The Art department aims to foster independent, adventurous creativity. Specialist teachers share their practice and passions, enabling pupils to realise ambitious, personal and exciting work.

An ambitious department that seeks to give students a practical insight into the contemporary art world.

Michael O'Reilly, Artist in Residence, 2013-15

Within the curriculum, pupils experience the widest range of disciplines. This includes fine art, printmaking, ceramics, photography, digital imaging and video. Practical processes are integrated with the study of masters, old and modern, to inform and enrich personal investigations.

A strong emphasis is placed on the development of transferable skills, and courses both in the Middle School and Sixth Form deliver a foundation of key techniques that underpin independent creative growth.

The Sevenoaks School Certificate, for Years 10 and 11, facilitates the production of ambitious, adventurous work whilst providing an ideal preparation for IB Visual Arts. The approach encourages pupils to discover areas of personal strength and interest. The structure allows work of great ambition, both in terms of scale and content. Pupils can specialise in specific creative disciplines, allowing the production of sophisticated and sustained work.

We have also developed an Art History SSC, designed as an accessible and exciting introduction to major works of art, movements and artists who have influenced and shaped how we see the world today. The course covers painting, sculpture and architecture from a wide range of periods up to the present day, and assessment methods include a sizeable independent research project.

In the Sixth Form, students pursue the IB Visual Arts course for a number of reasons; many develop portfolios for university courses such as Architecture and design-based subjects, while others want to further their knowledge and skills through the production of an ambitious body of visual work. All, however, share the excitement for the process of discovery and exploration of personal creative interests.

All students are challenged and excited by the freedom and versatility of the course, with the aim being to become an independent, informed and daring artist. The exhibition at the end of the course provides not only a forum for assessment but also a celebration of pupils' achievements and highlights the diversity of practice. Work by our students at all levels can be seen here.

Head of Art: Mr Charley Openshaw cwo@sevenoaksschool.org