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 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, on term-time Saturdays at museums and galleries.
Until March 2020, 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 2020 as a result of the pandemic. We hope to be able to return to teaching in the galleries when it is safe to be able to do so. Meanwhile our courses 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.
Our online classes are interactive and run by expert teachers, with the support of a team of specialist teaching assistants who run break-out group discussion using interactive Miro whiteboard technology, and teaching resources issued via the Google Classroom. Visiting lecturers to class include Professor Craig Clunas, Professor Emeritus of the History of Art, the University of Oxford and Dr Caroline Campbell, Director of Collections and Research, the National Gallery.
AHLU offers students weekly online homework clubs and individual EPQ and study support from AHLU’s Student Liaison Officer plus individually assigned specialist EPQ mentors from across the sector. We also offer students support with university applications, access to work experience, information about careers in the arts, and membership of our alumni organisation.
Delivering our courses online has allowed us to double the number of students we can offer our opportunities to, while allowing us to increase the level of support we are able to offer. Many of our students tell us they have had more teaching and support from AHLU than from their own schools throughout the last year of the pandemic. 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 experienced subject specialist teachers, 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, Christie’s and James Allen’s Girls’ School.
Art History for Everyone: Participating Students’ Schools
Acland Burghley School
Alton College, Hampshire
Ark Globe Academy
Ashmole Academy, London
Aylesbury High School
Banbridge Academy, County Down
Barking Abbey School, London
Bay House School, Hampshire
Beaumont School, Hertfordshire
The Becket Sixth Form, Hertfordshire
Bexhill College, London
BHASVIC, Brighton & Hove
Big Creative Academy, London
The BRIT School, London
Buckswood School, East Sussex
Cadbury Sixth Form College, Birmingham
Cardiff High School, Cardiff
The Cardinal Wiseman Sixth Form, Middlesex
Christ the King Sixth Form College, London
City of Westminster College, London
The City of London Academy
Clapton Girls Academy, London
Dame Alice Owen’s School, Hertfordshire
Duchess Community Highschool, Northumberland
The Dukeries Academy, Nottinghamshire
Eastbury Community School, London
Esher College, London
Exeter College, Devon
Fashion Retail Academy, London
The Fitzwimarc School, Essex
Graveney School, London
The Global Academy
The Grey Coat Hospital, London
Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College, London
Hackney Community College, London
Hammersmith Academy, London
Hampstead School, London
Harris Academy St John’s Wood
Harris Academy, Essex
Hazlehead Academy, Aberdeen
The Henrietta Barnett School, London
Hitchin Girls School, Hertfordshire
Holy Trinity C of E Secondary School, West Sussex
Holyport College, Berkshire
Humberston Academy, North East Lincolnshire
Jane Austen College, Norfolk
Jewish Free School (JFS), London
The King David High School, Greater Manchester
Kingsdale Foundation School, London
Kingston College, London
The Latymer School, London
Leyton Sixth Form College, London
London Academy of Excellence, London
London Screen Academy, London
Maiden Erlegh School, Berkshire
Mossbourne Community Academy, London
New College Swindon, Wiltshire
The Northern School Of Art, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool
Oak Park School, Surrey
Overton Grange School, London
Piggott School, Berkshire
Pimlico Academy, London
Prendergast School, London
Prendergast School, London
Priory Ruskin Academy, Lincolnshire
Prospect School, Berkshire
Queen Elizabeth Girls’ School, London
Queen Mary’s Grammar School, London
Richmond Upon Thames College, London
Riddlesdown Collegiate, London
Saffron Walden County High School, Essex
Sandbach High School and Sixth Form College, Cheshire
Sarah Bonnell School, London
School 21, London
Sharnbrook Academy, Bedfordshire
Silverdale School, South Yorkshire
Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, Kent
South Essex College, Essex
Southfield School for Girls, Northamptonshire
St Bede’s School, London
St Francis Xavier Sixth Form College, London
St George’s School, Harpendon
St James’ Catholic High School, London
The Maria Fidelis FCJ Catholic School, London
St Mary Magdalene Academy, London
St Marylebone CE School, London
St Michael Steiner School, London
St Michael’s Catholic College, London
St Saviour’s and St Olave’s School, Kent
Strathearn School, Belfast
Swakeleys School for Girls, London
The Latymer School
Three Rivers Academy, Surrey
The Tiffin Girls’ School, London
Tiffin School, London
Twyford C of E High School, London
The UCL Academy, London
V6 Sixth Form, Bristol
Varndean College, Brighton
Walton High, Buckinghamshire
Wanstead High School, London
Watford Grammar School for Girls, London
Weald of Kent Grammar School, Kent
West Hatch High School, Essex
Westminster Kingsway College, London
Woodhouse College, London
Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College, Leicester
Ysgol Gyfun Gŵyr, Swansea