BA (Hons) Manchester University
Head of Art
Why study Art? Creating art is a personal, relaxing and fun thing to do. Students are exposed to a wide variety of artists, both in lesson time and through visits to galleries and museums. Art in years 7 to 9 takes students on a journey of materials and processes, learning new skills and building on existing ones whilst encouraging students to respond carefully to the world around them. At GCSE, students work independently on personally motivated projects that take on board all aspects of the course in an exciting manner. Here in the art department we encourage all of our artists to explore their own ideas through a program of carefully taught skills that give students the confidence to tackle demanding concepts.
What's a typical Art lesson like? During an Art lesson, pupils from Years 7 to 9 will often be working on a common theme. This may involve group projects or independent work, and students may work on huge drawings across the floor, delicately model clay, perfect their tonal drawing skills, try some mixed media painting or take photographs around the school. Typical GCSE lessons are a lively mix of painting on large canvases, life sized sculptures, ceramics, textiles, printing, photography, focused study in sketchbooks or discussions about the work of artists.
What makes for a great lesson? In Art, inspiring resources can often lead to the most interesting lessons. Demystifying the scary bits of Art – by carefully explaining techniques – encourages everyone to have a go. Also, an atmosphere of openness where ideas are taken on board leads pupils to express themselves freely – often with great results.
What's the best thing about teaching at Leckford Place? The freedom and support to teach in the way I have wanted to for years! Being in a small family-like school means that staff can easily discuss students and find ways of offering support that's tailored to the individual. It is a pleasure to get to know the students more easily and to a greater degree than some other schools I have worked in. Leckford Place is a caring, honest school where teaching is valued and the welfare of the students is deeply embedded into its ethos.