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.
100% of grades at GCSE were 9-5 in 2018
100% A*to C grades at GCSE in 2015, 2016, and 2017
100% A*to C grades at AS and A Level in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
100% of Art applicants have secured places on prestigious Art Foundation and degree courses, including Kingston, Loughborough, London College of Fashion, Leeds, Ravensbourne and Central St Martin’s.
“Where talent is nurtured and ideas are explored. Our girls are encouraged to develop meaningful and contemporary art that embraces a multi-disciplinary practice and intellectual thought.”
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.
Girls contribute to a broad range of school events, from creating the Carol Service programme to designing the set for the whole school production.
“I love the exhibition visits that we go on. Last year we went to the London Art Fair, and the Foundation Show at Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon. This year we went to the Photographer’s Gallery and the Jerwood Space” Pupil
“The Art Room has a studio atmosphere – there are always students from different year groups working in there and it’s a great place to get inspired” Pupil
“We have a lot of specialist equipment, including a printing press, Mac computers, sewing machines and a photo studio. At A Level there is also the opportunity to do Life Drawing” Pupil
“Everyone loves Summer Arts Evening, our end of year exhibition! Small class sizes mean that we can make very ambitious large work, and prefects get a big role” Pupil
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.
Kiranjeet Sandhu (class of 2015) welcomed Priory 6 artists and photographers to her final year degree show at Central St Martin’s with a special guided tour.
Lower VI students have attended degree shows at Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon, the Central St Martin’s Degree Show, and the Bartlett School of Architecture Summer Show.
‘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. Students attend creative university fairs, open days and degree shows and are supported in their applications through in depth discussions and portfolio reviews with their teachers.
Co-Curricular & Enrichment
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. Recent clubs have included:
- ‘A Stitch in Time’ Chapel kneelers embroidery Project
- Junior Art Club
- Photography Club
- Life Drawing
- Art meets Languages/Music/Priory Farm
- Gallery Visits to the Tate Modern, Tate Britain, V&A, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery & The Photographers’ Gallery
- Workshops from BP Portrait Award artist Anastasia Pollard, and photographer Lottie Hampson