Art & Design
Links Academy was awarded the Silver Artsmark by the Arts Council in 2017 ‘As well as recognising schools that are making the arts come alive, the Artsmark award is a practical and valuable tool for enriching a school’s arts provision whatever the starting point.’
The Arts Council believes that …
‘Cultural education gives children and young people the opportunity to develop their creativity, both individually and collectively and that's why our goal is for every child and young person to have the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts.’
We, at Links believe learning about the arts and exploring different cultures can encourage creative thinking and build confidence in our students. It has become an integral part of our learning. Throughout the lessons we inspire, encourage and create. The students produce artwork that they are proud of whether it’s a 2D painting or a 3D sculpture, a charcoal sketch or an intaglio print. We too, are proud of their achievements and their work is often displayed around the school and throughout the corridors. It is important to us that we develop their drawing skills by exploring techniques such as l-point perspective and still life studies and by doing this we develop their concentration skills and build confidence. We celebrate different cultures throughout the year by creating a display board which involves students researching, developing ideas and creating a display for the rest of the school to admire.
We have specially designed schemes of work in order to capture the students’ imagination and engage them fully in art. Once they are engaged we teach them the fundamental skills – drawing, painting and working in 2D and 3D and build on what they already know. We study artists and art from different cultures so that our students understand art in its broadest context.
Studying Pop Art, Urban Art, Comic Art and Surreal Art are all areas that are particularly successful schemes of work for our KS3 students. Through these schemes they can expand their practical skills and knowledge in traditional and new media. They learn how to use their imagination, develop their ideas with confidence and start to work independently. We have an IMac computer and we teach filmmaking and develop Photoshop skills.
We offer Edexcel Art and Design GCSE, BTEC Level 1 & 2 in Art, Craft & Design and Bronze and Silver Arts Award. The GCSE course offers options of Fine Art, Photography or Textiles and requires 4 units of work – Portfolio (60% qualification) and an Externally Set Exam of 10 hours (40% qualification). All this is supported by preparatory studies and experimental work. The BTEC qualification involves research in several areas, material experimentation and producing a final piece all supported by the studies and research. BTEC requires the student to present their work to their peers and staff.
ART ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES
We visit London Art Galleries and local artist studios where the students get the opportunity to talk to professional artists at work. We visit Theatres for backstage tours and to see current productions. We offer music tuition to learn an instrument or to play for pleasure actively encouraging writing and singing their own songs. We are currently involved with a music/dance scheme initiated by St Albans Town Hall to celebrate the opening where our students will be involved in working with film artists and dance choreographers that will culminate in a show for the public.