Ethos

The Art department at Wymondham High Academy is a lively, forward looking and dynamic centre of creativity. We aim to nurture and support students in a stimulating, thought provoking and innovative learning environment which will assist and develop students’ artistic experiences.

About the Department

The Art department at Wymondham High Academy currently consists of 6 dedicated and enthusiastic members of teaching staff, supported by two extremely skilled technicians. All staff in the department are highly trained experts in their own creative field with the flexibility to teach across all disciplines. This allows us to offer a broad and exciting curriculum from KS3 to KS5.

The department’s objectives are to make art meaningful, enjoyable and accessible to all students through carefully planned projects. We provide a unique means of self-expression whilst promoting and nurturing the confidence and desire in the students to produce work of real quality and skill. Practical demonstrations are central to the teaching ethos of the department providing an effective means of introducing new skills and techniques whilst nurturing confidence and creativity. Teaching and Learning is a key focus of the department. The subject is very popular, with a very high uptake at GCSE and A level. Results at GCSE and A Level have been very impressive and we believe that all students can achieve in the subject.

We teach a wide range of Art related disciplines to students at KS3 including: drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, Photoshop manipulation and 3D relief work. Skills, knowledge and understanding are integral to our teaching.

Due to the recent change in GCSE options, Year 8 students can now choose from Fine Art, Textile Design or Photography at GCSE. After the 3 year GCSE, students have the choice of continuing their studies at AS and A2 level in Fine Art, Art Textiles and Art Multimedia. The contemporary Art Multimedia course which started in September 2009 has been very popular and successful and has embraced contemporary digital media such as digital photography/manipulation, digital illustration, computer game design, 3D modelling, digital animation, film making and web site design.

The Art department at Wymondham High Academy is extremely well respected locally and nationally not only because of the excellent exam results but also because of its success in many local and national Art competitions. Examples include the East Anglian Schools Portrait prize and having A Level work selected for the RBA annual show in the Mall Galleries. In February 2013, the Edexcel exam board used all of the 2012 GCSE work as examples of good practice in their UK moderator’s standardisation meeting at Warwick University. This was a special and notable accolade for the department and for Wymondham High Academy.

In October half term 2013, the Department moved in to a brand new £3 million two storey teaching block. The Art department is located on the second floor, in a semi open plan configuration. This provides the Art department with an environment and facilities that are truly state of the art. This has acknowledged the department as a flagship of excellence in the Eastern region. We have four main art studios which are ideal for drawing (including life drawing at A-Level and GCSE for selected students), painting, printing and Art textile work due to an abundance of space and natural light. We also have access to 2 kilns and a brand new photography darkroom for our photography students. The department also benefits from a comprehensive Multimedia suite with colour printing, photocopying and scanning facilities.

Extra-Curricular / Educational Visits

The Art department really values the importance of educational visits to enrich and enhance students learning. Every year the department organises two study trips to Cambridge / Gt. Yarmouth (for Photography and Year 12 Art Multimedia students) and Wells-next-the-Sea and Holkham Beach (for Year 10 Fine Art and Textile Design students). Students in Year 12 and Year 13 visit the Knitting and Stitching Show in London. Year 12 and Year 13 students annually visit the print making workshops at the prestigious Curwen Print Studio’s in Cambridgeshire. The department has very strong links with the Curwen staff which has resulted in an inaugural outreach visit with Year 9 students in November 2013. This was a superb experience as the students really benefited from working alongside practising printmakers.

The department also arranges gallery visits to local and national collections for all GCSE and A Level students at the beginning of the externally set assignment in February/March. Year 8 students visit the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the UEA every February and in 2012 and 2014 the department undertook its biennial international residential visit to Paris. The next visit to Paris is planned for February 2016.

Further and Higher Education

Many students have left Wymondham High Academy, and progressed to further and higher education in art related subjects at prestigious art institutions such as Central St. Martins (UAL) and UCL for Architecture. Students have also progressed to degree courses at Wimbledon, Bournemouth College of Art, Leeds College of Art, Loughborough College of Art, Falmouth College of Art and Norwich University of the Arts to name but a few. Over the 2 years at A Level, students generate a large and substantial body of work which will go towards a portfolio of work in preparation for interviews for foundation courses, BA (Hons) and possibly MA courses in art related subjects at Art Colleges across the country.

Homework

-Key Stage 3 students receive thirty minutes homework every lesson (variable depending on the task).

-Key Stage 4 students receive between two and three hours homework each week (variable depending on the task).

-Key Stage 5 students receive between three and four hours homework each week (variable depending on the task).

Books, Equipment, Materials and Resources Recommended/Needed Key Stage 3 students are provided with good quality A4 sketchbooks for the duration of their studies.

Key Stage 4 students are expected to purchase their A3 sketchbooks. Students can purchase sketchbooks through the Finance Office/Art department. Sketchbooks are priced at £4.00 for a Fine Art sketchbook and £7.00 for a Textiles/Photography sketchbook.

All students are expected to arrive at every lesson with the basic stationery/equipment.

At Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5, we provide students with a ‘materials order form’ in which the most beneficial equipment is identified and can be purchased through the Finance Office/Art Department.