Art and Design
Art and Design is a popular and successful subject at Ipswich School. We inspire our students to go on to study Foundation, Fine Art, Fashion or Textiles degrees when they leave. From Year 7 onwards we give pupils the opportunity to express their ideas and feelings using a broad range of materials. They are encouraged to take risks with new media; investigating, experimenting, making decisions, creating artefacts and recording experiences in a dynamic and exciting learning environment.
Drawing is a vital part of all projects undertaken across all years. We strive to improve pupils’ drawing skills through imaginative tasks and stimulating workshops and to ignite in them a passion for drawing. Alongside lessons weekly Art clubs are extremely popular and studio space is made available throughout the day for all A Level students, themselves a great inspiration to younger pupils. From September all pupils are involved in a still-life project based on installations created by the Art staff during the summer holiday. This enables them to learn from direct observation of subject specialists, which is challenging and exciting for us all and provides a lively and enjoyable start to the year. During the year pupils experience art first-hand by visiting galleries and working with our artist-in-residence.
We are very lucky to have small class sizes for Lower School Art, which allows us to set challenging independent tasks using a variety of media. Class work is based on themes that cover the basic elements of line, shape, colour, tone and texture. Pupils enjoy working with a range of materials including paint, print, drawing, collage, mixed media, ceramics, sculpture, textiles and ICT. Trips to Ipswich Museum and local galleries are built into lesson time. The popular Sketchbook Challenge at the end of the summer term provides the perfect end to an exciting year!
The GCSE course offered by Edexcel is designed to encourage an adventurous and enquiring approach to Art through direct personal expression, imagination, conceptual thinking, powers of observation and analytical skills. Projects cover a range of practices that build on essential skills and knowledge gained earlier in the school. Pupils study drawing and painting techniques, printmaking, digital manipulation, textiles and sculpture and may specialise in one of these areas in Year 11. At the end of each year pupils exhibit their work at Speech Day. We aim to make pupils confident, expressive and independent artists, happy to take creative risks and whose work is fuelled by their passions and experiences in life.
Through expressive and theoretical studies the A Level course offered by Edexcel in Art and Design leads to a fuller understanding of the visual arts. Emphasis is put on the importance of recording the creative process through samples and a work journal tracking the development of ideas. The course encourages experimentation in Year 12 and so the year is full of practical workshops and ends in students being able to demonstrate an understanding of past and contemporary art and design practice. Year 13 builds on these skills as students specialise and focus on a personal theme. They have the opportunity to attend life classes after school – a valuable and memorable experience. The A Level Art Show marks a celebration of their achievement.
Exam classes are given many opportunities to meet with their teachers for one-to-one tutorials. This offers additional support to the learning especially leading up to the practical exams. Lunchtime and after school sessions are a regular occurrence throughout the school year.