“My job is to notice the things that other people don’t notice.” Grayson Perry
The central aim of Arts education at the Latymer School is to offer our students a broad range of experiences and opportunities, irrespective of ability. Involvement in the Arts can extend and deepen the capacity to learn about oneself through individual expression. Students develop perceptiveness and gain an insight into every aspect of life and the world around them by considering topics as broad as nature, politics, and history in relation to art. As a department we seek to encourage creativity by encouraging students to respond imaginatively to tasks that do not have a defined ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer.
Head of Department: Ms C Sanger
Staff: Mr S Bowman, Ms S Jacovou
The Art Department is staffed by highly skilled teachers, who are progressive, dynamic and share a common ethos. We work as a team but draw on each individual member’s specific experience to provide students with a varied skill set, from painting and printmaking to pottery and sculpture. In doing this, we aim to foster a creative and engaging learning environment, where students feel confident to work both collaboratively and independently.
Learning in the Art Department is not limited to the classroom - each year we organise visits to galleries and museums, art study trips, and artists' workshops. In doing this we hope to inspire an interest in the subject outside of school. As a result, many of our A Level students choose to study Art to Degree or Foundation level.
KEY STAGE 3
Through the completion of thematic extended projects, the Key Stage 3 curriculum aims to prepare students for study in later years by helping them to develop a strong foundation of practical skills. Students practice using a variety of media, are encouraged to reflect on and identify their strengths as they work, and are introduced to the works of relevant artists associated with major cultural movements. By completing independent research and experiments, our young people form learning habits essential for study at GCSE and A Level.
Drawing project - Significant objects
When first meeting Year 7 students, we are aware that they join from many primary schools and will have differing levels of experience in Art. The Significant Objects project is therefore designed to help students introduce themselves and get to know each other, while developing basic skills. Students select an object which is of personal significance to them and share this with their peers during group discussion. We aim to build confidence and self-esteem through the introduction of different drawing processes and techniques, which students use to build a final representation of their significant object.
Pattern project - Kanga
Year 7 students create a mixed media print based upon East African textiles, Kanga. Kanga prints are known for their rectangular format, bold patterns, rich colours, and use of proverbs, which are displayed in the central panel of the material. Students are encouraged to carefully choose a proverb or saying which reflects their personal values. This is then communicated visually in the design of their print. The project celebrates the school’s partnership with the Mwambisi School in Tanzania.
Inspired by the ceramicist Kate Malone, this project sees students create organic sculptural vessels based upon the forms of fruit. The department makes use of Malone’s video diaries to help young people gain an understanding of how practicing artists operate. In the past several students have also had the opportunity to visit Malone’s studio. Due to the often unpredictable nature of ceramics, students develop resilience and learn the importance of taking risks while forming their work.
Me as a Beast
In this self-portrait project, students envisage themselves as a human-animal hybrid, selecting the animal that they believe best represents their personality and characteristics. After creating a narrative for their character, the end goal is to produce a film poster. Students develop skills including photography, drawing and digital design, and consider the representation of different animals in a variety of cultures. This project is inspired by the work of numerous artists, including the sculptor, Nicola Hicks.
Students study Pop Art as an artistic movement and consider the social, moral and cultural climate of the time period and its relationship with contemporary culture. Students are asked to reflect upon consumer culture, mass-produced images, the rise of the celebrity and the relative absence of women pop artists.
Students create several works of art over the course of this project. Through the creation of two pop art inspired silk-screen prints, students explore their own sense of cultural and individual identity, as well as the effects of modern-day consumer culture. There is also opportunity for young people to work collaboratively to create a pop art animation. Finally, students develop their research skills by creating an individualised research project, preparing them for GCSE.
Students explore the theme of boats to make abstracted ceramic vessels. At the beginning of the process, students work in groups to explore different aspects of boats and present their findings to the class. They then research and take inspiration from artists and makers, helping to extend their understanding of ceramics. Finally, students design and create slab-built structures.
KEY STAGE 4
Students work on theme-based projects and are encouraged to develop individual lines of enquiry. Teaching is workshop and tutorial based, to enable students to achieve personal outcomes that are of meaning and value to them. Students have the opportunity to visit places of cultural interest, including Hyde Park and the Serpentine Pavilion, The Wellcome Collection and Tate Modern Artist Talks. Central to students’ learning is critical and contextual studies. Students learn how to engage critically with visual culture and deconstruct and question imagery in visual media.
Art at GCSE level consists of two projects and a 10-hour examination in March of Year 11. There will be approximately eight weeks of preparation time in the run-up to the exam. All projects included on the course will give students the opportunity to build on their own strengths and experiment with different materials.
- Project one: Gardens
- Project two: Body
- Refinement of projects one and two
KEY STAGE 5
Following on from GCSE, students are encouraged to explore and develop their own individual artistic style further at A Level. Young people are given autonomy over the themes they choose, how they interpret specified briefs, and how they approach projects. Having accumulated a wealth of knowledge on a wide range of media throughout their education, students are trusted to make informed choices regarding the materials they use and how they use them. While the valuable input of staff is often appreciated, students are endowed with the confidence to experiment and make bold artistic choices.
Art at A Level consists of two components in each year of study, as listed below.
- Portfolio: students work on the theme of 'Space', creating a series of responses to workshops, a large-scale drawing, and a project based on an area of interest.
- Externally-set assignment: students have eight weeks preparation time to work on this assignment before completing a 10-hour exam.
- Personal investigation: students must create a project based on their own starting point.
- Externally-set assignment: students have eight weeks preparation time to work on this assignment before completing a 15-hour exam.
The Art Society, led by Year 13 students, organises visits to artists, as well as trips to the Wellcome Collection, Hyde Park and the Serpentine Pavilion, and the Tate Modern. Other opportunities include weekly studio sessions for Year 11 students and the use art facilities for all students during lunch.
As a department we are committed to helping our students pursue art further. We help and guide our students with the application process for further studies, whether that involves studying a university degree or completing a foundation course. As part of this, we hold portfolio sessions and mock interviews, as well as inviting alumni to the school to share their experiences of different courses.
Many of our students go on to study art related subjects. Recently, students have chosen to study Foundation Art and Design at Camberwell, Central St Martin’s, Prince’s Drawing School, Kingston, The Working Men’s College, and Ravensbourne. We have also supported students with applications and portfolio submissions to study degree courses, such as History of Art, Architecture, Computer Animation, Product Design, Film Studies and Fine art. Chosen universities have included University of Bristol, Loughborough University, University of Sheffield, and University of Westminster.