Art at Dame Alice Owen’s school provides opportunities to explore a wide range of media and techniques including drawing, painting, printing, 3D, collage and ICT. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a rigorous understanding of how art and design reflects our history; contributes to the culture of our world and be aware of the significant impact art has in shaping our future.
The art team consists of four members of staff, who teach in four multi-purpose studios, which provide a stimulating, inspiring and creative environment where students can enjoy learning, develop confidence and fulfil their potential. Students are encouraged to use the studios in their own time, which makes for a thriving and productive department in which students are well supported.
At Key Stage Three, pupils explore the visual, tactile and other sensory experiences to investigate and develop ideas using specialised materials and equipment including clay, lino printing and batik to provide a broad creative experience. Primary observation is encouraged, with personal experience and imagination to explore the elements of line, shape, tone, colour, pattern, texture and form in both 2 and 3 dimensions.
Pupils make regular use of their art sketchbooks, which provide a vehicle for experimentation, self-expression and the development of ideas. This acts as a visual diary to support the creative process. Pupils learn to value and appreciate images, artefacts, whilst referencing the work of artists, times and cultures using subject specific language to express opinions. These transferable skills are further developed at KS4 and KS5, with greater emphasis upon their personal investigations to create a bespoke art portfolio.
Art clubs are available at lunchtime, where students can complete work, receive extra support or explore new techniques. In the Autumn term, our A Level art students organise and run a series of art club activities to lower school pupils including origami and pottery. In addition, the art department is heavily involved in many cross-curricular activities, creating printed T-Shirts for Enterprise Day as well as the set designs for Drama productions.
Themes at GCSE and A level are broad-based and encourage a personal approach. Students build upon their prior learning to explore a wide variety of materials and techniques, whilst sequentially developing their ideas through to a successful outcome(s). Our young artists are free to select and organise their own portfolio of work which best showcases their skills, ranging from 2D black and white drawings to painting, installation, video and 3D form.
In year 10, GCSE students visit The Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford as part of the course and in years 12 and 13, we organise an off-site Life Drawing workshop and a biannual Art Study Tour to Madrid. We also promote and have close alliances with The Creative Dimension Trust and Middlesex University. The Creative Dimension offers a series of free, craft based workshops led by skilled professionals at various colleges and universities across the country.
The National Art and Design Saturday Club Trust continues to be popular with our students. Free workshops held at Middlesex University offer exciting opportunities to work with specialised equipment including photography, ceramics and printing. All participants exhibit their work at Somerset House in the summer term. All work produced is used as part of their art portfolio.
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. We are delighted to share that all of our students gained entry to foundation and degree courses, with students accepted to Central St Martins, The Royal Drawing School, Cambridge University and other prestigious art colleges such as City and Guilds and Kingston University.
Finally, we celebrate our students’ endeavours during our Open Exhibition Evenings, where friends and family are invited to share the successful completion of the course. Our most recent moderators report commended the department for its impeccable organisation and concluded by saying the exhibition was a ‘pleasure to moderate.’
|Specification name / number
|The Visual Elements – Insects – Portraiture
The Store Cupboard – Tribal Masks –
|Pop Art – Identity – Architecture
|Nature and the Environment & Externally Set Assignment (exam)
|Contrast & Externally Set Assignment (exam)
Mr P Anastasi (Head of Art)