Art & Design
Art is a prominent, highly popular subject at The Cotswold School, with our students’ work showcased across the school, and the department itself centred at its heart.
The Art Department is a vibrant, visually stimulating environment in which students are inspired to be creative, enjoy making art and understand the value of Art and Design in our daily lives and the working world.
One of the strengths of the department is that students are encouraged to produce work that is varied and not a ‘house style’. This is particularly evident at GCSE and A level and is a very popular option subject. The foundations for this success are laid when students first come to the school in year 7.
When pupils join the school at Year 7, we introduce them to a ‘foundation year’ of a variety of concepts, skills, materials and techniques so that all students can feel confident to progress. Pupils are introduced to the idea of the sketchbook as a tool which has many purposes: journal, development of ideas, experimentation, annotation, evaluation and reflection and responding to artists.
In years 7 – 9 the projects are varied and explore a range of media and techniques whilst also introducing pupils to a variety of artists to engage and inspire. In these years students develop skills in drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed-media, 3-dimensional art and using ICT in art. Looking at and responding to artists, craftspeople and architects plays a key role in teaching and learning.
Ultimately, we want to produce creative, independent artists who are confident in researching, experimenting, developing ideas and risk taking. We want our young artists to produce work that is varied, exciting and personal.
Independent Learning in Art is an opportunity to show off what students can achieve independently. Tasks vary from 1-4 week deadlines and range from short pieces of work to ‘Mini-Projects’ but always give students a chance to try something new, develop skills or approach them with an innovative idea.
GCSE and A Level
Art is a popular choice at GCSE and A Level with many students going on to Art Foundation and University courses in Arts based subjects ranging from Fine Art, Textiles/Fashion, Sculpture, Photography and Architecture to History of Art.
We offer GCSE Fine Art, AS/A2 level Fine Art and History of Art and Photography (both currently offered as enrichment opportunities). As an option, the subject is a demanding one and should not be underestimated! Our students achieve impressive results at both levels and some of our young artists have achieved marks in the top 5% of the country.
We are extremely lucky to have two designated A Level studios for year 12 and 13 and plans are in place to extend and enhance these spaces further in the future.
ICT in the Art Department
ICT is used by students as an integral part of the creative process: photography and editing, film and even projection are common. Our ICT suite at the centre of the department is an invaluable resource. Our aim is to develop our use of ICT further using tablets, increasing digital filmmaking and projection mapping.
Books continue to be an irreplaceable research tool and while the internet is wonderfully useful, we know that students who read and research widely using books will achieve far greater understanding of this subject and as a result, success in their studies. To promote this we have an extensive (and growing) collection of Art books for our students to access.
Extra Curricular Activities
The art rooms are a hive of activity at lunchtimes. Year 7-9 can participate in junior art club and yr10-13 can use the rooms for their independent coursework.
Gifted and Talented
Students are encouraged to seek ways to extend their skills and work in all schemes of work.
Trips and enrichment activities are offered for the gifted and talented in year 7-9, and in year 10, 12 and 13 there are trips organised to London as well as the opportunity to join a fantastic trip to Tuscany, taking in superb architecture, galleries and art history alongside the school’s Italian language students. Local trips have taken us to Compton Verney and to the Jo Taylor and Kurt Jackson exhibitions; meanwhile we have enjoyed regular visits and inspiring workshops on-site delivered by such diverse talents as printmaker Adrienne Cradock, interactive animators and projectionists from SquidSoup, and ceramicist and sculptors from the Corinium Museum.