Art and Design
In the Art & Design Department, our policy is to ensure that pupils engage in deep, rigorous learning, equipping them to express their own ideas effectively and with clarity.
Pupils explore a range of two and/or three-dimensional media, processes and techniques, when they are made aware of new and traditional technologies.
Our ‘open studio’ policy allows pupils to make use of our excellent facilities in the evenings during the school week. Their personal creativity is enhanced and inspired by visits to most of the major galleries and museums, as well as to the Warner Bros Studios. They can also benefit from our residential visits to artistic and cultural centres including Venice, Berlin and Barcelona.
The Department is divided into the following areas of study:
Graphic Communication, Film, Animation, Illustration, Photography, Surface Design.
Product Design, Furniture, Jewellery, Architecture, Millinery, Interior Design, Textiles.
Drawing & Painting, Sculpture, Printmaking.
Art & Design pupils opt for one or more of the following from the A-Level AQA A&D specification: 2D Design, 3D Design/Textiles and Fine Art.
The courses all have slightly different approaches but creativity, diversity and innovation are at the heart of all we do. Pupils are introduced to a diverse range of media, resources and equipment to broaden their understanding and their ability to generate conceptual ideas and creative results. They benefit greatly from trips to galleries and museums in London, Venice, Barcelona and Amsterdam. They also enjoy opportunities for life drawing classes, after-school support and workshops, seminars, community projects, competitions and ‘live’ briefs.
Our impressive facilities include a specialised textiles area within the 3D workshop, iMac computers, full Adobe Creative Suite, film and animation equipment, photographic studios, DSLRs, laser cutter, glass kiln and pottery, dedicated printing room and a comprehensive range of provisions for painting.
Many pupils go on to study Art and Design at higher education establishments. Universities tend to prefer students to come from an Art and Design Foundation course, but such is the maturity and breadth of their work that our pupils often gain direct access to top courses.
In Lower 5, pupils can opt to follow the Art & Design course as their Creative option. They complete three units of work in the areas of Fine Art, 3D Design/Textiles and 2D Design.
This course builds upon the areas covered in 4th Form and gives pupils a much greater understanding of the processes, materials and techniques covered in each of the GCSE endorsements offered in M5.
Middle 5/Upper 5
For GCSE, pupils are encouraged to respond in a more individual, engaged and extensive way.
They can opt for one or more of the following from the GCSE AQA A&D specification: 2D Design specialising in Graphic Communication, Film, Animation, Illustration, Photography or Surface Design; or 3D Design where pupils specialise in Product Design, Furniture, Jewellery, Architecture, Millinery or Interior Design & Constructed Textiles: or Fine Art where they can specialise in Drawing, Painting or Ceramics & Printmaking.
The sets are taught by teams with the appropriate expertise and represent a series of projects for Unit 1, to be completed by the end of December in U5.
Unit 2, with titles set externally by the exam board in January, are completed in April.
We celebrate the pupils’ achievements by holding a major exhibition of their work in the Trinity Term.
The 4th Form Art & Design course challenges pupils in a variety of media through rigorous contextual research on specific themes, experimentation with materials and techniques, and the processes of generating and developing ideas.
We aim to give all pupils a comprehensive range of skills to equip them for further study at GCSE Art & Design and beyond, while improving their visual communication skills and creativity across all subjects. In fact, everything we do in the Department is designed to promote creativity and ingenuity.
By equipping pupils with up-to-date technical, IT and process skills we remove the limitations to their creativity in ideational and practical experimentation.
By giving pupils the opportunity to take risks we encourage them to develop an individual approach to their work and a refreshingly personal response to stimuli.
They are encouraged to create artefacts of value, reflecting social, cultural, technological, scientific and environmental influences. In this way they gain an insight into the broader context in which their creations must exist.