The Art Department prides itself for being one of the most consistently successful departments at King’s.
Whereas many schools offer just fine art, painting, drawing and possibly the options of textiles and photography, which may be perceived as less challenging choices, at King’s we offer the overarching qualification of Art, Craft & Design. This qualification offers the pupils the chance to explore Fine Art, Three Dimensional Design, Graphic Design, Digital Media (photography, video, web design etc), Textiles and Critical & Contextual Studies.
In addition to the Art curriculum, we also offer History of Art at A-Level as a more academic option, and our results in this niche subject have been exceptional.
The department is divided into five separate studios. We have the Main Studio, the 6th Form Studio, the Sculpture Studio, the Textiles and Photography Studio and the Artist in Residence Studio. We also have our own gallery located in the department where pupils work is constantly exhibited throughout the year. We also exhibit as part of Somerset Arts’ Week each Autumn.
The 3rd Form are introduced to this breadth of vision in their foundation course, experiencing work in all or most of the areas outlined above. Each class contains no more than ten pupils which allows them more time with their teacher and better opportunities to explore and learn. A healthy number of pupils take the subject at GCSE and part of their enrichment includes trips to Roche Court, Hauser & Wirth, London Galleries and a three-day excursion to St Ives each year. Sixth Form pupils have two teachers each lesson to offer support for individual needs.This allows pupils to explore their own passions and experience a diverse range of different forms of art.
Our Artist in Residence, Mr George Cole provides invaluable insights into his working practice which the pupils can access during lessons and throughout the working day.
All staff in the Art Department, being actively encouraged in their own professional development, are highly enthusiastic teachers, and as actual practitioners, are able to bring an empathy to the vocation. As such, we do not rely on courses written for pupils, but create our own bespoke syllabi, tailored to each group and constantly adapted and refined to respond to specific needs. In addition to our dynamic teaching we organise regular trips to galleries and museums and have established a very strong relationship with the internationally renowned Hauser & Wirth Gallery in Bruton. We also bring in visiting artists to run workshops with the pupils, and the University of the West of England rates the department highly as a post-graduate Teacher Training Centre.
There is no prescriptive set content to any Art & Design course. All centres across all boards and levels teach to the four assessment objectives of DEVELOP, REFINE, RECORD and PRESENT. At King’s we review and refresh our content continually responding to the needs and potential of each cohort. This is what makes the Art Department such a dynamic environment in which to teach and to learn.
At present we teach across the Endorsements of Fine Art, Graphic Communication, Three Dimensional Design, Photography and Textiles. As students’ progress they are able to lean towards specialist areas of interest.
The new Drama GCSE course includes components in devising, text based performance and the study of theatre makers. Study blends creative practical exploration; evaluation of work completed and the work of others and the analysis of established practitioners.
There is no prescriptive set content to any Art & Design course. All centres across all boards and levels teach to the four assessment objectives of DEVELOP, REFINE, RECORD and PRESENT.
At King’s we offer Life Classes as a means of establishing confidence in drawing and observation and a structured programme in the Lower Sixth exploring the Formal Elements of Art and Design.
We continue to teach across the Endorsements of Fine Art, Graphic Communication, Three Dimensional Design, Photography and Textiles. Students at this level will show particular strengths in one or more of the endorsements.
The Lower Sixth element of this course involves a whistle stop tour of Art History from the origins of humankind to the present day.
This also explores art within historical, social and technological context. Gallery visits are an important element of the course. The Upper Sixth see students identifying specific areas of interest and undertaking more independent study. In addition the ways in which galleries and museums present work and interact with their visitors is explored with students creating their own virtual exhibition based upon their area of research.