A Level Ceramics

 

What is it about at sixth form level?

This course puts the emphasis placed upon functional and utilitarian considerations as compared to three- dimensional outcomes produced in other disciplines, such as sculpture in Fine Art, where the intentions might be centred upon the aesthetic qualities of expressive form. You will look at functional ceramics and product design, but aspects of craft may also be included, such as items that are concerned with functionality and manual skills as well as aesthetic qualities. Possible areas of study include: ceramics, sculpture and product design.

Lower sixth 

Our approach is to support and encourage the development of analytical and expressive skills in appropriate, structured projects. The first part of the course is spent developing basic skills in hand- building, mould-making, colour application, and firing and glazing. You will learn how to develop your ideas through sustained and focused investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and critical understanding. You will explore and select appropriate resources, media, materials, techniques and processes, and review and refine your ideas as your work develops. You will record your ideas, observations and insights relevant to your intentions, reflecting critically on your work and progress. As a student in the heart of London, you will have access to some of the world’s best museums, galleries and exhibitions. This will result in a personal and meaningful response which, where appropriate, makes connections between visual and other elements.

Upper sixth 

In the second year, you will develop your skills and understanding to a higher standard. You will continue to be given close technical instruction and supervision, but you will be required to adopt a much more independent and student-led approach. You will be working on your personal investigation, which is the first of the two components of your final assessment. This component consists firstly of a major, in-depth, practical, critical and theoretical investigative project or theme-based portfolio and outcomes. It is accompanied by an integrated and extended written piece of critical and contextual analysis (1000 words minimum).

Why study it and what skills does it develop?

An A level in Ceramics is an excellent basis on which to apply to study the subject further at art college or university as, along with the skills, it will provide you with the portfolio you will need for your application. It is also very useful if you wish to work or study in areas relating to design, fashion and architecture. The course will develop your skills in modelling and visualisation and these have value far beyond courses such as those mentioned already.

What prior knowledge and skills are required?

A background in art such as a GCSE or IGCSE is preferred.

How is the course assessed?

AS level

The AS is a one-year course and is entirely assessed by coursework, this being the results of your thematic approach to an internally-set theme.

A level

The A level is a two-year course and all assessment takes place at the end of the second year. There are two components. Component 1 is your personal investigation, which is the coursework component. Component 2 is the externally set assignment. You will be required to develop independently a personal response to one of a varied range of stimuli within specified time constraints. The assignment consists of a series of visual (including moving image) and written stimuli set by the exam board. You will develop your response over a preparatory study period. Following the preparatory study period, learners will be allocated a period of 15 hours sustained focus study to realise their response unaided and under supervised conditions. Component 1 is worth 60% of the A level and Component 2 is worth 40% of the A level.

Reading

The Potter’s Manual
By K. Clark
Published by Chartwell Books Inc., ISBN 9978-0890096741

Tableware in Clay: From Studio and Workshop
By K. A. Wood
Published by Crowood, ISBN 978-1861261984

Ceramic Review Magazine
Bi-monthly subscription

Exam Board and Specification Codes

AS: WJEC Art and Design B651QSL, A level: WJEC Art and Design A651QSL (reformed)

Greg Ioannou
Head of Department