media endangered animal fine art piece.

Graphics at Key Stage 3:

Year 7: Students cover keys skills of colour theory and psychology, logo design, branding and CAD through a series of activities culminating with the application of their skills in an advertisement poster. Sketchbooks are at the core of learning to teach students the importance of experimentation and the design process as well as creative presentation of ideas.

Year 8: After the foundation skills in Year 7, students are introduced to experimenting with mixed media and stretch their abilities using a variety of printing and inking techniques and stenciling, creating a Typographical illustration final piece. Sketchbook work again focuses on key skills, demonstrate problem solving and the ability to review and refine their work.

Year 9: After opting for Creative Arts subject ‘majors’ in Year 8, students now have a slightly increased amount of study in their 3 selected arts disciplines. Graphic Design students follow a more personal GCSE-style project exploring varied techniques and mixed media to increase skill banks and familiarize themselves with GCSE criteria and assessment ready for a higher level of study. Current projects are based on the theme of ‘Diversity’ and explore mixed media experiments to build on their knowledge of typography, culminating in a set of marketing campaign literature.

3D Design at Key Stage 3

Year 7: Students cover keys skills of knowing what 3D design is by researching artists, designing and drawing using CAD through a series of activities culminating with the application of their skills to make a mixed media Memo Holder using wood, metal and plastics. Sketchbooks are at the core of learning to teach students the importance of experimentation and the design process as well as creative presentation of ideas. Safety is fundamental to all lessons due to the equipment and working environment.

Year 8: After the foundation teaching in Year 7, students are introduced to working with pewter smelting and casting to design and create a retro-inspired item of jewelry. Sketchbook work again focuses on key skills and while learning about the ‘Space Race in the 50s and 60s’, where they demonstrate problem solving and the ability to review and refine their work.

Year 9: After opting for Creative Arts subject ‘majors’ in Year 8, students now have a slightly increased amount of study in their 3 selected arts disciplines. 3D Design students follow a more personal GCSE-style project exploring varied techniques and mixed media to increase skill banks and familiarize themselves with GCSE criteria and assessment ready for a higher level of study. Current projects are based on the theme of Diversity and explore flat pack design and slotted 3D structures. The second project extends students skills into technology and construction with the application of electronics to design a boom box using recycled and repurposed objects.

Design and Technology at Key Stage 4

GCSE Food and Nutrition Syllabus: WJEC

Our new Food and Nutrition course equips students with the knowledge, understanding and skills required to cook and apply the principles of food science, nutrition and healthy eating. It encourages students to cook and apply technical and scientific knowledge. It enables students to make informed decisions about food and nutrition, and it allows them to acquire knowledge in order to be able to feed themselves and others affordably and nutritiously, now and in later life.

GCSE Textile Design Syllabus: Edexcel

Our exciting KS4 Textiles course offers comprehensive tuition in all key textile areas – fashion, printed and dyed textiles, fine art textiles and constructed textiles. Sketchbooks are used to record personal visual journeys. Projects start from broad themes that students personalize to suit their own interests and ideas. At the end of the course the students’ achievements are celebrated in our Visual Arts Summer exhibition.

GCSE Graphic Communications Syllabus: Edexcel

Our popular KS4 Graphics course gives guided tuition in the key genres of graphic design – typography, graphic illustration, advertising and packaging, working in a range of traditional hand drawn processes, mixed media and digital techniques. Sketchbooks are used as vital tools to record personal visual journeys. Projects again start from broad themes that students personalize to suit their own interests and ideas. At the end of the course the students’ achievements are celebrated in our Visual Arts Summer exhibition.

GCSE 3D Design

Syllabus: Edexcel

To offer further artistic creativity at KS4, we offer 3D Design as an option for those students interested in working more three dimensionally and creating products. The course covers modules in Product Design (lighting) and Architecture, occasionally extending into Set design. Sketchbooks are again used to record personal visual journeys which start from broad themes that students personalize to suit their own interests and ideas. At the end of the course the students’ achievements are celebrated in our Visual Arts Summer exhibition.

Design Subjects at KS5

We offer two specialist Design Advanced Level courses. Both are taught under the Art and Design suite of qualifications and connect fully with the teaching in Art and Design Technology.

As in Fine Art, students develop personal expression, aesthetic understanding, imagination, sensitivity, conceptual thinking, practical skills, analytical ability, historical and cultural awareness and working to a design brief through rigorous and diverse courses.

At the end of their AS or A level course, students mount their own exhibition to display their work, learning about professional display and promotion of their own arts practice.

AS & A Level Textile Design

Projects in Year 12 aim to cover broad skillsets from an open-ended them that students create individual and personal responses to. Key areas of study are Fine Art textiles (covering a range of textile techniques including applique, felting, hot textiles, free machine embroidery and sculptural textiles); Printed and digital textiles (designing for fashion and interiors) and Constructed textiles (knit, crochet & weave). In Year 13 students set their own personal brief to explore independent areas of interest. An extended written contextual study is also a core part of Advanced level study, developing skills in art/design history and investigative writing.

AS & A Level Graphic Communications

Projects in Year 12 aim to further develop core skills in Graphic Design genres and conceptual and psychological design. Typography, campaign advertising, packaging and marketing form the key areas covered in response to broad themes that students interpret in a personal way. Digital graphic design software is an essential tool used to develop ideas and respond to their brief to create design outcomes suitable for purpose and audience.

Where can this subject take me?

Careers from GCSE Art
Careers from GCSE Graphics
Careers from GCSE Textiles

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