The Art department at Breckenbrough School is fully committed to providing both an Art education and an Art experience, which combine to achieve an overall unique learning opportunity for the boys.
We believe that this relaxed approach to Art encourages the boys to develop their own style and creativity with the various media provided. This approach allows them to build up the necessary techniques to help tackle the GCSE exam in year 11, whilst still providing a therapeutic atmosphere, which can assist in addressing some of their emotional and behavioural needs. Students’ work is displayed around the school and in the art room and students take great pride in this. This ensures that students understand the type of quality that they are expected to achieve within their work and also that the students have something to aspire to.
End-of-year Art Exhibition
Another source of pride for our students is the end-of-year Art Exhibition, where we show GCSE and A Level work, whilst also showcasing some of our students’ pieces from Key Stage 2 and 3. This celebration of the art produced by our students usually takes place in conjunction with fete day at the end of the summer term.
We believe that we provide a well-rounded art education for the boys, allowing them to try out various disciplines within Art which gives them more opportunities to shine. All year groups are provided with projects in Painting and Drawing, 3D and Sculpture, Textiles, Graphics, Photography and Ceramics. At GCSE, we teach the unendorsed paper which encompasses all the areas that the boys experience at Key stage 3. We do however teach separate endorsement in Photography, 3D design, Graphic Communication and Textiles for those who already know the specialism they want to choose.
We are lucky in that we have two manual and two electric potters’ wheels and a kiln within the department along with sewing machines and computers as well as the equipment that is normally found within an art department. We also deliver AS and A2 courses to our students in the sixth form, which follow similar pathways to the GCSE. We also offer Art History as an AS/A2 level.
At Key Stage 3, assessment follows the National Curriculum and we have developed our own bespoke evaluation format to be completed at the end of each project. We encourage students to reflect on the work they have produced whilst also positively assessing each other’s work. At Key Stage 4 and 5, we follow the exam boards assessment objectives through evidence sheets so the students have a record of their progress..
Visits to galleries and exhibitions
In Art, we pride ourselves in providing a creative and stimulating environment for students, parents, visitors and staff. We try to extend and enhance the boys’ experience of Art with visits to various galleries and exhibitions. In the past, we have been to visit the ‘Clothes Show Live’ event in Birmingham, the Tate Modern in London, The Barbara Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Glass Centre in Sunderland along with many other local places. During the summer term, access to the gardens is available through the patio doors and work is encouraged outside to take advantage of the beautiful surroundings. During enrichment time on a Wednesday afternoon, we offer various activities depending on the time of year. These include needle and wet felting, ceramics, photography trips to name a few, and we are always open to new ideas from the boys to fit in with their interests.
Art is a popular subject with the Breckenbrough boys who all are encouraged to achieve the best results that their different abilities allow, whether that is in lower school, at GCSE or A Level.