Art & Design
The Art department is committed to offering a stimulating environment for a wide range of art practices, in the belief that creativity is a vital part of education.
There are facilities for painting, drawing, textiles, sculpture, printmaking and digital photography. Observational and practical skills are taught in structured lessons and there is ample opportunity to experiment with new ideas while learning from the work of other artists.
Students develop their understanding and experience of Tone, Texture, Colour, Line and Composition. They experiment with a variety of media and gain the confidence to improve skills and the quality of finished pieces of work. Within the projects, students are also introduced to the work of other artists and encouraged to build up their use of art vocabulary in order to develop their critical analysis. Observational studies through drawing and photography are a key element of the course.
Year 8 & 9
Students continue to be taught in mixed ability form groups, building on their previous skills, using a thematic starting point and making more personal responses through individual research and planning. As well as continuing to experiment with a wide variety of drawing and painting media and techniques, students have the opportunity to experience printing and 3D work. In Year 9 students follow a scheme of work in the style of a GCSE project. Students select their subject within a broad theme and are encouraged to carry out independent research for the development of a final outcome.
Years 10 and 11
The GCSE course is an integrated programme of practical and critical study, in which creative work in a variety of media is informed by the study of works of art, craft and design from different periods and different societies.
Students may opt for either GCSE textiles and/or GCSE art, which are both vibrant and exciting courses with a strong emphasis on practical work and the key elements. Assessed coursework is carried out throughout the two years covering a wide range of skills and media. Photography and digital imaging, screen-printing, etching and lino-printing, batik, 3D, clay work and constructed textiles are all areas of specialism covered by the staff within the department. Students have an opportunity to make their work very personal and are encouraged to develop their strengths in their preferred media. A sense of pride is encouraged through the use of sketchbooks. By visiting art galleries and exhibitions they gain the valuable experience of seeing work at first hand. The course culminates in a celebratory exhibition of all students’ work.
In the Sixth Form we aim to encourage an adventurous and enquiring approach to Art. Students are expected to produce artwork that embraces a range of ideas and demonstrate an understanding of past and contemporary art practice. Students may opt for Fine Art, Textiles or Photography. The A Level courses provide a strong foundation for further study in Art, Craft and Design or for related activities such as architecture, graphic design and fashion. Many of our students go on to study at Prestigious Art Colleges. However, we do not view art as a purely vocational subject but one that also develops intellectual, imaginative, creative and intuitive powers and critical analysis.
Students’ work is displayed in the studios and around the school throughout the year giving a sense of pride and achievement. In the summer term we have exhibitions of GCSE and A Level work, which are open to the public.
Art After School
We cover a wide range of skills and media in Art. Students are encouraged to develop these skills further in their own time. The studios are open during lunchtime and after school for students to continue with class work or develop their own ideas.