Art at QE focuses on ‘fine art’, which means expressing ourselves and our responses to the world around us for personal fulfilment rather than practical function.

However, the aim is that the skills developed can be applied to a wide range of other aspects of art and design and that these may be taken up in higher education for practical degree courses such as Architecture, Graphic Design, Film, Product Design or Fashion and Textiles.

Essentially, we encourage an open-ended process of experimentation with materials and ideas, yet one that is rooted in fundamental principles about space, form and structure. Developing an appreciation of the practices of artists and of movements in art past and present goes hand in hand with practical work.

We aim to deliver projects that give all boys the opportunity to experience Art in a fulfilling and meaningful way, irrespective of natural ability. Lessons are designed to provide a supportive structure while allowing opportunity for individual interpretation and personal direction. Lower School projects develop concepts that are revisited and developed to a higher level at GCSE and further at A-level. Cross-curricular links are explored at every opportunity, so that knowledge and understanding gained in relation to Art can be applied to a range of other contexts. Through discussion at a group and individual level, we encourage depth of enquiry and critical thinking, which, at its best, can attain to a philosophical and spiritual level.

Digital photography (which is taught as a unit within GCSE Art/Fine Art) is used in most projects as a way of recording information and gathering source material, while Photoshop and similar programmes are employed to edit or transform photographs. Most of the work produced in Art, however, continues to use traditional media, with techniques such as drawing, painting, collage and three-dimensional construction preferred because of the flexibility and tactility they offer.

Art Club takes place every lunch time. Pupils are also encouraged to make independent visits to galleries and museums in London and beyond. Locations for Sixth Form field trips have included the Cotswolds, South of France, Paris, St lves, The Slade and Chelsea Schools of Art. Selected sixth-formers take part in the Royal Academy’s attRAct programme. We host visits from well-known artists, while our own past students return periodically to speak about their experience of higher education and to show their work.