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Art

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Art at Westonbirt is taught in attractive, large purpose-built studios. Girls are encouraged to explore as many areas of Art and Design as possible. Underpinning all work are drawing skills which are taught throughout the years. 

The particular strength of the department is the varied range of disciplines in which the teachers are expert in their respective fields. From the very start all girls are encouraged to develop their own artistic personality by exploring as many areas of Art as possible. The overall approach is disciplined and methodical in order to ensure that each student is gradually exposed to, and manages to acquire, those skills necessary to successfully express themselves through their Art.

Students are encouraged from the very start to consider themselves to be artists, and to look at and learn from, the work of other artists, both past and contemporary, including their peers. In this way their Art draws inspiration from work that goes on in the real Art world, as well as being a personal response to current issues and world affairs.

Key to good quality Art is the ability to explore and experiment widely. From year 7 girls are taught good sketch-book practice in terms of research, visual analysis and experimentation. They then expand upon their own ideas; the philosophy of the department being to encourage every girl to develop her own style and approach to this subject – Westonbirt does not try to impose a ‘House’ style. Students from Year 7 are also used to working on flexible term-long projects, on a number of Art & Design themes, to enable a smooth and easy transition into the GCSE workload when the time comes. All year groups are exposed to, and visit major galleries and exhibitions on a regular basis.

The school has links with, and make visits to local, contemporary Art Galleries in Bristol and Bath such as the Arnolfini, the ‘M’ Shed and the Watershed. Also regular trips are made to study resident collections and view major exhibitions at galleries in London and other venues; these are scheduled throughout the year for all classes and are used as the springboard for a full term’s work.

At GCSE we aim to do at least one gallery based project; this really adds a depth of knowledge to the student’s understanding and appreciation of Art – from Aboriginal Art to Auerbach and Botticelli to Banksie.

From Year 9, girls are taught good sketch book practice in terms of research, visual analysis and experimentation. They expand upon their own ideas and the philosophy of the department is to encourage every girl to develop her own style and approach to this subject.

The teachers are experts in Art & Design and the Head of Department is an experienced examiner and subject committee member for all subjects.

Westonbirt has pupils leave Year 13 and go on to Central St. Martins in London, Glasgow School of Art and other prestigious institutions to further their artistic studies and the school is proud of consistently achieving this level of artistic ability. 

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