|It is the Art Department's aim to inspire each pupil studying art to consider their place in the world and to communicate their personal response to it.
Studying art at Eltham College helps pupils to develop a sense of their own identity as pupils are given the chance to learn how to work with a range of materials and techniques so that they develop confidence, competence, imagination and creativity.
The Art Department is an exciting place to study; previous exam pupils have made films, built large-scale installations, used photography, drawn with wire, printed with a variety of objects through the etching press, made sound pieces and projected images over sculptures amongst many other interesting projects. The subject matter is varied as the pupils themselves - from composing and realising beauty in everyday objects, mapping the stars, aviation, architecture, political beliefs, politics, ecology, movement, archaeology, reflection, family history, memories, human interaction, pattern, experimental travel... The ideas are inspired by artists relevant to their lives and eclectic interests. Art can bring a welcome balance to other academic subjects.
Studying Art develops transferable skills such as problem-solving, creative thinking, experimentation, critical analysis, research skills, resilience, making and building skills, team work and debating.
Learning in the Art department
What happens in an Art room can be roughly grouped into making Art, learning about Art, and learning from Art. One of the department's major tasks is to provide learning experiences, which stimulate and encourage investigation to develop personal ideas, feelings and responses to a subject, issue or problem.
There are regular extra sessions set up for the exam groups so that they can keep on top of their studio work. The classrooms are opened for pupils over the Easter holidays to complete coursework and the Sixth Formers can use their free lessons to complete work in the department. There are also courses offered in the gallery, both evening and holiday courses, that support those studying Art at exam level.
The Art curriculum
Art is compulsory in Years 7 to 9. The pupils have one double lesson a week in groups of 12 and spend half of the year focusing on a project with one teacher and the other half with another of the teachers working in a different way. There is the chance to work in 2D and 3D in all of the lower school courses. Homework is used to reinforce and extend what is learnt at school and as a time to prepare and research for the next lesson. Pupils are set personal projects for homework in Years 8 and 9 to give them an insight into the expectations of GCSE and the opportunity to explore their own ideas using a range of materials and techniques.
Year 7: an introductory course.
Core skills in observational drawing, colour theory, research, experimentation, development of ideas and using a sketchbook.
Power drawing: learning skills of perception, communication and invention through a variety of drawing experiences.
Art from Art: learning that ideas can come from looking at how artists work
Nature, Environment, Landscape. Studying the forms and structures found in nature and using the natural landscape as a source for ideas.
Art and society: looking at world cultures and society as an inspiration for Art work.
It is usual in recent years for around a third of the year to choose Art for GCSE. The course builds on the experiences at lower school but with two double lessons a week there is time to develop ideas and techniques to a much higher standard. We teach a Fine Art course which means that the boys can eventually work in a range of materials from sculpture, to painting, from digital work to installation.
Art continues to A level and more information can be found here.
Exhibitions and Workshops
The art department organises exhibitions in Central Hall each year for students in Year 7, 8, 9 and 11 and then the work is exhibited around the school.
The department has established a Year 9 film night held in the Gerald Moore Gallery to show some of the best films produced by the pupils. We often invite artists to run workshops with the Year 9 pupils and all years have the chance to work with the Artist-in-Residence.
There is a photography club each Tuesday lunchtime which is a chance for pupils to develop their skills and explore ideas using their camera. The department also has a lunchtime session for any pupil wanting to develop their own work, which is supported by the art staff.
There are also opportunities to attend workshops in the Gerald Moore Gallery. There is an optional after-school club in the gallery each week for pupils in Years 7 to 9 and an evening class for GCSE and A level students. The gallery also hosts some exciting one-off workshops, which are well-attended by Eltham pupils.
Every Easter there is a trip to Tuscany where we stay with an artist in the countryside, making work in a studio and also taking day visits to Siena and Florence.
We run a day trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum for Year 10.
There is a trip to Tate Modern in Year 11 as part of the mock exam.
The department is very well-resourced with some exciting equipment, both digital and traditional:
three general Art studios
a sculpture and installation room
excellent printmaking facilities
3D printer and ceramic transfer printer
Access to the onsite Gerald Moore Gallery
Gerald Moore Gallery
Gerald Moore Gallery opened in April 2012 and hosts a variety of exhibitions across Art forms. It presents pupils with the chance to work with artists, to lead projects, to exhibit their own work, to attend courses and artist talks and to learn in new ways in the gallery spaces. It is also open to the public at weekends. More details can be found on the gallery’s website.
The Art Staff
There are three specialist teachers:
There is also an Art technician and an Artist-in-Residence. All the teachers are practising artists with their own interests and preferences which means that the learning opportunities are broad.