All students in years 7, 8 and 9 are taught art, incorporating painting and drawing, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture and some photography. This enables them to make an informed judgment of whether or not to continue with the subject to GCSE level. A high proportion of our pupils make what we consider to be the right choice.
The GCSE course is designed to enable our students to experience a wide range of materials and processes and to develop their skills in those areas in which they feel most comfortable.
The Art room is open each lunchtime for Art clubs, individual one to one coaching and for students wishing to pursue extension projects such as animation or printmaking and because it is fun. Students follow a broad based course combining two or more of the disciplines from drawing and painting, ceramics, sculpture, printmaking and digital photography. Examination results have been consistently excellent.
We believe that enjoyment and fulfillment are the keys to success. If students are enjoying their work they will work hard at it and the rest follows. To this end we endeavour to make the topics interesting and exciting.
This year we took our exam classes to The Tate Britain and Saatchi Galleries and enjoyed a most stimulating Workshop day with Tom Wood. These form the basis of project work and Critical studies in the history of art have an important place in our teaching at all levels.
At GCSE level 25% of the marks are awarded for knowledge and understanding of artistic developments within a historical and social context. Art rises from art and without Cezanne there would have not been Picasso. Our students are encouraged to study the work of artists in order to inform and develop their own work.
If students decide to follow art at AS or A2 level their commitment to the subject should not be questionable.
At this level we expect students to adopt a serious approach to study and in order to assist this they are provided with a designated space in which to house their work. Whilst students benefit from specialist guidance and one to one teaching they are expected to think independently and research and investigate their chosen topics both inside and outside of lessons.
It is our belief that every child can and should be visually literate and to that end we encourage our students to develop their powers of visual awareness and creativity.
Since the dawn of civilization artists and designers have played a central role in defining our development as individuals and in the forming of a civilised society. Art is an enhancement of the quality of life and its importance cannot be understated. Visual awareness is as important in the development of an individual as numeracy and literacy. The myth that art is a gift that cannot be taught or learnt is just that – a myth. The proof of this is there to be seen, literally, and our examination results and regular displays of students’ work confirm this belief.
The Art Department mainly operates from a large workspace which houses 5 networked computers and high quality colour printer and art library area. It is housed over two floors giving space for some areas for individual projects, darkroom , library, kiln room and fabric printing tables.
The Art teacher is a practicing artist and students have regular opportunities to see art in progress. In addition there are dramatic productions when the process of designing and producing scenery involves some of the pupils.