Art at Godstowe has a real ‘wow’ factor! From the moment you enter the school reception area you see many excellent examples of the children’s art work.
These displays continue throughout the school; they fill the corridors and school grounds, celebrating the excellent work that is achieved by all.
Art is taught in a newly refurbished and extended Art Room. The facilities offer a bright, spacious and very well equipped room. Creative displays in the art room add a very colourful spectacle, inspiring the pupils during their lessons. The art room has many facilities including two electric pottery wheels, a kiln, two computers, ipads and materials are available for virtually every kind of two and three-dimensional art.
All pupils from Years 3 to 8 have a large amount of time allocated to art. They are taught by specialist teachers and are given the opportunity to explore and experiment with a vast range of art techniques and materials to produce exciting two and three-dimensional work. As well as the art teachers, an art technician is available to assist the teachers and pupils alike. The pupils in Pre-Prep have designated art lessons which are taught by their class teachers. They too are given many opportunities to experiment with different materials and techniques and become confident in their artistic skills. Observational drawing and painting are an important part of the curriculum and are used as a basis for all art projects. The pupils are taught different techniques and experiment with a variety of media, including charcoal, chalk and oil pastels, acrylics, watercolours and pens and pencils. Ceramics constitute a large part of the art curriculum with many different methods being used - slab building, press moulding, hand-building, under glaze and glazing. Other 3D materials used include wire, plaster and papier mache. As well as the technical skills, creativity is encouraged through imaginative projects which encourage individuality from each pupil. Digital photography is used regularly in art lessons and the pupils are given the opportunity to work on the computers with photographic imaging software.
We have had amazing Art Scholarship success, achieving many scholarships and awards each year. Pupils who show particular interest and promise are approached in year 7 and invited to attend scholarship preparation lessons at lunchtimes and after school. Over the next year, the pupils will produce a variety of two and three-dimensional work which will make up their portfolio, ready to be taken to their future school for interview or scholarship exam. Scholars are expected to spend a great deal of their spare time working on their art work both at school, at home and during the holidays. However, the art scholars thoroughly enjoy this extra work and the relaxing environment of the art room. As well as the scholarship sessions, the art room is open every lunchtime for pupils to continue with class projects or to produce artwork of their own. There are many art and craft activities that take place in the after-school programme, which include silk painting, sewing, calligraphy and craft.
The beautiful buildings and grounds at Godstowe and the surrounding areas, are often used as inspiration for drawing from direct observation. Day trips are often arranged and the girls have visited the National Gallery, British Museum and The Victoria and Albert Museum. Activities Days (once a term) in school are regularly art-based, often with visiting artists working with the pupils on such projects as willow sculpture, stone carving, paper sculptures and mosaics. The Head of Art often attends workshops and visits senior school art departments to get inspiration for future projects.
Project themes are often related to the work the pupils are doing in other subjects, for example: the Egyptians, Ancient Greeks, African Art and the Tudors. Projects are often linked in with the work of famous artists such as Arcimboldo, Cezanne, Georgia O'Keeffe, Roy Lichtenstein, Giacometti and Van Gogh. Art History plays an important part in many lessons and provides inspiration for the pupils.
We are incredibly proud of the art work that our pupils produce and we are very keen to display it whenever possible. Each year in the Summer term we hold an Art Exhibition and Fashion Show which is open to the parents and friends of present and prospective pupils and senior schools staff. We display two and three-dimensional work from every age group right through from Nursery to year 8 and over 2000 pieces of work are on display.
Our aim in the Art Department is for every pupil to gain enjoyment from their creative art and design lessons and to feel a sense of achievement from the work that they produce.
Below are some examples of the techniques that are covered in the different year groups in main school. Please note they are only guidelines, as the themes of the projects are constantly changing to allow for a wide variety of subject matter and different projects from year to year.
In the Lower Division the pupils have a double lesson of Art every week allowing them to spend lots of time working on their projects. Year 3’s projects are based around their classwork in History and Geography. They study the artwork of Africa, the Ancient Egyptians and the Ancient Greeks.
In year 4 the pupils concentrate on furthering their observational drawing skills and learning the techniques of proportion, perspective, tone, colour and texture. They also study the artwork of famous artists and experiment with a variety of different two and three-dimensional materials to investigate the theme.
In year 5 the pupils further their observational drawing skills and are encouraged to add much more detail, texture and tone to their studies. They use a variety of different materials to draw with including charcoal, oil-pastels and pastels. They also produce lots of three-dimensional work using wire, papier mache and modelling materials.
In year 6, as well as the usual drawing techniques, the girls work on an advanced clay project. They use a variety of clay techniques to reproduce some challenging models and add underglaze and glaze to their finished pieces of work. They also complete a project on a famous artist of their choice and complete this during their art prep time.
In year 7 the pupils learn the technique of perspective drawing using a vanishing point. They also use the digital cameras and the digital imaging software on the computer. They study the work of a famous artist or designer and experiment with their style of painting.
In year 8 the pupils concentrate on drawing the human figure and many two and three-dimensional techniques and materials are used to investigate the theme. They visit the National Gallery during the year and take a large role in the annual Art Exhibition and Fashion Show.