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 continue to 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. Visits to museums and galleries play an important part in the teaching of art at Roundwood Park.
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.
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. Both AS and A Level courses provide a strong foundation for further study in Art, Craft or Design or for related activities such as architecture. 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.
GCSE and A Level students have a chance to take part in a 3 day art trip abroad. Historically this has been to Paris but other venues are being considered for the future.
Recent Gallery visits have included Fitz William Art Gallery, Cambridge Botanical Gardens, Prism Textiles Exhibition, Saatchi Gallery, V&A Museum, National Portrait Gallery, and Tate Britain.
We invite artists in to run workshops with students. These have included Life Drawing classes, Willow Sculpture and Large Paper Sculpture workshops.
Further workshops and gallery visits are planned for the next year.
Students’ work is exhibited within and outside the school, giving a sense of pride and achievement. Work has frequently been exhibited alongside that of adults and professionals.
A Level Photography students exhibited work with the Photography Society Annual Exhibition.
We have also taken part in exhibitions at Luton Hoo Walled Garden and the Mall Galleries, London.
Art After School
We cover a wide range of skills and media in Art from Year 7 onwards. Students are encouraged to develop these skills further during lunchtime clubs. We have specific days for exam groups to develop and discuss their work further.
Professional artists often visit the school to share their experience and provide workshops. A life drawing course is available after school for AS and A Level students. Annual visits to Paris are organised for GCSE art students. There are also gallery and museum visits closer to home for other age groups. In the past, A Level students have visited New York, Paris and Barcelona, and similar visits are proposed for the future.
Students’ work is displayed in the studios and around the school throughout the year. In the summer term we have exhibitions of GCSE, AS and A Level work, which are open to the public.