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2019-2020 has been a different, challenging, but still successful year for the Art Department with many gallery trips, visiting artists, Art Week workshops and the introduction of our online learning program.

An exciting year began with results from the previous year’s students being received and achieving between 30% to 40% above the national average across both GCSE and A-Level students! Our congratulations to all our budding artists, in whatever their discipline, on tremendous results!

The new school year began with the Annual A-Level and GCSE Art and Photography exhibition and the introduction of Art Week. This provided all students from all key stages with many new and exciting opportunities. KS3 students were engaged at lunchtime talking to GCSE and A Level students about the work, while creating their own drawn interpretation of their favourite artwork.

GCSE students were not only treated  to fun-filled art workshops delivered by A- Level students, but also had the chance to attend talks with past student and practising artist Kwame Agyepong. A-Level students also hosted local primary schools and entertained them with workshops and art games. The week culminated in taking our older students into London for a Friday night at The Royal Academy, giving them a glimpse of the social world and network that Friday night viewings afford!

This was not the only evening experience that A level students were given. Access Art 25 at the Royal Academy and Late at the Tate saw students mixing with young and experienced artists and coming face to face with experiences enhancing their curriculum. Throughout the year, students also had the opportunity to draw from models and excelled at their own independent practice in their studio time.

GCSE Art and Photography students were taken to see the Olafur Eliasson contemporary installation exhibition and this formed the basis of their Installation Creation project for year 10. Meanwhile Year 11 explored Making Us Strange and began their Externally Set Assignment.

The House Photography Competition did not disappoint, with an extremely high number of entries from all year groups, and even some from teachers -all of this being judged by the Art and Photography Captains. The KS3 Art clubs at lunchtime also never failed to be a room full of excitement and creative activity.

After 2 years of work across the departments of Performing Arts, Design Technology and English, the school achieved the Artsmark Award from the Arts Council. This signifies that the school is dedicated to delivering a wide range of arts and cultural opportunities to students, staff and the local community.

Unfortunately many of our planned activities had to be cancelled due to the restrictions and lockdown necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic; however we are very proud to have had an Art Competition run by the Head Boy and Girl, providing a creative outlet for many of our students. We are also proud of our GCSE students who participated in creating their own Covid-Classics, an art phenomenon that emerged in locked-down countries around the world. Here students would choose an artwork by a favourite artist or photographer and create their own versions using their smart-phones at home.

Students in the Rivers of the World project participated by making collage creations that will be reproduced on flags outside the Tate Modern and along the River Thames. Meanwhile many students chose to direct their own creative projects or coursework. Whatever their outcomes were, as teachers we were thrilled to see how our subjects of Art and Photography were used as a source of inspiration, soul searching and well-being for students of all ages at The Heathland School.