Head of Department: Mr Charley Openshaw


The Visual Arts and Media Department
Sevenoaks School Art Department is motivated by the belief that individual creativity is an essential, central and vital part of education.

There are opportunities for all ages to engage with the Art Department, both during lessons and after school, and the widest range of disciplines is offered. This includes Fine Art, Printmaking, Ceramics, Photography, Digital Imaging and Video. From September 2013 a new Sevenoaks School Certificate in Art History will be offered.

Art is a very popular subject with two or three sets pursuing the Sevenoaks School Certificate each year, and two sets of IB students. Many other students take courses in a discipline for its own sake. Between joining and leaving, our aim is to develop the individual student’s creative identity, and celebrate it through exhibitions.


Years 7 – 9

Developing skills through engagement with the widest range of media is integrated with a rich diet of Critical and Historical Study. We always aim to enjoy the experience of making and embrace as wide a variety of practice as is possible. The emphasis is on the development of transferable skills and building a foundation of knowledge and understanding of the subject.


Years 10 & 11

The Sevenoaks School Certificate course teaches young people how to work as artists. They learn how to synthesise their own ideas with what they may learn from other artists, and with what they want to take from their experience of the world. A structured course fosters skills before pupils gradually take responsibility for the development of personal ideas. The course is flexible so that individuals can play to their strengths and specialise in areas such as painting, photography, printmaking or ceramics. The Art History equivalent delivers critical skills and contextual knowledge to those who are interested in Art but not in pursuing a practical element.


The Sixth Form

At this level we define Art as a ‘voice’ for the student, and aim to offer a high level of support in terms of realising personal ideas, teaching technical skills and forms of expression. Students quickly establish their independence. The staff works as a team in order that the creative processes are supported by the broadest range of disciplines. Of course, each student has a teacher, but the students are encouraged to use whoever can be the most use to them in the emergence of their particular artistic identity. Termly trips to London galleries also support the course.

At the end of the course they become more or less independent of the teachers and celebrate their achievements through an exhibition and a viva, just before friends and family attend the private view. The Studio Work is 60% of the assessment and the Investigation Work Books 40%. The available disciplines include Critical and Historical Study, Fine Art, Printmaking, Ceramics, Photography, Digital Imaging, Video, Animation and special effects.

A gallery of pupils’ work is available at:

Click here to see examination results
Click here to read the latest copy of Framed, our visual arts magazine.