Pupils studying art at Queen Elizabeth's School have the opportunity to explore a wide range of media, including drawing and painting, 3D construction, computer-generated work, and photography. We introduce critical and historical aspects of Art and Design as an integral part of students' project work.
Four members of staff teach in an open-plan arrangement of three rooms, and there is a recent extension, which provides a spacious studio for Sixth Form work. We also have a gallery at the front of the School for exhibitions. The Art Department has five multimedia computers and three electronic whiteboards.
Project work at Key Stage 3 is organised around three core areas: 'basic elements', 'natural form', and 'sign, image and symbol'. The work includes mixed-media pieces inspired by the patterns found in African textiles, sculptural forms that take the work of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore as their inspiration, and photomontages, self-portraits and constructed heads, all exploring human identity.
These themes provide a foundation for GCSE and A level work, which can include larger-scale 3D work, figurative, imaginative and abstract painting, and digital photography. The work is highly exploratory, and critical and historical study is of a sophisticated level, responding to contemporary thinking in art. Observational drawing of the portrait and figure is taken to a very high level.
QE follows the AQA examination board's 'unendorsed' and 'photography' Art and Design courses. Art and Design is encouraged both as a career pathway and as a complement to other A Level subjects. We have an excellent record of results at GCSE and A Level, and of entry on to foundation and degree courses.
Art Club is run every lunch time and every day after school. This is an opportunity for pupils to complete project work, receive extra support, or extend their ideas. More specialist art clubs, such as the Year 9 Sculpture Club, are run periodically, linked to house competitions.
We give extra support to Sixth Form students applying for foundation and degree courses. QE usually holds summer field courses for Sixth-Formers: previous locations include Toulouse, Paris, St. lves, and The Slade. Selected Sixth Form students take part in the Royal Academy's 'atRAct' programme. After-school Sixth Form life-drawing classes are also organised from time to time.
Our past students return periodically, to speak about their degree courses, exhibit, or as artists-in-residence. Visiting speakers at QE have included artists Chris Ofili, Bernard Cohen, and John Aiken (Professor of The Slade) and Chris Yetton (art historian at Chelsea College of Art & Design).