Our aim is to teach art within a broadly based syllabus, where the visual elements and a critical understanding of art are developed and explored by individual girls
In Key Stage 3, all girls will study the basic elements of visual language: line, tone, colour, space, form, pattern and texture. Visual literacy will develop through drawing and painting; ideas are creatively explored through a variety of materials and processes. Areas of study will include ceramics, printmaking, textiles, construction, photography and ICT.
All project work is linked to the work of artists, designers and craftspeople, allowing girls to develop a critical awareness of creative work from contemporary and past cultures. This investigation and research enables pupils to place their own creative output into a critical context and helps prepare them for future development. Towards the end of Year 9, pupils will be able to demonstrate an increasingly mature and deeper understanding.
Informal assessment takes place continually through discussion as projects develop and progress. Evaluations completed by pupils upon completion of projects provide an excellent opportunity for self-reflection of progress and approaches to study. Formal assessment of homework challenges is made through the projects in the form of teacher and peer assessment based on the following criteria:
- Use of expressive and technical skills
- Understanding of visual elements and materials
- Investigating and resourcing
- Developing and sustaining an idea/theme
- Demonstrating a critical understanding of work within an art historical context
- Ability to review and modify
- Creative and appropriate presentation of project work
This may cover observational drawing, design-based studies and visual research. Excellent presentation is encouraged. A record of assessment is kept in each pupil’s sketchbook.
The department offers excellent facilities; four purpose built studios, one of which is a ceramic studio, a fully equipped darkroom and a dedicated sixth form area and exhibiting space. The department also benefits from an ICT area where the pupils have open access to Adobe Photoshop and other industry standard graphics packages. There is an extensive range of books and periodicals in the Art Library with a reading and resource area available for pupils during lessons and at lunchtime and after school.
The studios are available during lunchtimes for pupils to continue their coursework, complete homework or experiment with materials. The teaching staff and the Sixth Form also offer a range of Art Clubs.
In Enrichment week, which is held in June each year, pupils from Year 9 are invited to join a 5 day study tour. This visit provides an excellent opportunity for the pupils to experience and soak up another culture. Whilst on the trip the girls record their experiences visually in a sketchbook. Recent destinations have been Venice, Rome and Amsterdam.