"All children are born artists" - Pablo Picasso
The Art, Design and Technology Department currently has a variety of very well-resourced teaching rooms and studios alongside a variety of other teaching and learning areas and generous storage space. The academic year 2020-21 is seeing a major expansion in the provision of permanent workspaces for all Sixth Form Art and Photography students. In addition to this, there are three main Art and Design classrooms and two well equipped computer suites.
At Key Stage 3, students follow a diverse programme of study which includes an introduction to as many techniques as possible in rotational structures that encompass 3D and new media alongside other Fine Art disciplines. The Edexcel / Pearson examination board is used at both GCSE and A Level in Art and 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 a very inclusive course for those students less sure in traditional skills. Students studying GCSE Photography experiment with media, processes and techniques which are supported by a spacious darkroom and a range of new computers. All students possess their own iPad that helps to facilitate rapid artist research, primary source gathering and additional digital experiments. At A Level, we continue to offer both Fine Art and Photography.
Our students mostly gain admittance to their preferred university destination, ranging from a number of architecture courses in London such as UCL, History of Art study at the Courtauld Institute and immediate acceptance onto BA Fine Art, Design and Graphic Design courses without the need for a foundation course, including at Central Saint Martins and Goldsmiths. Notable art alumni include the surrealist painter Leonora Carrington, fashion designer Anya Hindmarch and the up and coming photographer Antoine Geiger.
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
The number of award-winning Art and Design students is prolific and exceptional at New Hall. The past couple of years has seen particular successes in the Young Fashion Designer of the Year, the Catholic Independent Schools’ competition, the Royal Academy A Level exhibition, the Education Art Prize final, ISA Artist of the Month, ISA Digital Animation and the ARTiculation prize. The Department has also scooped first prizes in the international HMC Schools’ Art competition and the European ‘Who Are You?’ billboard competition in recent years. Art trips at home and abroad form an important part of the Art experience. Recent destinations include Barcelona, Berlin, Cornwall and New York. The North Gallery in the heart of the school facilitates professional exhibitions of student work throughout the academic year.
The Department’s examination results have been excellent over a number of years, which, we feel, endorses New Hall as a centre of excellence in Art and Design. A number of submissions at different levels have achieved particularly high results and recognition, thus featuring amongst the highest performers nationally in Art and Design each year.
We significantly outperform national statistics at every level and our standards continue to rise. 2019 saw over 22% of students gaining the exceptional Level 9 award in GCSE Fine Art. At A Level, the A* grade is in fact the most common grade achieved by our Sixth Form artists over the past six years.
We are especially proud of our conversion rate in accepting some students at A Level with little or no experience in Art at GCSE Level, yet most of these cases can show remarkable progress over the two years of ‘college style’ teaching and learning. A number of teachers in the department share substantial experience in being moderators and team leaders at GCSE and A Level.
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 hosted the first ever and highly successful HMC/Group14 Art conference, which incorporates a supportive group of leading independent schools, including Benenden and Roedean.
An exhibition of work by students and staff is due to be held in the Pelican Gallery including numerous portraits of the heroic staff in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.
Head of Department: Mr G Hughes BA Hons Fine Art (Coventry) MFA (Master in Fine Art) (Reading) PG Cert Leadership and Management in Education (Sheffield), FRSA [email protected]