Art

Overview

It is the Art Department’s aim to inspire each student studying art to consider their place in the world and to communicate their personal response to it. Studying art at Eltham College helps students to develop a sense of their own identity as they 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 students 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 as varied as the students 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.

Teaching and Learning

Studying Art at Eltham College encompasses creating art, learning about art and, most importantly, 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 open for students over the Easter holidays to complete coursework. There are also courses offered in the gallery, both evening and holiday courses, that support those studying Art at exam level.

Curriculum

Art is compulsory in Year 7 and 8, students can then decide to study Art from one of five creative subjects in Year 9. The students 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. Students are set personal projects for homework in Year 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.
  • Art from Art: learning that ideas can come from looking at how artists work

Year 8:

  • 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.

Year 9:

  • Human Form
  • Art and the built environment.

GCSE:

This 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 students can eventually work in a range of materials from sculpture, to painting, from digital work to installation

Trips, activities and clubs

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. There is a trip to Harry Potter World for all Year 8 students followed by a day of experimental workshops exploring set and costume design.
We often invite artists to run workshops with Year 9 students 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 students to develop their skills and explore ideas using their camera. The department also has a lunchtime session for any student 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 students in Year 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 students.

Trips

  • 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.

Staff

  • Ms E Brass BA MA (Director of Art)
  • Mrs M Franklin MA (Acting Head of Art October 2017 to June 2018)
  • Mrs R Spencer Jolly BA
  • Mrs A Richards BA (part-time)
  • Mr D Hughes (Art Technician)