You only have to visit the Art Department to realise why it is so successful and popular. The environment has a real sense of purpose and is lively and welcoming, every wall is festooned with work from all ages and the studios are occupied by enthusiastic pupils, absorbed in creative problem solving. The Art staff are friendly and positive and give freely of their time, ensuring the best possible results for all pupils.
Participating in art and design activities helps pupils to communicate thoughts and ideas in a variety of ways, developing creative problem-solving skills and allowing the opportunity to make decisions. Art education nurtures the skills that allow confident independent learning and aids the development of self-esteem, self-discipline, cooperation and self-motivation.
The department aims to provide a rich and varied art education from the day that pupils enter the school until the day that they leave. Years 7, 8 and 9 are taught the basic skills of visual communication through an exciting range of fine art processes including digital work, painting, printing, photography, textiles and 3 dimensional work. Their work is celebrated and encouraged through displays around the school.
Art and design is offered at GCSE and is a very popular choice. The department prides itself on offering diverse and lively programmes of study, invariably resulting in exceptionally high exam results. The standard of work is exceptionally sophisticated; external moderators have commented that they needed to remind themselves that they were marking GCSE work and not A Level.
Art, Craft and Design is offered at A Level and, again, pupils are offered challenging but rewarding courses that focus on developing art skills to a high technical level, while encouraging experimentation and considered risk-taking. The two-year course allows the students time to really develop their skills to a very high standard. Under the guidance of three highly qualified teachers specialising in different areas, the students learn a huge range of skills, ranging from the painting techniques of the old masters and contemporary painting practice, to ceramics.
Students experiment with all areas of printmaking and spend some time learning photography, with both our dark room facilities and digitally, as well as honing 3 dimensional and textile skills. This is all underpinned by careful research into art movements and different cultures throughout history, as it is at all the key stages. The department boasts excellent results and many pupils go on to study at prestigious universities and art colleges that offer the most competitive degree courses.
Ashford School Art Department has been recognised by the examining boards, Edexcel and AQA for being a centre of excellent for Art and Design.