Art History For Everyone
Fast-track Art History Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and A level courses for state supported students, offered free of charge online, and pandemic permitting, as a hybrid with some students in museums and galleries on Saturdays during term-time in the 2020-21 academic year.
The course has been offered for the last six years to a wide range of state maintained sector students, many from BAME and/or widening participation backgrounds, and for the past four years on term-time Saturdays at museums and galleries.
Art History for Everyone was based at two venues: the Wallace Collection and the National Gallery. Our classes pivoted online when the National Gallery and Wallace Collections closed in March as a result of the pandemic, with great success, and support from the sector with volunteer guest lecturers including Dr Xavier Bray, Director, the Wallace Collection, and Dr Caroline Campbell, Director of Collections and Research, the National Gallery.
It is intended, pandemic and gallery regulations permitting, that the courses will be taught as a hybrid and so some students will remain entirely on-line, however we hope with opportunities to visit London galleries. This hybrid model will allow us to extend our geographical reach and widen opportunities to more students.
It is envisaged that all our classes will operate online from September 2020. However public health regulations and gallery conditions permitting, we hope that some of our students will have the opportunity to be based at the Wallace Collection or National Gallery during the academic year, as in previous years. The course will continue to be based around examples of works of art that can be seen in our great public museums and galleries.
Since September 2018, Art History Link-Up students have been studying for an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) which is the equivalent to half an A level in UCAS points, taught alongside two modules of the new A Level Art History course, with the option to continue to sit the A level exams at the end of the two year linear A level course. Volunteer EPQ mentors from across the sectors include head teachers, curators, editors and academics. The students are further supported by Dr John Taylor, a chief examiner for the EPQ.
Colleagues at other museums and galleries have been generous with space and time. Classes have also been hosted at The British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, Courtauld Institute and Birkbeck, University of London’s Art History Department. Student networking and careers information events have been generously hosted for AHLU current and alumni students by organisations including Colnaghi Foundation, HENI Talks, and the Royal Collection.
Students are offered learning support in the form of homework club, visiting expert advice on careers and FE/HE applications, and access to work experience in relevant sectors. There is significant and increasing demand for places.
Some of the tangible benefits which students have identified as a result of our courses include:
- An additional accredited qualification, UCAS points and strengthened FE/HE
- Career development and CV-building opportunities for a wide range of exciting and varied careers.
- New analytical and communication skills with cross-curricular application.
- Access to, familiarity with and understanding of works of art in the country’s great public collections.
How the scheme works
- Students study for a taught Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) – which is the equivalent of up to half an A level in UCAS points, well regarded by university admission officers and can increase exam grades – online, or at the Wallace Collection or the National Gallery on term- time Saturday mornings or afternoons, pandemic permitting. The Wallace Collection and National Gallery generously offer dedicated study space free-of-charge for the scheme.
- The EPQ course is taught alongside two modules of the new A Level Art History syllabus at each site, so the Baroque period and Nature theme at the Wallace Collection, and the Renaissance period and Identities theme at the National Gallery. Students have the option to study a further two modules and sit the A level exam at the end of the second year.
- Students are taught by an experienced subject specialist teacher at each site, and supported by Art History post-graduate students in homework club/study support sessions.
- Students visit other major collections throughout the year, pandemic permitting, to learn from works of art at first hand and also benefit from visiting specialists, advice on careers and FE/HE application, and work experience opportunities.
- All places are offered to state supported sixth form students at no charge, with priority to candidates from a widening participation background¹ and who are suited to the course.
- To date, each year, our students come from 50-80% BAME and/or widening participation backgrounds. There is significant and increasing demand for places.
- Students are offered an EPQ mentor to support and guide them through the EPQ process. Mentors include state maintained and independent sector teachers, including head teachers, plus doctoral candidates, writers, and museum curators, who generously give their time and expertise to support our students. The Art History for Everyone scheme also benefits from the generous support and advice of Dr John Taylor, EPQ Chief Examiner.
- The scheme is managed by Rose Aidin, Art History Link-Up’s Chief Executive, who is a qualified Art History and Art teacher with extensive experience in both the state supported and independent sectors. Art History for Everyone builds on two years’ experience of a fast track Art History AS level scheme delivered and managed by Rose for the Association for Art History at two London state schools in 2014-16². The scheme is now run independently by Art History Link-Up and is entering its fifth successful academic year: over 100 students from more than 50 state supported schools in and around London have studied Art History with Art History Link-Up.
¹ Widening participation indicators include eligibility for Pupil Premium (i.e. free school meals) and/or a parent who has not attended FE/HE
² Two classes, taught for two hours a week as a ‘twilight’ session, after school, at St Marylebone CE School and Townley Grammar School.
Art History for Everyone is managed by Art History Link-Up, which is supported by The Rothschild Foundation and James Allen’s Girls’ School.
Art History for Everyone: Participating Students’ Schools
Acland Burghley School
Ark Globe Academy
Aylesbury High School
Bay House School
BHASVIC, Brighton & Hove
Big Creative Academy
The Brit School
Christ the King Sixth Form College
The City of London Academy
City of Westminster College
The Cardinal Wiseman Sixth Form
Dame Alice Owen’s School
Eastbury Community School
Fashion Retail Academy
The Fitzwimarc School, Essex
The Grey Coat Hospital
The Global Academy
Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College
Hackney Community College
Harris Academy St John’s Wood
The Henrietta Barnett School
Jewish Free School (JFS)
Kingsdale Foundation School
The Latymer School
Leyton Sixth Form College
London Academy of Excellence, Stratford
The Maria Fidelis FCJ Catholic School
Mossbourne Community Academy
Oak Park School
Overton Grange School
Queen Eiizabeth Girls’ School
School 21, Stratford
St Bede’s School
St Francis Xavier Sixth Form College
St George’s School, Harpendon
St James’ Catholic High School
St Mary Magdalene Academy
St Marylebone CE School
St Michael’s Catholic College
St Saviour’s and St Olave’s School
Sharnbrook Academy, Bedfordshire
South Essex College
Swakeleys Schools for Girls
The Tiffin Girls’ School
Three Rivers Academy
Varndean College, Brighton
Wanstead High School
Weald of Kent Grammar School
Westminster Kingsway College