Art students in all key stages at Dame Alice Owen’s school are given the opportunity to explore a wide range of media and techniques including drawing, painting, printing, 3D, collage and ICT. Students are expected to relate their own work to that of other artists, analysing and evaluating their own and others’ work as they progress.
The art team consists of six members of staff, who teach in four newly built, multi-purpose studios, which provide a stimulating, inspiring and creative environment, where students can enjoy learning, be creative, develop confidence and reach their full potential. Students are encouraged to use the studios in their own time, which makes for a lively and productive department in which students are well supported.
At Key stage three, students explore visual, tactile and other sensory experiences to investigate and develop ideas and create artefacts, whilst referencing the work of artists, times and cultures. Students work from direct observation, personal experience and imagination to explore the visual elements of line, shape, tone, colour, pattern, texture and form in both 2 and 3 dimensions. Throughout the course, students make regular use of their art journals, which provide a vehicle for experimentation, self-expression and the development of ideas and acts as a visual diary to support the creative process. Students learn to value and appreciate images and artefacts from across time and cultures.
Themes at GCSE and A level are broad-based and encourage a personal approach. Students have the opportunity to explore a wide variety of materials and techniques, whilst sequentially developing their ideas through to a successful outcome. In year 10, GCSE students visit a museum or art gallery as part of the course and in years 12 and 13, there is an annual Art Study Tour to Paris or Barcelona. In addition, at A level there is a field trip to the Henry Moore Foundation and a day-long life drawing session run by the Royal Academy at Owens.
We follow the Edexcel examination board’s unendorsed Art and Design courses at GCSE and A Level and have an excellent record of results at both levels, with many students last year receiving commendations from the exam board for outstanding achievement. We have a similar record of entry to foundation and degree courses, with students regularly accepted to Central St Martins and other prestigious art colleges such as the Ruskin School, Oxford.
Art clubs are run each lunchtime and students have the opportunity to work in the art studios after school, where they can complete work, receive extra support or explore new techniques. At certain times of the year, our A Level art students organise and run a series of art club activities to lower school students at lunchtimes, including origami, ceramics and marionette making. In addition, the department is involved annually in many cross-curricular activities with other departments, including Music, where students presented their work in a year assembly and a day-long project with Maths.
Mr P Anastasi (Head of Art)