Studying Art is an intellectual pursuit and we have high expectations for our girls to engage in meaningful art practice which explores culture, emotion, spirituality, truth, controversy and aesthetics. We believe that contemporary art practice is multi-disciplinary and we therefore expose our students to a diverse range of art practices, from drawing and painting to print and sculpture, dressmaking to fine art textiles, design and digital manipulation, photography and film. We recognise that exciting artwork comes from passion and so we facilitate our girls in finding a concept and method of working that suits their interests and aspirations. In so doing, we believe that our girls exhibit maturity and depth to their work that reflects their strength of character and meaningful artistic journey.
Here you will find curriculum content for all key stages, information regarding GCSE and A Level examinations as well as useful links to websites and appropriate social media platforms. The student area provides resources and inspirational material to aid students in their artistic journey.
‘Art is as natural as sunshine and as vital as nourishment.’ MaryAnn F. Kohl
The purpose of an Art Education in the Preps is to engage students in their visual world through practical making. Students are encouraged to share their ideas and use their imagination. Through addressing themes like colour, pattern and texture in nature, students are able to explore media and produce work of varied size, shape and form. At this stage we wish to nurture a love of Art and enthusiasm for making.
‘Art classes teach kids to: respect others, start a dialogue, experiment with materials, observe, find their voice, self-evaluate, make connections, express themselves. Learn from their mistakes, clean up, reflect on their work, embrace diversity, persevere, have an opinion, appreciate beauty, break away from stereotypes, envision solutions, value aesthetics, see another point of view, innovate.’ Elliot Eisner
Building on their experiences in the Preps, Junior students embark on more focused Art making and creativity. In-depth discussions on artistic practices in Western and other cultures lead to meaningful artistic journeys and the development of personal artwork. Students work in sketchbooks as well as completing larger personal and collaborative pieces. Introducing new craft processes and developing artistic skills enables students to make art effectively and meaningfully. Students are taught to use Photoshop to manipulate imagery digitally as well as how to use a sewing machine to draw with. Foundation skills in drawing, painting and sculpture are also taught as part of the KS2 curriculum.
Form III to Upper IV (Key Stage 3)
‘The Arts are not just a nice thing to have or to do if there is free time or if one can afford it. Rather, paintings and poetry, music and fashion, design and dialogue, they all define who we are as a people and provide an account of our history for the next generation.’ Michelle Obama
Senior Art students are encouraged to express their thoughts and identity through their Art. An appreciation of diversity in our world and a search for truth through personal and creative expression forms the backbone of senior Art education. Students gain confidence in their artistic abilities and creative ideas and document their journey creatively in sketchbooks. Students are encouraged to take risks and experiment with media and composition. Utilising digital media to create and document Art is also encouraged. This next phase of their education focuses on the refinement of existing skills and engagement with an ever-increasing portfolio of processes and techniques such as etching, book-binding, screenprinting, dress-making, digital film and animation and photography. In offering a wide range of facilities, we encourage students to find their own path in Art.
Lower V to Upper V (Key Stage 4)
If students opt to take Art at GCSE, they will embark on Edexcel’s Unendorsed Art & Design Course. This complements the multi-disciplinary approach that we have in our department and enables students to carve a personal pathway in terms of both concept and selection of media and processes.
Lower VI to Upper VI (Key Stage 5)
We offer Unendorsed Art, Craft & Design and Endorsed Digital and Lens-based Photography at A Level. Students can choose to do one or both courses and many go on to studying Art at Foundation and Undergraduate Level following the completion of these courses. Students are encouraged to live and breathe their Art, visiting relevant institutions and participating in external artistic opportunities such as debates, portfolio classes, artist talks and workshops. We believe this fosters the independence and confidence required in a competitive Art world.
Co-Curricular & Enrichment
For full details of our co-curricular and enrichment programme please visit our website. Art is very popular in our school and students enjoy a range of opportunities from visiting Art galleries and participating in artist-led workshops to attending regular clubs ranging from textiles to photography. The student-led ‘Creative Industries’ Club bring many ideas and information to the school regarding creative opportunities such as artist talks and competitions. More details on the following can be found on our website:
- ‘A Stitch in Time’ Chapel kneelers embroidery Project
- ‘Article Particle’ Artist-led workshop
- Residential trips to Paris and Berlin
- Photography and Textiles Clubs
- Gallery Visits to Tate, V&A & Photographers’ Gallery
- Saturday Art Club and exhibiting in Somerset House