The school has three dedicated Art rooms, which enable all boys to increase and broaden their experience in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional Art and Design. It is the Art Department policy that every effort should be made to realise the creative potential in each boy; encouraging him to develop practical skills; to gain independence in his work and to increase his capacity for visual awareness. Each boy is invited to contribute towards the making of a happy, constructive working atmosphere in the department.
Critical Studies and Art Appreciation within the context of History of Art has an important role in the subject. The students study historical and contemporary Artists which form the starting points for their theme based practical art work throughout the school, increasing in depth at examination level. At GCSE and A level such work is supported by regular talks, concentrating on styles and movements of Art and Design across the various world cultures. Every boy has access to a comprehensive art library, to the Internet and the Departmental computers.
A broad practical Art education is offered to junior pupils in response to the National Curriculum incorporating some cross-curricular links, where appropriate. In the junior school the work is project based; there are five projects per year which include an examination project As a result of option choices boys in Year 10 take a two-year course leading to the unendorsed Edexcel GCSE in Art and Design and similarly Boys opting for A-level follow the unendorsed Edexcel course in Art and Design.
Exam work is theme based, promoting individual and personal development, recent themes for GCSE have been “Wraps” and “Concealed and Revealed” and at A level they have included “Icons” and “Journeys”. The Sixth Form Art Room is in a separate area from the junior classes. All sixth form students have their own work station. As a basis for self motivation and confidence, pupils are encouraged to continue to work in the Art room at AS and A2 level during private study. GCSE students are encouraged to work at lunchtime and in teacher-led after school sessions.
Our teaching emphasis is on versatile draughtsmanship and individually expressive skills in a range of media. Each year we have two exhibitions; one for GCSE and one for A-level work open to students, parents and invited guests. We have work ranging from drawing, painting, mixed media, prints, photography, sculpture, installations and film.
Students opting for Art related courses at Colleges or Universities are aided with portfolio preparation for interviews by their teachers. We also have ex Skinners boys who have gone on to study Art, returning to visit and giving the boys an insight into life at university and the sort of work they would be undertaking.
Other artistic activities in the School include the designing and making of sets for school drama productions and each year, visits are arranged to Art Galleries and Museums in the local area and London for all examination groups. A foreign residential trip is organised for the sixth formers. We have visited Paris, Berlin and Rome in recent years and travel to Seville in October 2012.