There is more to Art than just drawing pretty pictures. Whilst the ability to draw such things is important where relevant, it is also important to understand that Art encompasses a wide range of skills that are often overlooked. Here at Herschel, the Art Department are passionate about the subject they teach and students are often reminded of the many other ways that they benefit from Art.
Art teaches us to observe with curiosity, reflect, develop our ability to empathise, be open-minded, express ourselves, learn from our mistakes, embrace diversity, break away from stereotypes, teaches us about history, be creative, persevere and learn how to appreciate and find the positives in every situation.
During Key Stage 3 all students are presented with opportunities to develop the fundamental key skills needed to thrive in art. Students will work on a different project each term. Opportunities to develop understanding of the formal elements (pattern, texture, tone, colour, space, composition, rhythm, scale, structure, surface and line) are provided whilst working with a variety of media such as pencil, paint, clay and wire. The first half term focusses on the skills, whilst the second half term focusses on the application of the skills the students have learnt.
By the end of the key stage, students will have the knowledge and expertise to advance further by taking GCSE Art, if they wish to do so.
We follow the AQA Fine Art course specification. Students work on a variety of projects, workshop and portfolio pieces. The work created must show evidence of the 4 assessment objectives stated by AQA.
AO1: Develop ideas through investigations, demonstrating critical understanding of sources.
AO2: Refine work by exploring ideas, selecting and experimenting with appropriate media, materials, techniques and processes.
AO3: Record ideas, observations and insights relevant to intentions as work progresses.
AO4: Present a personal and meaningful response that realises intentions and demonstrates understanding of visual language.
Students are encouraged to work independently and challenged to work large scale using media such as oil paints. Students are always welcome to come and work in the Art room at lunch times and after school. The atmosphere in the classroom is pleasant and productive.
Students are provided with many opportunities to visit galleries and other venues to enhance their learning outside the classroom. Past trips have included the Tate Modern, Royal Academy of the Arts and National Gallery.
Check out our trips and visits page and art gallery for more.
Miss Fozia Shafique (Head of Department)
Abida Ahmed - Teacher of Art (ECT)
Click the image above to go to the Art Gallery
GCSE students were fortunate enough to take their learning outside of the classroom this term by visiting London Zoo to draw the animals. Unlike objects that we look at in class, the animals presented a bit of a challenge for the students! The highly challenging task of drawing animals as they move was met with excitement and enthusiasm by the class and they produced a variety of sketches, some of which will be used to produce some work back in the classroom.
The museum had a lot of unique and diverse pieces of artwork which all created individual impressions and made the experience more enjoyable. There were various ways in which the artwork was conveyed through different types of media like sculptures, photography, digital artwork and more. It showed me that art can be expressed in a multitude of styles and techniques and being able to appreciate this in person was what made the trip worthwhile. One of my favourite pieces was ‘The Darkward Trail’ by Nicole Eisenman as it was almost like a story was being told from the piece and I liked how there were features in it that contrasted each other but still blended well together. There were also political and historical messages shown through the piece which were engaging and added more background to it. Though I was not able to see every single art piece, I would definitely visit Tate Modern again to discover many other extraordinary works of art.
by Jasleen Sohi - 10E
On Thursday the 17th March, both Year 10 and 11 Art GCSE students visited The Sculpture Park in Surrey. We were fortunate that it was warm and sunny, making the experience even more enjoyable. There were a wide variety of sculptures on display as we walked along the scenic forest route: I was surprised to see the numerous materials used. For example, there was a sculpture of four horses that was constructed out of several ingenious items: even dolls, which was a little unsettling. I loved the sculptures that included coloured blown glass: there were some blown glass flowers which I thought were very pretty. There were many sculptures of animals, too. I think my favourite would be the human-sized weasel! As it was a lovely day, the walk was pleasant, enjoyable and quite fun as we had to cross many small bridges across miniature streams. A sculpture that really stuck out to me was an interactive piano sculpture in which you could actually press down on the keys! It was great and the sheer amount of work and technicality that went into it was highly impressive to say the least. Overall, it was a lovely experience. We had a great place to have lunch as we could admire the artwork from the benches we sat at and the park itself was very well maintained and quite easy to navigate as we followed the coloured arrows of our choosing. It was great exposure to have as an Art student!
- Nandini Dutta and Sanchali Sreelan (Year 11 GCSE Art Students)
On Thursday 30th September, Year 10 and 11 GCSE Art students visited Tate Britain. After such a long wait, it was an experience that the students thoroughly enjoyed. Pencil and books in hand, students were tasked with finding art that inspired them. Students were encouraged to consider whether the work evoked thoughts, memories or reactions and to be able to express their opinion in a constructive manner. One such piece that stood out to a number of students was the painting of a portrait by John Simpson. ‘Head of a Man (?Ira Frederick Aldridge)’ The famous actor in the painting was the first African American man to have a leading role in a Shakespearean play. More information about this painting can be found here http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/john-simpson-495/racial-identity-politics-head-man
The students thoroughly enjoyed their time and look forward to visiting many more galleries in the future.