At the beginning of Yr12 at the start of the A Level course, we run a 4 week Art Skills Module. (In the UK students are 16/17 years old in Yr12) Each lesson, or couple of lessons are run like a workshop and introduce new skills. Students arrive with skills learned during their previous course but the skills module adds to those skills which all can be drawn upon over the next two years. It’s a prolific time where they produce a lot of work and we deliberately push them outside of their comfort zone to help them make the leap to this higher course. I think if they pick up a couple of new skills, it’s a job well-done.
Each year we choose a theme. In the past we have chosen ‘Garlic’ where beautiful garlands of garlic have been drawn hole, individually and broken open. Another year it was ‘Cacti and Succulents’ (see images above), another ‘Mushrooms’. Each year they push this theme to its limits, focusing on it for 4 weeks, which in its self is a lesson. This year we are using ‘Denim‘ as a theme which I’m excited about as it feels different from the previous natural forms. The following table shows how we break the 4 weeks down, including homework. You can right click and save the image below, or access a free editable version here which includes a list of what needs to be handed in.
This is based on 6 x 50-minute lessons a week and 4hrs homework. The ‘T1′ and T2’ refer to Teacher 1 and Teacher 2. We have department camera’s, iPads and access to Photoshop, so some departments may need to adapt this. I’m sure you would all change this to suit your own needs and create your own Art Skills Module!
Below are two useful resources should you wish to deliver this Art Skills module. The first is a one-page resource which has high-resolution close-ups of denim to draw, paint or collage. The second is a photo-bank of denim photographs which would enable you to do any of the tasks listed above.
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