"All children are born artists" - Pablo Picasso
The majority of the rooms in this dynamic and high-achieving Department are housed within the historic former palace of Henry VIII, described as “a warren of atelier-style studios” by the Good Schools’ Guide.
Diversity of work and a strong co-curricular offering are characteristic features of the Department. Students are encouraged to find their own creative voice as a starting point for their personal development as young artists and designers, and the Department is open for students to visit throughout the week. We believe that Art & Design gives the student a distinctive voice to explore and express whatever is relevant to them.
The Art, Design & Technology Department currently has well-resourced teaching rooms and studios alongside a variety of other teaching and learning areas and generous storage space. There has recently been a major expansion in the provision of permanent individual workspaces for all A Level students in Art & Design (Fine Art) and Art & Design (Photography). In addition, there are three main Art & Design classrooms and two well-equipped computer suites.
Each student is given their own iPad, with digital applications such as Procreate and tuition in the applications themselves. One recent visitor to the Department has been Roz Hall who is a pioneering artist in the use of Procreate. A number of our students claimed prizes, four in total, in this year’s ISA Digital Art competition, with most entries done within the aforementioned application.
Parts of the airy and well-equipped Year 13 Art Studio and the newly-refurbished Year 12 workspaces
The recently refurbished digital suite and a spacious darkroom, accessible to all year groups
Central AimsCentral Aims
Our central aims are:
- to provide an enjoyable, fulfilling and successful experience for both students and staff, as well as the local community
- to create a suitable and caring working environment where learning can be enjoyed and all students can gain a sense of achievement and be regarded always as an individual, ideally through independent learning and non-didactic teaching
- to contribute to the personal development of young people in terms of confidence, creativity, awareness and sensitivity
- to contribute to the educational development of young people in terms of independent thinking and research, a critical and analytical approach to problem solving, and the ability to review and modify
- to promote sustained knowledge and understanding of the subject area and to encourage students to take increasing responsibility for their personal learning and their own motivation
- to enable students to achieve high academic standards
- to ensure that the Department is visible and part of the School environment through effective use of display space
At Key Stage 3, students follow a diverse programme of study. This includes an introduction to many techniques in modular structures encompassing 3D and new media alongside other Fine Art disciplines. The Edexcel/Pearson examination specification is used at both GCSE and A Level in Art & Design. There is an outstanding library and database resource to help students identify inspirational practitioners, and our facilities support the production of highly ambitious work.
In Fine Art, students are encouraged to work imaginatively and expressively in a wide range of media, including drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, textiles and mixed media. The use of new media is also encouraged to allow an inclusive course for those students less confident in traditional skills. Students studying GCSE Art & Design (Photography) experiment with media, processes and techniques, utilising a spacious darkroom and a range of new computers. At A Level, we continue to offer both Fine Art and Photography.
There are robust links with the Preparatory Division, including a Key Stage 3 style curriculum delivered to Years 5 & 6 and the delivery of an after-school Art provision for two hours per day to Prep classes, fostering a whole-school approach to the subject. The latter is delivered on each school day by a specialised Senior Divisions’ Teacher of Art and a variety of Sixth Form artists.
Weekly after-school Art Clubs open to all allow students to expand their horizons and incite a love of art in all its forms.
Enhanced opportunities exist for examination students including:
- Visits to London galleries, plus half term and Easter workshop days
- A visitors’ programme of emerging artists, designers, curators and examiners
Art trips at home and abroad form an important part of the Art experience. Recent destinations include Barcelona, Berlin, Cornwall and New York. In the North Gallery, situated in the heart of the School, exhibitions of student work are displayed throughout the academic year.
Art trip to St Ives
Recently, students’ artwork has begun to be installed in dynamic outdoor galleries on our 70-acre site.
Awards & PrizesAwards & Prizes
There is a high number of award-winning Art & Design students at New Hall:
- Young Fashion Designer of the Year
- The Catholic Independent Schools’ Conference (CISC) Competition
- The Royal Academy A Level Exhibition
- The Education Art Prize Final
- ISA Artist of the Month
- ISA Digital Animation and Art
- The ARTiculation Prize
- The International HMC Schools’ Art Competition – first prize (in the last HMC Competition, the awarding judge described New Hall’s Art Department as ‘a force to be reckoned with’.
- The European ‘Who Are You?’ Billboard Competition – first prize
- The National ISA Art Competition – Just recently admitted as an ISA school, New Hall claimed the most prizes out of any other independent senior school in both 2020 and 2021, including five first prize-winners.
Award winning Art & Design work from New Hall including Young Fashion Designer of the Year
The prize-winning entries (both oil paintings on canvas) in the KS5 and KS3 Art sections of the ISA Art National Final in 2021
Students outperform national expectations in public examinations in every regard. In 2019 and 2022, the two most recent year of normal examination processes, a quarter of students gained a 9 in GCSE Art & Design (Fine Art) in each year. In 2022, a further 75% of GCSE Art students gained a grade 8 or higher and 90% achieved at least a grade 7 with no grades below a 6 within a sizeable cohort. At A Level, anything below a B grade is extremely rare and below a C (even if the student has not studied the subject at GCSE) is unheard of. In most years, the A* grade has been the most common grade achieved by our Sixth Form artists and photographers. The examination board has commended the Department “for its inventive and collegiate approach to the delivery of the Edexcel specification”, and New Hall School has become a regular supplier of exemplar A Level artwork for the examination board to use in important training events.
The Department also hosted the inaugural, highly successful HMC/Group14 Art Conference, which incorporated a supportive group of leading independent schools, including Benenden and Roedean.
Currently, an exhibition of work by students and staff is on show in the Pelican Gallery, including numerous portraits of the heroic staff in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.
For further details regarding Art, Design & Technology at New Hall School, please contact Head of Art, Design & Technology Mr G Hughes BA Hons Fine Art (Coventry), MFA (Master in Fine Art) (Reading), PG Cert Leadership & Management in Education (Sheffield), FRSA, [email protected]
Twitter – @NewHallArtDept
Instagram – @new_hall_adt
Our students usually gain admittance to their preferred university destinations. These have included:
- Architecture courses at UCL and other top ten institutions
- History of Art at the Courtauld Institute
- BA Fine Art, Design and Graphic Design courses at UAL, Central Saint Martins and Goldsmiths, without the need for a foundation year.
Notable art alumni include:
- surrealist painter, Leonora Carrington
- fashion designer, Anya Hindmarch CBE
- photographer, Antoine Geiger
- sculptor, Sioban Coppinger
- sculptor (Member of the Royal Society of Sculptors) & letter carver, Mary Anstee-Parry
- 3D artist & animator, Anna Huber
- film makers, Rose Glass and Cindy Buxton
- equestrian painter, Katie O’Sullivan