The Art and Design offering at Blackheath High School is wide-ranging and challenging, combining traditional skills and techniques with contemporary ideas and practices. Art is a mandatory subject from Nursery up until GCSE options are chosen after Year 9, with a large percentage of girls continuing to GCSE and A-level. Creative subjects like Art and Design encourage research, creative problem solving, and risk taking – all skills that are incredibly helpful across all disciplines, in the wider world of work.  

Whilst practical skills and activities are taught during lesson time, more niche and unusual creative pursuits are explored in co-curricular clubs. Embroidery, life drawing, and photography are just a few of the options on offer.  

Highlights in the Art and Design calendar include the Junior School Exhibition, the A-level and GCSE exhibition, and the annual Fashion Show. With garments created from students in Year 9 and above and modelled by students from all year groups at our Senior School, this is a true celebration of our innovative community, and a popular event to attend for girls of all ages. 

Early Years

EarlyYears Art

Art in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is centred around discovery and exploration. With timetabled weekly lessons, Nursery and Reception pupils are encouraged to try different methods of creating art, such as drawing, painting, and collage. 

Co-curricular clubs start from Reception, and include Drawing Club, Arty Party and Set Design Club. 

Junior School

Juniors Art

Junior School pupils continue to have timetabled Art lessons, both with their class teachers and our resident specialist Art teachers. In Key Stage 1, all learning is planned around Creative Curriculum Topics with plenty of opportunities for artistic skills development and expression. Pupils begin to explore and research the work of famous artists, keep sketchbooks, and visit galleries whilst creating their own original artwork. The aim of Art classes in the Junior School is for the everyone to develop a lifelong love of creativity; whether this develops into a career or hobby is up to them! 

The Junior School celebrates and participates in many Art Competitions and our pupils have had winning artwork accepted and displayed by The Royal Academy.  

After school co-curricular clubs cover a wide range of creative interest, from mosaic to in-depth studies of famous artists. A popular choice is Arty Party, where specialist artists introduce a range of engaging and creative activities including, sculpture, textiles, printing, and painting. 

Every summer the Junior School hosts an Art Exhibition, displaying work created around a common theme working from several workshops with our Artist in Residence Teacher. The exhibition is fully inclusive and every student will have a piece of artwork displayed. 

Senior School

Seniors Art

The Senior School Art Department is a vibrant place, where students can explore ideas and create a diverse range of artwork. The brand new, purpose-built accommodation includes two teaching rooms, exhibition spaces, and the Sixth Form Art studio. Key traditional skills such as observation, research and collaboration are taught during lesson time, with ample opportunities for personal development and innovation within every module. Units of work include a wide range of practical skills and activities such as painting, drawing, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, block printing, silkscreen, photography, digital imaging and video. 

Art is a popular subject choice for GCSE, and those who choose it will take their artistic skills, knowledge, and understanding to a higher level. All-day workshops, location trips, and gallery visits to view artwork first-hand are regularly offered to improve the quality of the students’ own ideas and outcomes. In recent years, trips have included places such as Chatham Dockyard, Whitstable, and Kew Gardens along with residentials to Berlin and Amsterdam. 

Those who do not choose to study Art as a subject choice still have many opportunities to develop their artistic skills through a wide range of creative co-curricular clubs. The Fashion Show society is a popular option; run by Sixth Form students, the members of the society plan the event, design and make the clothes, and produce the stage direction, from music choices to accompanying videography.  

Additionally in the Senior School we have our Art Scholars, who are part of the Girl emPowered Scholarship Programme. With a definitive aptitude for Art, scholars will be offered further creative experiences and special projects, along with the opportunity to represent and assist the Art Department at various events and occasions. 

The Girl emPowered Scholarship Programme is about providing the scholars with the knowledge and resources that will help them to achieve their goals and dreams. There are also academic, Music, Drama, and Sport scholars within the programme. 

View the GCSE art gallery

Sixth Form

SixthForm Art

‘Art, Craft & Design’ and ‘Textiles’ are both offered as A-level options in the Sixth Form, with some students electing to study both. The multi-disciplinary courses enable students to generate sophisticated ideas, perform more in-depth research, and refine critical creative skills. The purpose-built Sixth Form Art studio encourages A-level students to spend time continuing their studies outside of lessons, and allows them to produce work in ambitious scales and formats.  

Many of our A-level students continue on to study Art at university, either through an Art Foundation Course or a degree in areas such a Fine Art, Architecture, Fashion Design, and Art History. Those applying to art schools receive expert help and support throughout the process, including portfolio preparation and interview training. 

Even those who are not taking A-level Art subjects find their creative interests supported through an extensive co-curricular programme. Artistic careers are not for everyone, but from an early age at Blackheath High School students are encouraged to find joy in creation. With the Sixth Form pressures of exams and UCAS, many find a healthy creative outlet in extra-curricular art activities. Along with a warm welcome into whole-school art clubs, Sixth Formers always have the option of starting a society that caters to their own specific passion. 

An additional Girl emPowered Art Scholarship is awarded on entry to the Sixth Form, and both students moving up from the Senior School and those applying externally are welcome to be considered.  

View the A-level art gallery

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