In the arts, there are no right or wrong answers. Pupils are encouraged to form opinions, to develop a critical language and a creative interpretation. From Year 7 we aim to open pupils’ eyes to view the world in a different way: to think, feel and reflect on their surroundings. But above all, to enjoy the subject. Confidence is built up through enjoyment and the simple pleasure of using materials.

This year we have seen beautiful work by Key Stage 3 pupils on display. Year 7 have used photography to create landscape compositions, then developed into mark-making studies; whilst Year 8 “brought Fauve paintings alive” in 3 dimensions. Year 9 were involved in producing artwork to celebrate Runnymede’s 50th anniversary by looking at artists from the 1960’s. Our eyes went dizzy with 3D Op Art and an explosion of Pop Art portraits.

GCSE and A Level pupils were privileged to meet the textiles artist John Allen who visited the Art Department, recounting his life’s journey of becoming and being an artist and showing us his beautiful work. He generously spent time looking at pupils’ work, giving advice and encouraging them to continue with their Art studies reinforcing the fact that design is all around us. VIth Form pupils also enjoyed visits and very positive portfolio critiques from SCAD, Paris College of Art and UCA. Their message was clear that there is a wealth of career opportunities within the Arts.

GCSE and A Level examinations took place in May. The Externally Set Assignment themes this year were “Beginning and / or End” (GCSE) and “Environment” (A Level). These are the culmination of months of preparation and hard work, where workbooks have been filled with personal, individual projects showing all their creative skills and resulting in their final exhibitions. The external moderator was very positive, noting high quality work and was particularly impressed with the sustained exploration in workbooks.

Year 13 pupils have been a constant inspiration to the GCSE groups, taking time to share ideas and give advice.

Congratulations to Marcos W. who will study Architecture at Bartlett UCL, Chloe A. is going to continue her art studies at Savannah College of Art and Design and Alejandra D. will study Design in Spain. We wish them every success and hope that they will visit us next year with their own inspirational stories.