Art & Design is for everyone, not only those who are considered naturally talented, since everyone is capable of creative and aesthetic responses to their environment. For this reason, it is important that there are sustained opportunities to be creative and to express individual thoughts, ideas and opinions in a variety of ways.
Art and Design at Dunottar makes its contribution to this by developing within pupils an awareness of their visual world and the cultures that have shaped it. We do not consider the Key Stages as independent of each other and view the course we provide for our pupils as holistic. The learning at KS3 is relevant to KS4 and ultimately KS5. Therefore, our Art & Design courses offer a wide range of art experiences, e.g. drawing, printmaking, painting, three-dimensional design, textiles, photography and use of software to manipulate images. All year groups use sketchbooks to develop their practical skills, draughtsmanship and critical thinking skills. The department currently offers a range of titles at GCSE and A level including Photography, Textiles and Fine Art. We celebrate the work of all our pupils via high quality displays throughout the school site. We have also exhibited work from all year groups in public spaces in the locality as part of the Reigate Festival 2018 and as part of the St Catherine’s HeArt art trail in July 2019.
We encourage all our pupils to visit places of cultural interest to broaden their awareness of art, design and craft and the approaches taken by different generations and cultures. As a department we ensure that all Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 pupils participate in an organized visit to one of the London Galleries, to see contemporary art from around the world, and visit a place of interest, such as Kew Gardens. During these visits, pupils are encouraged to record from works they consider to be relevant to their interests and personal investigations, as well as consider the context of the pieces in relation to current practices. The art department will also be hosting a sculpture exhibition in the grounds of the school to exhibit the work of local artists. This is part of the visual art experience we hope to provide for all our pupils.
All year groups are catered for through additional sessions, including a KS3 art club and KS4 art club. The art rooms, including the photography studio, are always available at lunch time for all pupils. The aim is to provide the opportunity for every pupil to experiment with additional materials, extend and develop skills and gain access to wider practices respectively. The department has also offered artist workshops for our examination groups and scholars including printmaking with Helen Brown and sculpture with Barbara Marshfield.
Each year pupils are invited to submit entries for the school ‘Christmas card’ competition. Other recent competitions have included a ‘public art’ competition whereby pupils have designed panels representing their respective houses.