Visual Arts International Baccalaureate Course Overview

The Visual Arts course exposes students to artistic creations that can be appreciated by sight, from painting and drawing to photography and sculpture, challenging their own creative and cultural thinking on the way.

The course takes students on a journey through traditional forms of visual art to contemporary and new forms, taking in art with a wider social resonance, spiritual significance or that which is primarily decorative and personal.

Both the creation and appreciation of art are taught, with students understanding a range of art making methods and growing in confidence in their evaluation and understanding of the context, conventions and development of pieces of visual art. Students will experiment themselves with different methods creating a journal of their art and reflections, from which assessed pieces can be selected. Visual arts teachers carefully curate learning experiences for the students, directing their study to make them informed and proficient visual artists who enjoy art and its dynamic and changing nature.

The course is designed for students who want to go on to further study of visual arts in higher education as well as for those who are seeking lifelong enrichment through visual arts. Comparing the work of different artists and examining the process of making art are the two main assessments that give students the opportunity to explore and emulate different visual art styles. Students will create visual art influenced by context across a range of media, honing their use of elements like colour, shape, form, space and texture. Ultimately this will contribute to the internally assessed exhibition all students undertake to showcase their work and unpick the influences upon it.

It is worth noting that it is sometimes possible for students to opt to study an additional sciences, individuals and societies, or languages course, instead of a course in the arts.

Example course units:

Visual arts in context

  • Examine and compare the work of artists from different cultural contexts
  • Make art through a process of investigation, thinking critically and experimenting with techniques.
  • Develop an informed response to work and exhibitions they have seen and experienced.

Visual arts methods

  • Look at different techniques for making art
  • Experiment with diverse media and explore techniques for making art
  • Consider the nature of “exhibition” and think about the process of selection and the potential impact of their work on different audiences.

Communicating visual arts

  • Make artistic choices about how to most effectively communicate knowledge and understanding.
  • Produce a body of artwork through a process of reflection and evaluation, showing a synthesis of skill, media and concept.
  • Explain the ways in which the works are connected.

Assessment overview

External Exams:

Comparative study
  • 10–15 screens which examine and compare at least 3 artworks, at least 2 of which should be by different artists
  • 3–5 screens which analyse the extent to which the student’s work and practices have been influenced by the art and artists examined (Higher Level)
  • A list of sources used
Process portfolio
  • 9–18 screens which evidence the student’s sustained experimentation, exploration, manipulation and refinement of a variety of art-making activities
  • 13–25 screens which evidence sustained experimentation, exploration, manipulation and refinement of a variety of art-making activities (Higher Level)

Internal Portfolio:

Exhibition
  • A curatorial rationale that does not exceed 400 words (700 words for Higher Tier)
  • 4–7 artworks (8-11 artworks for Higher Tier)
  • Exhibition text (stating the title, medium, size and intention) for each artwork

Studying online

Learning IB Visual Arts online allows students to enjoy the following features:

  • Virtual Reality (VR) learning opportunities to immerse student in artwork, images and other creative subject content.
  • Live, responsive teaching and feedback in small classes.
  • High academic standards and levels of support.
  • Positive learning culture and systems for communication.
  • 24/7 access to course resources and lessons, recorded and catalogued.
  • A flexible, international, high energy learning experience.
  • Experienced, subject specialist teachers to both Standard and Higher level.
Visual Arts
International Baccalaureate
Online, real-time classrooms, 24/7 access to curriculum
September

Know more about your course fees

We have several fee packages and options, with differing levels of commitment to suit most circumstances. In most cases parents have the option to pay in instalments, spreading the cost of the investment.

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