Art, Textiles and Photography

The Art, Textiles and Photography Department prides itself on the creative energy of the pupils and staff, all of whom work together in a highly supportive working environment.

Work created by pupils is constantly on display within the Departments and also throughout the School. The highlight of our year is the annual exhibition at the end of the Summer Term; this showcases all of our best talent and achievements throughout the school year.

The Art Department has a wide range of different experience and expertise including specialist tutors in Photography, Fine Art, Ceramics and Surface Pattern. All the teaching staff work closely together to support the aims of the Department and their commitment and expertise creates a productive and creative atmosphere that stimulates enthusiasm for the subject. We offer dynamic and engaging courses at all levels.

First Form to Third Form

Pupils in the First Form and Second Form will experience imaginative work through observational studies and research into a range of relevant artists and designers work. During these processes the following aspects of Art and Design will be taught:

  • Colour
  • Tone
  • Line
  • Texture
  • Pattern
  • Shape
  • Design

In many cases a number of these elements will be combined within one project. All of these concepts will be developed during the year, enabling the pupils to gradually acquire a language and knowledge of the visual arts. Critical studies will be taught mainly in a thematic manner within practical projects.

The Third Form is seen as the foundation part of the course and an important step towards the GCSE exam. We value the skills and accomplishments that individual pupils have covered and aim to improve and enhance these. Third Form is a valuable year for experimenting and exploring new and familiar media that they will use to the full when developing projects further if they opt to study Art and Design at GCSE level. 

The time and opportunity to investigate and develop skills in various media should be undertaken conscientiously. With understanding and a degree of proficiency, pupils will be able to call upon these skills to express their observations and ideas. Although all projects begin as teacher directed, we look for pupils to take ownership of their work and to advance it towards a more personal response in readiness for GCSE.

Fourth and Fifth Form

Pupils are offered the opportunity to study Fine Art or Textiles at GCSE Level and follow the OCR syllabus.

Coursework projects enables pupils to develop highly personal artwork, working progressively with more confidence and independence from a given starting point or theme. Projects always start with observational drawing and detailed research in relation to the project. Further detailed analysis into relevant artists and designers work is produced and pupils respond to this allowing their work to be influenced by this research. The longer period of time devoted to each project enables a number of ambitious responses, often leading to further development and larger scale work. Research, experimentation and modification will take place in every project. The coursework units and the terminal examination will be assessed in relation to the four assessment objectives set by the examination board.

Head of Art: Ms E F Williams

Trips, Activities and Extension

The Art and Design Department run a substantial extra-curricular programme incorporating guest speakers, workshops, life drawing sessions and visits to exhibitions and galleries in this country and abroad. We also welcome back students who have gone on to study degree courses in Fine Art, Photography andTextiles to speak to pupils.

Visits to London Galleries and Exhibitions

The Department visits Photography Exhibitions, Degree Shows, the Tate Modern, Royal Academy and National Portrait Gallery.

Royal Academy Drawing Workshop and Life Drawing Session

During the Michaelmas Term, Fifth Form Art Award Holders have the opportunity to join A Level students in participating in a Life Drawing and Portrait workshop with a model from the Royal Academy. The following day the group travel to London to take part in an artist led workshop at the Tate Modern, followed by a guided tour of the Anselm Kiefer exhibition at the Royal Academy and a visit to the National Portrait Gallery. The trip complements the portrait session the pupils participated in the previous day.

Pitt Rivers Museum and Ashmolean Museum Trip

Fourth Form pupils visit both the Pitt Rivers and Ashmolean Museums in Oxford. Pupils use the trip to provide inspiration and develop ideas for their Textiles GCSE project.

Lunchtime Clubs and AOB

The Art Department hold a number of AOBs for pupils to participate in. These have included Knitting Club, Life Drawing, Soft-Sculpture Puppets, Craft and Design Workshop, Mosaic Insects, Papier-Mache Animals, Introduction to Textiles, Fashion Designing and Jewellery Making and Photography Skills.