Art

More House School provides a comprehensive course in Art.  From year seven, the girls study a wide range of disciplines including, drawing, painting, printing, textiles and 3-D.

They learn to relate to historic and contemporary art works and develop their creative confidence and personal, visual language.  Several of our girls go on to Art School and make careers from their creative skills.

STAFF

Head of Department

Ms L Beatty - lbeatty@morehousemail.org.uk

 

Ms D Rigby - drigby@morehousemail.org.uk

 

Miss K Devine - kdevine@morehousemail.org.uk

AIMS

Building on our lessons in observational skills, eye-to-hand coordination, manipulating materials and colour theory, we aim to help the girls develop their own style in art and use this to express themselves in two and three dimensions.


They learn to respond to the art of others and develop their understanding of technique, genre and the purpose of artistic expression. This prepares them for the way of working at GCSE and A-level where they are expected to develop their own ideas and visual solutions.


We create absorbing lessons that allow the creative process to develop in an organic way. The girls’ understanding of the expectations set out by the exam board evolves naturally, during their time in the school and through this they progress into accomplished artists. 

 

YEARS 7, 8 AND 9

1.     Each of the junior years work to an overall theme to give their work continuity. All year groups begin with extensive drawing practise. Working from life develops their understanding of three-dimensional objects and how to depict them in two-dimensions. They learn to understand spheres, cylinders, cubes and perspective. Their painting classes teach them to manipulate different types of paint and to allow the natural characteristics of the material to be apparent. This includes colour theory so that they understand how to mix colours and use them appropriately as well as basic technique so that they know how to use these materials most effectively.

They create a three-dimensional piece from either papier-mâché, clay or mod-roc. Each year group works in one of these materials, so that by the time they reach GCSE they are confident with all three.

They have textiles projects, which introduce them to a range of stitching and fabric-painting techniques. A vast range of materials is available for them to develop their own creative style.  

Their practical work is related to their studies in art history, where their ability to respond to the work of others is developed. They are encouraged to express their own opinions and learn how to validate this with historic and visual evidence. 

Click here for the curriculum map. 

YEARS 10 & 11 - GCSE SYLLABUS (PEARSON)

GCSE work is project-based and includes historic references, the girls own solutions to the development of their ideas, experimentation in a range of materials and a final piece which connects the various strands of their course-work together.
The two projects in year ten guide the girls to the new way of working at this level. They are introduced to appropriate artists chronologically and taught how to respond to their work visually and in writing. The projects focus on either painting, for example through portraiture or still-life, or mixed-media, for example through a shoe or hat design.


Each project constitutes a journal and ‘final piece’, which consolidates their ideas and demonstrates their technical and conceptual ability. The second project is concluded in an end-of-year exam to prepare for them for the Externally Set Assignment in year 11. There is plenty of scope, built into the projects, to allow for independent investigations and we strongly encourage the girls to work in a personal way. To give them the opportunity to learn how to devise their own structure and develop their ideas the final section of both projects is developed by the girls in conjunction with their teacher.

We believe that good drawing skills are the foundation of a strong art practise and each project starts with two weeks of extensive drawing classes. Each new section of work begins with drawing to impress upon the girls the importance of improving this skill. They are given additional, small sketch books to keep with them at all times so that they can draw at any time; in exhibitions, on the tube, in cafes, etc.

In year 11 the project is less structured, giving greater scope for the girls to develop their own line of inquiry. The technical skills are focused on three-dimensional work, including carving, mod-roc, clay, wire, papier-mâché, recycling and mixed-media.  The second half of this project is devised by the girls in collaboration with their teachers. This supports their personal involvement in their work; their sense of independence; their ability to conduct their own research and also prepares them for the more independent way of working at AS.

This project gives them the opportunity to use a limitless range of materials, from bottle-tops to the more traditional acrylic on canvas. This encourages an adventurous and fun approach to their studies, during which they blossom as artists.

For the final project, set by the exam board, the girls need to develop a personal response to a set theme. By this stage in their studies they are well-prepared to produce a unique response to the nationally-set assignment.  We organise group discussions on the set theme and then work with them on a one-to-one basis to help them develop their unique response, including relevant artists, gallery visits, experimentation and final pieces.

Click here for the curriculum map.

SIXTH FORM - A LEVEL SYLLABUS (PEARSON)

The girls produce two projects for each AS and A2 year. They continue to explore creative solutions to their own ideas, with reference to historic and contemporary practitioners; experiment with a range of materials and produce written work connected to their chosen area of study.

Each AS project begins with an intense block of observational drawing during which the girls’ skills improve dramatically.

We take them to workshops at galleries and they are expected to organise their own visits to keep abreast of contemporary art practise. They are also required to maintain the use of sketch books on location, to back up their studies. We organise weekly, after-school life-drawing classes to help them understand the human form and its significance in art.

Each girl produces a journal, or series of preparatory sheets, exploring the development of their ideas. They follow a set scheme of work and are encouraged to explore their own area of interest as early as possible. Their coursework includes the artworks they produce to illustrate their ideas and the experiments they have conducted to develop their expertise with appropriate materials. It is important that they also demonstrate an understanding of historic and contemporary art practise and an awareness of the social and cultural significance of their work. Much of the teaching at this stage is one-to-one as each pupil begins to explore their unique area of study.

This way of teaching is extended in U6, when the girls take complete ownership of their work and write their own project. This is a culmination of their studies up to now. By this stage, they are confident in devising their own projects; they instinctively begin by drawing from life and continue to include this as their project develops.  They are sourced by the wide range of materials and artists they have been introduced to.

At this level, they produce a dissertation connected to their chosen area of study. We work alongside them to enable them to respond to the issues and themes being explored by relevant artist and guide them to deepen their analysis of both their own work and the work of others.

As they find their own visual language they specialise in the most appropriate materials to communicate their ideas. Their way of working at this level becomes unique and fluent; their cultural awareness is evident through the strong connections to the work of others and their final outcomes develop into significant art pieces as they find their creative voice.

We run an after-school Portfolio Club for those wishing to continue their studies in Art when they leave More House. We have a100% success rate with applications to prestigious Foundation courses, including Kingston, Camberwell, City and Guilds, Falmouth, the Princes Drawing School and Kensington and Chelsea. We maintain strong connections with ex-More House artists who visit the school to share their experiences with our sixth form.

Click here for the curriculum map.

CLUBS AND ACTIVITIES

We conduct several gallery visits for each year group, so that by the time they begin their GCSE studies they are confident in responding to art works and happy to conduct research and produce drawings on site.

We participate in workshops at The Wallace Collection, Tate Modern, The British Museum, The Queen’s Collection and The Saatchi Gallery. These give them the opportunity to listen to tutors with a range of expertise and develop their skills in responding to the culture that they live in.

We oversee the design and making of sets for the school drama productions. This gives the girls the opportunity to work to a vast scale and form working parties with girls in different year groups.

We provide an on-going display of art around the school; this is both inspiring and makes for a beautiful environment to work in.

At the end of each year we put on an exhibition of work from all year groups. This is a fun event that brings the whole school together to celebrate the creativity of all the girls. Prizes are awarded to acknowledge those with particular skills, including perseverance and hard work.

The department is run by three teachers, who have different backgrounds. We have a textiles specialist, a painter and a mixed-media artist, this means we are able to respond with a limitless range of materials, encouraging the girls to have no sense of restriction in terms of the creative solutions they seek.

The art department has a vast library of art books, which has been put together over the years. The girls are taught how to draw in this rich resource and learn to value and love books.

We run weekly, after-school life-drawing classes for the sixth form.

We are superbly placed in Central London, to visit all the local galleries; we make excellent us of this and encourage the girls to do the same independently.