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Art and Design Department

Mr N Tomlinson, Head of Department

At Thorpe House we have a vibrant, innovative and inspirational Art and Design Department which endeavours to make art relevant to the needs and interests of our boys. We provide an invigorating artistic experience promoting differences in ability, gender, and cultural background.

Imagination, which, in truth, is but another name for absolute power. And clearest insight, amplitude of mind, and reason in her most exalted mood.

William Wordsworth

Art engages the processes of making, composing and inventing and so calls for personal, imaginative, and practical responses from the boys, and we provide an approach that challenges them to engage positively and productively.

The Art Department takes a leading role in cross-curricular, wider school and community issues and the appearance and environment of the school. Art is used academically to underpin intellectual pursuits and also, as a much needed expressive outlet. We operate an open door policy and the department’s facilities are used for a wide range of extra-curricular activities including after school art clubs.

Teaching and learning strategies
In the Pre-Prep and Prep Department art is taught by class teachers, in Years 5 – 11 it is taught by an art specialist within the main art studio. Classes are mixed ability groups and teaching is differentiated according to need.

From Years 5 – Year 11 art is taught through thematic based work; drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, photography, filmmaking and animation are all experienced during this period; boys also have the opportunity to try out digital media. All work has a historical/contextual element and pupils are taught how to research and write about artists’ and designers’ work. 3D/Sculpture methods – modelling, carving and constructing – are encouraged and the techniques available allow boys to develop a very personal approach to their work.

From Year 10 onwards pupils opt to study art at GCSE and assessment is carried out by means of individual reviews, internal/controlled assessment activities and externally set assignments. The internal assessment activities take place in the classroom environment and are based on specific outcomes or sketchbook work, which is marked according to criteria from the exam board. Boys consistently achieve high grades and last year over 80% achieved an A* or A grade.

Beyond the classroom
There is more to art than what we do in the school studio and for this reason we organise trips to art galleries and museums like The Hayward Gallery, The Tate and The Tate Modern. We also encourage the boys to visit galleries in their free time to expand their knowledge of different artists and concepts.

Contact Thorpe House School

If you would like more information about the school, would like a prospectus or would like to arrange a visit, please contact Mrs Tyler, our registrar using the form below.

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