Art students across 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 seven members of staff, who teach in four 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, pupils 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, pupils 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. Pupils learn to value and appreciate images and artefacts from across time and cultures.
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 and pottery. In addition, the department is involved annually in many cross-curricular activities with other departments, including Maths, where students presented their printed T-Shirts for Enterprise Day.
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 The Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford or an art gallery as part of the course and in years 12 and 13, there is an Art Study Tour to a European City such as Paris, Barcelona, Florence or Madrid. In addition, at A level there is a day-long life drawing session run by the Royal Academy at Owens or off-site in Puckeridge. We also have a creative crew which helps to design and paint the set for the Drama Performances each term.
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, The Royal Drawing School and other prestigious art colleges such as the Ruskin School, Oxford.
Mr P Anastasi (Head of Art)