We have a highly and diversely accomplished team of art teachers, several of whom are practicing artists. They are committed to developing pupils’ practical ability and technique across a range of media from painting and drawing to textile work, ceramics, installations and digital design, in addition to growing their knowledge of the theory and history of art. Pupils are also strongly encouraged to initiate their own projects, whether in a lesson context or as an extra-curricular activity, as it is often when personal intellectual curiosity is worked out aesthetically that the most outstanding work is produced.
Observation and appreciation of the work of others is also encouraged and the wealth of galleries and museums within easy reach of the school serves as an invaluable asset. Our A Level artists and art historians in particular find it most advantageous to study at the nearby Tate, National and Courtauld Galleries.
The Art School houses a vast array of studios, many with specialist equipment, including two printmaking rooms with Albion presses and a suite for etching. In addition to a digital photography space there is a large darkroom with facilities for black-and-white processing, a dedicated IT suite, film-making facilities and a well-stocked Library, all set alongside architecturally fascinating and stimulating work areas. Pupils can be found working here late into the evenings, as the Art School operates extended opening hours to offer the greatest degree of creative flexibility.
A number of our pupils continue to an art school, or pursue a related field such as Architecture, and go on to achieve national and even international acclaim. However, in the context of the school we celebrate the diversity, imagination and innovation of all our pupils, with regular changing displays in most public areas in addition to the department gallery and studios. Each year a major Summer Show is hosted to particularly honour the achievements of the GCSE and A Level pupils and the exhibition is accompanied by the publication of the school’s own creative magazine.