Art & Design

Fine Art and Textiles are extremely popular option choices at Weatherhead. Students, who study creative subjects with us, thoroughly enjoy their lessons and want to come in free time to study further. The commitment of staff and students alike is what makes this department such a success.
Mrs Freckleton

Head of Art and Design

Intent

At Weatherhead we believe that all students, regardless of ability, have the right to access a high-quality Art and Design curriculum – a curriculum that is both enjoyable and challenging. Through the study of the main artistic elements (line, shape, space, value, form, texture and colour) our curriculum is designed to create opportunities which allow students to make connections within the discipline, making informed choices appropriate to their skill set.

The purpose of our curriculum is to empower students to develop their own creativity using prior learning to inform individuality. We equip our students with the practical skills and research tools to make choices informed by a range of cultures and practitioners.

We aim to refine core skills as students progress throughout the key stages; ensuring a confidence and individual approach is achieved using a range of materials and techniques. We aim to develop students’ Cultural Capital by offering a wide range of extra curricular clubs and activities as well as trips and experiences. Through our curriculums students will gain the necessary skills to access University level study as well as other further education courses and employment.

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Implementation

Our schemes of work build upon the skills and knowledge acquired during KS2. As these skills vary, we take time to ensure that a wide range of essential skills are taught throughout KS3. A variety of contextual sources and themes are used to give a broad understanding of creative references. Topics cover a range of creative disciplines to give an in-depth experience of the subjects. Experimentation and mastery using mixed media allows students to make informed choices when developing individual projects.

We have a range of subject specialists who share their expertise by developing inspirational schemes of work and creative environments for students to work in.

Support sessions and targeted clubs take place to improve student attainment and engagement across all key stages. Extra challenge is given to achieve the very top grades and support sessions are offered to those students who require more focussed help. We operate an open door policy for KS4 and 5 students to use the facilities and encourage interactions between students to motivate and inspire.

Assessment is completed regularly to ensure students have the opportunity to improve and develop their work further. We have high expectations and aim to challenge out students; exemplary displays, high quality visual aides and teacher demonstrations create an ethos of success within the department. Artist workshops and cultural visits support learning.

Examples include:

  • Annual visit to Clothes show live – Birmingham – Year 11and12 – now in Liverpool.
  • London Galleries- trips for KS4 and 5.
  • Williamson Art Gallery – Year 10 Textiles.

Impact

The study of Art & Design at Weatherhead provides students with a range of skills needed to advance onto further education or employment. Our curriculum is successful in all areas; Fine Art, Textiles and Photography with consistently high results at both GCSE and A level. At GCSE level we see  improved percentages each year in top grades 7-9 with all students achieving above level 4. ALPS scores at A level have been above national averages and in the top 25% for several years in Fine Art and Textiles.

Many students have continued their creative studies at A level and joined many prestigious universities. Degree courses include Fine Art, Textiles, Photography, Illustration, Fashion marketing, Interior design and Graphic design.

Students are challenged and most importantly enjoy their experience in the Art department. They know how to improve and are supported by our skilled staff. A range of clubs provide students with many opportunities to extend and develop their skills. Subjects in the department are popular and students are motivated, working outside of lesson times at all Key stages.

The department runs inspirational trips to inspire students; local galleries, fashion shows, museums and exhibitions as well as European trips to Venice, Paris and Barcelona for our A level students.

Our virtual artist of the month was a huge success during the pandemic and has carried on afterwards. Students achievements are celebrated with a yearly exhibition as well as a virtual gallery to recognise their hard work. Our art studios celebrate achievements in our specialist areas and create an inspiring environment to work in. We run competitions throughout the year and have exhibited at the Mall Gallery in London by entering their National Students competition. We have been successful on several occasions and had students work exhibited in this acclaimed gallery.

Staff at Weatherhead

In the Art department we are fortunate to have experienced staff with a wide range of design backgrounds. Their diverse skills enrich teaching styles as well as inspiring our students.

Head of department Mrs Freckleton comes from an industry background, working as a Textile Designer in London for several years before leading a design studio in New York for 6 years. She is able to use this experience to inform her teaching style in a very practical way for her students.

Miss Stewart designed and manufactured bridalwear before entering the teaching profession and specialising in textiles.

Mrs Taylor specialises in painting and mixed-media. Has previously spent time freelancing as a practicing artist delivering workshops to both primary and secondary school pupils and has exhibited in a variety of galleries and exhibitions.

Mrs Evans specialises in ceramics and photography and has exhibited her work in a variety of galleries and exhibitions.

Miss Richardson specialises in painting and collage in collaboration with Paper Gallery and has exhibited work in various countries around the world.

Mrs Smith worked in industrial design for Shell as well as private companies before specialising in Design Technology. She also designed and made bespoke jewellery freelance.

Mrs French specialises in Design Technology Resistant Materials. Previous winner of the Young Engineer design prize.

Mrs Pearson is a specialist in Design Technology Resistant Materials, worked as a freelance designer and exhibited work in London.

Facilities

Our Art rooms provide a creative workspace for students to experiment and explore practically, using a wide range of materials and media. Specialist equipment includes ceramic facilities, printing equipment and a heat presses. All classrooms are equipped with interactive white boards and overhead projectors that are used to visually support lessons and combine modern technology with traditional techniques.

Each room creatively displays a wide range of high quality students’ work ranging from KS3 to A level. This provides a personal, interesting and inspirational working environment for our students. High quality visual aides are used to inform and inspire creativity.

Support

Classrooms are available within the department at lunchtime and after school to enable students to use practical equipment and complete work. Teachers are available to offer additional support and guidance during a range of organised support sessions. We encourage students to take ownership of their learning and strongly promote independence. As a result rooms are available at all times throughout the day and after school for A level students to continue their study outside of timetabled lessons.

Extra-Curricular

We offer a range of practical based clubs to provide the opportunity for students to learn additional skills outside of lessons. Practicing artists and designers also run workshops for students at GCSE and A level, which give practical experience and an insight into the creative industry. Throughout the year a range of inspirational trips are arranged, including a European residential for A level students. There is also the opportunity for select students to be involved in a range of Art and Textiles based competitions and have their work exhibited in school, local galleries and nationally.

Visit weatherheadhigh.co.uk/extra-curricular-clubs for our current programme of extra-curricular activities.

Fine Art and Textiles are extremely popular option choices at Weatherhead. Students, who study creative subjects with us, thoroughly enjoy their lessons and want to come in free time to study further. The commitment of staff and students alike is what makes this department such a success.
Mrs Freckleton

Head of Art and Design

Art & Design Learning Journey