All pupils study art – both the practice and the appreciation – until the end of the third form, during which time they develop their ideas and skills through an exploration of some of the major themes in art: the human figure, natural world, built environment and popular culture.
Work at GCSE and AS / A2 level is fine art based: painting and related media, sculpture, printmaking and ceramics. A critical study of works of art forms an important element of the courses and History of Art is also available as an AS level. (In 2006 the school received the Good Schools Award for the best results in the subject in a state school.)
Pupils applying for higher education courses in Art and Architecture are given assistance in preparing their portfolios and, in the latter case, are given after-school lessons in the history of architecture. The department has an excellent record of pupils consistently gaining places at the major London colleges: Chelsea, Camberwell, Wimbledon and Central St Martins.
At AS and A2 level, pupils have many opportunities to engage in exciting extra curricular projects and workshops. Two pupils are selected every year to represent the school in the Royal Academy of Art's attract scheme, enabling them to enjoy talks and workshops at the RA. Many pupils also participate in the Saturday life drawing classes at The Prince's Drawing School. In 2007 the art department was invited to participate in the Nanou-Together Project, run by Tate Britain, and three pupils are currently exploring cultural and artistic links between Britain and Syria, with the possibility of travel to Syria, with Tate Britain and the British Council, in 2008.
Exhibitions of pupils work are held throughout the year in the Paolozzi Gallery and adjacent studios, and pupils are also able to experience the work of other artists through group or solo shows.
After school art and pottery clubs - lower school every Tuesday and middle and upper school every Wednesday - enable pupils to explore their own ideas or, in the case of pupils on exam courses, to continue with their coursework.
Pupils with an interest in theatre skills have many opportunities for co-curricular involvement, be it set painting, lighting, costume or makeup. An after-school, Theatre Technicians Club meets every Tuesday. Pupils are able to learn a number of varied skills that they are then able to apply to actual productions in the theatre. Over the years a number of pupils have progressed to work in professional stage lighting in major theatres, including the Royal National Theatre.
Click here to view our e-Gallery of a selection of pupil’s art work