The Art department offers a wide range of activities and sessions for you to enjoy and explore. These classes are a chance to go beyond the curriculum, to try something new, to support you with your coursework or just to experience another area of the visual arts.
Open Studios – supporting you with your work.
Open studios run after school Tuesdays and Thursdays. They are an opportunity to work after class in a supportive and relaxed atmosphere. They are not just for exam groups and any pupil is welcome to come and use the studios. They are a chance to discuss your work one to one with a teacher and receive advice, guidance and support. All our pupils from Year 10 and above are strongly encouraged to make use of the open studios to help them manage their coursework.
Now offered at both Kings and Castle Campus – This club is aimed at pupils from Years 7 to 9. You will be able to have a go at digital and traditional analogue photography. Use the darkroom, process your own film, make a pinhole camera, learn about camera techniques and tricks, be introduced to Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom and learn some basic studio lighting techniques.
Resident Artist Club:
The department is lucky to have a Resident Artist Technician scheme, where a residency programme gives you first-hand experience of working with a professional artist. As an Art Scholar, or any other pupil that wishes to join, you work closely with this artist within your various projects, getting together weekly to exchange ideas. Here you will be developing your own personal project.
Colour Me Calm
The therapeutic benefits of arts and crafts activities for mind, body and soul are accepted around the world as genuine and long-lasting. In this club you will have an opportunity apply yourself to adding colour to pre-drawn patterns and compositions – a perfect way to be creative whilst winding down in a calming, un-judgmental space. This club will give everyone the chance, whatever their perceived creative abilities, to gain in self-confidence. For the more ambitious, line drawings can be made using web-based sources at the start.
Our Year 12 and Year 13 students are given the invaluable opportunity to take part in life class every week of the Michaelmas term. Here we experiment with a wide range of media and techniques to broaden your visual vocabulary. These skills are vital for study at degree level and will provide work for your portfolio to support your applications to foundation courses or visual arts degrees.
Competitions and projects
We encourage all our pupils, particularly our 6th Form students, to showcase their work by entering a wide range of national and international competitions. Below is a list of a few we encourage pupils to enter.
We also have visiting artists or specialists come to the school to offer workshops to support and challenge our pupils. Expanding their knowledge of career progression and the full breadth and depth of the visual arts.
Denbigh Postcard project
Art Club: ‘Paint a Postcard’ – Denbigh High School community building project.
Interested in drawing? Like to record what you see around you through art work? Our school currently has a link with Denbigh High School well established in the Sixth Form, but we seek to form a link lower down the school through art! Looking at themes such as: my street, food, local faces, urban/country, spirituality, self-image we will design, and make postcards to exchange between the schools. We will be using a range of art materials, from painting, to drawing, collage and photography. Over the term we will collect the incoming postcards from Denbigh students in a pen-pal sort of system, helping to get to know the students there, whilst they will receive the ones we create and send, giving an insight in to our school community. We hope by the end of the term, we will be able to display these postcards from both schools, in a combined exhibit, for the whole school community to enjoy!
Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) Artefact
The department supports pupils each year with their EPQ. Specifically, those students that opt to produce an artefact – this can be anything from a product design, film, animation, painting, photograph or even an item of clothing. Students are guided and supported in their research and their design development through to realisation. This qualification is increasingly valued by universities as evidence of the ability to work independently and therefore be a successful candidate for higher education.
Sixth Form Art Commission
Regardless of whether you are taking Art or Photography A Level, all Sixth Form students are invited to apply for the Sixth Form Art Commission, the lucky winner will receive a fee of £300. You will work on a project of your own design based on a changing cross curricular theme devised by Mr Walker and Mrs Ferguson. The school purchases and frames your work (if appropriate) so it is quite an honour.
Trips and Visits
The Art department offer a range of national and international trips to support students’ studies and to broaden their experience of the visual arts. These include trips to museums, studios, galleries and other areas of cultural interest. These trips are not restricted to our exam groups and we seek to engage lower years in these visits too.
Student Voice –
The St Albans Abbey trip was really fun, because not only did we draw and create clay tiles but we also got to see how they pieced together the old drawings/paintings. Thea Gray Holme year 8
I really like the fact that during the open studio sessions teachers are always there to support and give advice on work even though it’s not a lesson. Florence Gibbs Year 13
The clubs and societies sessions in the photography studio allowed me to spend extra time on my projects as I was able to take full advantage of the great facilities offered to us. Holly Hinchcliffe Year 13
Tate modern really opened my eyes to the different aspects of art, and the whole London experience gave me a wider amount of material to help expand my project idea. Daisy Edwards Y12 Ashby
I always looked forward to photography club on a Monday afternoon. I loved that we could explore whichever aspect of photography we liked in such a fun and friendly environment with fab teachers. Georgina Lound Y13
It was a privilege to get the opportunity to do life drawing class – as well as be shown a variety of media to use with which to produce a response. Madeline Phillips Y12