King James' School

Art & Design

What’s it all about? 

This course is a dynamic, hands-on and energetic introduction to the world of making art in all its guises. You don’t have to cut your ear off or grapple with a pickled shark to do this course, but you do need an insatiable visual appetite! 

You will need to be excited about art and wanting to create art, have a thirst for knowledge and keep vivid and lively sketchpads. 

Exam and Assessment Information: 


AS Level - 8FAO

A Level- 9FAO 

For the AS level, 50% marks = Coursework (Personal Investigation). 50% = Exam (Externally set assignment) with a ten hour exam at the end of the course. 

For the A level, 60% marks = Coursework (Personal Investigation). 40% = Exam (Externally set assignment) with a 15 hour exam at the end of the course.

To get started: 

You will develop a series of art pieces exploring a range of media including oil painting, life drawing, printmaking and sculpture, as well as exploring themes of your own. This is an intensive, diagnostic, course designed to teach you about the processes involved in making art works and as a foundation for future development in art and design. You will look at and respond to a variety of artists related to your own work and be expected to research thoroughly at home. 

You will build on the acquisition of skills and develop your own distinct style and ideas based on themes developed by you. As well as practical coursework for the A level you have to produce a ‘Personal Study’, which is a written/illustrated study about a theme closely related to artists work that will influence your own. This has a minimum of 1,000 words of continuous prose which will be illustrated. The theme would be the same as the practical work.  Sixth formers have their own dedicated studio to work in during lessons and free periods. There are some costs involved in buying sketchpads and other equipment and life drawing. We sell a pack of equipment at the start of the course, including portfolios, sketchpads etc.

What next? 

This course complements the AS or A level in Photography. You can go on from here to do a one-year Foundation course where you focus on an area you could study at degree level (e.g. sculpture or stage design). The A level also allows you to apply directly for a degree course and is important for degrees such as architecture, film making, advertising, illustration, fine art or stage design.

Our students say … 

“The support from the Art department and all its staff is unprecedented - it is definitely more of a home than a Department.”  Max Bridge 

“Art is my passion and the fabulous Art teachers let me embrace my inner artist. Without the Art Department life wouldn’t be worth living.”  Hatty Thornton


Art teachers examine all your work and this is externally moderated.


For more information on why you should study Art at King James´s Sxith Form click here.