The Art Department is an exciting, progressive part of Plymstock School. We offer a broad and engaging curriculum including printmaking, photography, ceramics and 3-D, as well as traditional painting and drawing work. All our teaching is based in a strong contextual approach, ensuring that students are exposed to as wide a range of inspiration as possible, from aboriginal or Chinese art through to cutting edge contemporary practice, such as the recent BAS7 exhibition. We regularly visit London and St Ives with groups of students to enrich and facilitate this element of our curriculum.
We use a sketchbook based approach to developing work, and student sketchbooks are integral to curriculum delivery throughout the course.
The Department has two full time and two part time specialist art teachers, and two technicians. Our skills are spread throughout course delivery, with all KS3 groups experiencing a mix of teachers and approaches. At GCSE groups retain their teacher for the two year course, whilst at A level the Art and the Photography students are taught by a mix of teaching staff, again to reinforce diversity of expertise and practice.
We engage with local practice, working with print makers, photographers, painters and 3-D specialists to extend our curriculum through after school/weekend workshops. We have a good relationship with Tor Bridge High, and frequently send students through to foundation there, and at Plymouth College of Art, with subsequent successful career progression. We also have a fruitful relationship with Plymouth University’s PGCE programme, and benefit from the high quality of their trainee teachers within the department.
Recent successes include; a commission by the charity Groundwork that enabled some of our sixth form students to create artwork for a local nature trail in Radford Woods; Y8 students being commissioned to create a mural based upon Y5 work at a local primary school; a group of Y10 students leading and teaching Year 5 and Year 6 students during the Plymstock Big Arts Week; and the continued showcasing, for the fifth year running, of our students’ work in the city’s Art2Day exhibition in the University’s Cube3 gallery.
In short we are a happy and thriving part of a really excellent school, where Art is celebrated as an important part of the curriculum, and where Art lessons are creative, engaging, challenging and relevant.