Art and Design
The Art and Design department aims to develop students academically and technically whilst broadening their cultural awareness. Our aim is to enable students to think divergently and employ their visual language skills to explore a range of issues, ideas and ideologies.
Students learn to respond to a diverse range of influences in their work, exploring a variety of processes, materials and media with imaginative confidence with the freedom to learn through failure. Students will learn about various artists, designers, movements, and genres to challenge and develop their investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical, and expressive skills. This will enhance their aesthetic understanding and critical judgement.
Through exploring a wide range of processes, techniques, and materials, teaching and learning emphasises improving technical skills. Each project also introduces students to art from different times and places, helping them develop their knowledge and understanding of the language of Art and Design.
Planning, delivery, and assessment of Lower School work is in line with the assessment requirements at GCSE and A Level to help students progress seamlessly into the Upper School with the critical thinking skills and technical ability required should they decide to take the subject further.
GCSE Art and Design aims to provide students with opportunities to develop technical skills across a wide range of materials, techniques and processes to develop their understanding of the visual language. Practical techniques such as drawing, painting, engraving, block printing, sculpture and ceramics are taught but in addition students are encouraged to develop work through a process of personal experimentation. GCSE Art and Design is designed for students who have a commitment to and love of the subject and feel motivated to develop their skills and express their ideas from thematic starting points.
The Art department aims to develop students academically and technically whilst broadening their cultural awareness. Our aim is to enable students to think divergently and employ their visual language skills to explore a range of issues, ideas and ideologies.
Students learn to respond to a diverse range of influences in their work, exploring a variety of processes, materials and media with imaginative confidence and the freedom to fail. A knowledge and understanding of the wider contexts within which their work is placed is key to meeting the assessment criteria.
To these ends, students learn about various artists, designers, movements and genres. Students’ investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills will be challenged and developed to enhance their aesthetic understanding and critical judgement.
A Level Art and Design is a valuable qualification for anyone interested in a career in the visual arts. It provides students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in a variety of fields, including fashion design, architecture, illustration, ceramics, printmaking, teaching, therapy, film and media, and graphic and computer-aided design.
In addition to providing students with a strong foundation in the visual arts, A Level Art and Design also teaches them valuable transferable skills, such as creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking. These skills are essential for success in the 21st century, regardless of the career path a student chooses.
Beyond the classroom
The Art Department is open at lunchtime throughout the week and students can get involved in a range of formal and informal activities that includes knitting, card making, ceramics, drawing and painting. Students are invited to enter various competitions throughout the year and the Art Department offers resources to do so.
Meet the Head of Department
Mr Bassett studied sculpture at Kingston University and the University of North Carolina in the US before undertaking his master’s degree at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, University of Dundee in Fine Art. After a year working in Milan as an illustrator and public artist, he returned to England to embark on his teaching career by taking his PGCE at Goldsmith College, London.
Mr Bassett has taught in a range of comprehensive and independent schools across the country including King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls and Elmhurst School for Dance where he was also the Head of Boys’ Boarding for three years.
He is currently the Head of Faculty overseeing Art and Design Technology at King Edward VI High School for Girls and the Foundation Lead in Education for Art and Design. Mr Bassett is a passionate ambassador for both his subject areas and all that is involved in teaching and learning.
In his spare time, Mr Bassett enjoys playing and watching football, travelling, cooking, and visiting places of cultural interest. He is also a very keen gardener.