What is Art?
Art encompasses diverse media such as painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, art-textiles, photography, and installation. It is a visual creation in which people can connect, communicate and reason and is therefore a crucial element in society, both in understanding the past but also the current world ever evolving around us. By studying art students are able to analyse, express and explore their own pathway, as well as other people, cultures and experiences, equipping our students with powerful academic knowledge and helping them to become well-rounded, empathetic individuals.
Why do we teach Art at HAWI?
Within Art and Design, our key aim is based on the recognition of the universal human necessity for visual communication. Central to this is our commitment to provide an environment for students to challenge and inspire with the ability to express themselves aesthetically, both individually and collaboratively. Students build a body of knowledge about the history of art and design, embodying digital work and contemporary artists with traditional, major art movements, understanding how they have shaped our history and contributed to the culture, creativity and wealth of our world. By expressing reasoned judgements, students respond within inspired projects and personal, highly explorative outcomes, highlighting proficiency in the use of differing materials and observation and, ultimately, love of the subject.
How do we teach Art at HAWI?
The Art & Design curriculum at HAWI is similar to that of a spiral curriculum, split into 3 units per year, which:
- Develops experimentation and mastery of technical skills and processes across a variety of disciplines, such as painting, art-textiles, and ceramics.
- Divulges students with a knowledge of art history, visiting a broad range of art periods and styles. It builds awareness and empathy for how and why art developed when it did and how it still plays a huge role in the modern day.
These two elements are revisited throughout Key Stage 3 and become increasingly complex and challenging as the curriculum progresses into Key Stage Four. For instance, in Year 7, students look at analysing abstract art by Kandinsky, which helps underpin knowledge and analytical skills for comparing Dadaism to Surrealism in Year 9.
How do we make Art memorable at HAWI?
Schemes of work are created specifically for our students at HAWI, using popular and political current events and an array of artists and art styles both from traditional art periods and contemporary artists. Even through KS3, students have exposure to incredible resources to explore a wide range of disciplines from ink and bleach drawings to textile art and ceramics. Going into KS4, students have use of the photography darkroom and are given more freedom to select their own art style and artist to influence their personal project.
Alongside regular art lessons, the curriculum at HAWI is adorned with memorable moments, which builds an understanding of how art is applied and executed out of the classroom. These include visits to Kew Gardens, the annual KS3 Arts Festival, careers days and visits and for KS4, frequent curriculum visits to artist studios and inspirational settings in Central London.
We also hold weekly enrichment for our students, with current sessions on Photography and Graphics. Within these, students have opportunity to explore the use of digital equipment and the darkroom, prior to starting their GCSEs! There is a very popular Art Club for students in Lower School, and a KS4 Club for those who have opted to take art through to GCSE. These are hubs of activity, with students frequently partaking in national competitions as well as planning the set design for our current school show.