Art

Find out more about studying Art at Westminster

Art

  • About
  • Curriculum
  • Enrichment
  • Staff
  • After Westminster
  • About

    Art is a popular and successful subject offering a wonderful opportunity for those fascinated by the visual world to expand and develop their creative ideas. There is ample scope for highly personal production and written response, with an emphasis on self-motivation. The department offers and supports all creative pursuits ranging from filmmaking to darkroom photography.

    Department Contact Mr Jim Allchin
    jim.allchin@westminster.org.uk
  • Curriculum
    Lower School

    For the Fifth Form (Year 9) art course, we employ the concept of a spiral curriculum, a model in which the fundamental principles of art such as direct observation and the study of form, are developed through repeating these essential elements in new and interesting ways. The intention is to encourage and develop the process of analysis and eventual synthesis of observation, investigation, and conceptual realisation; to promote both the needs of the individual to explore and manipulate materials as a means of expression, and analysis as a means of understanding. It is hoped to give all pupils some valuable tools to facilitate their understanding, appreciation, and ability to interpret the visual world. 

    The GCSE course contains two components, a coursework unit (60%) and a concluding practical project that culminates in a ten-hour practical exam (40%). The first two terms of the course comprise teacher-led workshops designed to equip pupils with a secure understanding of concept, materials, process, and technique. This foundation experience sees pupils exploring drawing, printmaking, sculpture and painting through to photographic manipulation. Self-directed project work is developed from the summer term of the Lower Shell (Year 10) to the end of the course. Through ongoing tutorials, each pupil is afforded the opportunity of developing and refining their own bespoke concepts. The department opens its studio doors at the end of each year to celebrate both GCSE and A Level final outcomes. 

    Syllabus & Code
    Edexcel GCSE 1FA001 / 02 Art
    Upper School

    The A Level course contains two components, a portfolio of coursework (including a written investigation, 60%) and a concluding practical project (classed as the exam, 40%). The first term of A Level comprises a series of workshops to establish a secure and confident understanding of materials, processes, and techniques. A 12-part lecture series on art since 1850 makes up the first term’s programme. The unique environment of the life class, which runs during the first two terms, provides a forum for artists to engage with a long-established discipline. Beyond the first term, pupils are required to direct their work in accordance with personal motivations and enthusiasm. We have a dedicated gallery space where pupils are invited to curate group exhibitions and solo shows throughout their time here.  

    If pupils are passionate about the visual world, and enjoy exploring creative, aesthetic and expressive activities, they will be utterly fulfilled by A Level Art at Westminster.

    Syllabus & Code
    OCR A Level H60101 / 02 Art
    Sixth Form Entry
    Subject requirements for the course
    It is desirable for pupils to be on track to achieve a grade 8 or 9 for Art at (I)GCSE.

    Entrance Examination

    As part of the online registration process, candidates are asked to submit an online portfolio and short supporting statement. On the examination day, UK-based candidates are expected to bring their physical portfolio in for assessment. The Art Department will assess the work while candidates sit examinations for other subjects. Successful candidates who are called back to interview will return with their portfolio and discuss their work with the department.

    Overseas Candidates
    There is no (I)GCSE requirement for those who attend schools overseas that do not prepare pupils for (I)GCSE examinations. Candidates will be considered for a place based on their portfolio and a transcript of results from their current school.
  • Enrichment

    Pupils at Westminster benefit from numerous opportunities to engage with the subject beyond the studio; our central location allows for regular group gallery visits to Tate Britain and Tate Modern, The Courtauld Gallery and leading West End galleries. Our ARTISTALK programme runs throughout the academic year and welcomes artists, designers, and architects into our studios, to speak about their practice. 

  • Staff

    * denotes Head of Department
    † denotes Housemaster

    Dr Elisa Alaluusua (EA)
    Mr Jim Allchin (JLA) — Head of Art  *
    Mr Simon Crow (SJC)
    Mr John Woodman (JGW)
  • After Westminster

    Application to Art Foundation, a one-year diagnostic programme designed to assist the individual in deciding to which of the many disciplines they are most suited, is a favourite amongst pupils. Indeed, some pupils opt to study on Foundation as an alternative to a gap year. We also see regular direct entries for university courses such as Fine Art, Architecture, Filmmaking, and dual honour courses such as Structural Engineering and Architecture.

Co-curricular Art
Co-curricular Art

Find out about the opportunities to take part in Art within the co-curriculum.

"It’s hard not to be inspired by our spacious studios, filled with natural light, and the School’s geographical location."

— Mr Allchin, Head of Art

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