The Art and Design Opportunities
The studios in the Richard Bull Centre, complemented by the brand new Jerwood School of Design, house the Art & Design Department. There are dedicated studios and workshops for Art, Sculpture, Textiles, Design, Technology, Systems and Control. The range of activities, media and materials available is extensive. In Sculpture for example stone carving, welding, casting and ceramics are offered. In Textiles creative skills such as machine embroidery, batik and constructed bodices are taught, with students pushing the boundaries of their discipline towards sculpture and fine art. Conceptual thinking, through installation and photography, is an element of the IB Visual Arts programme, alongside the traditional Fine Art skills such as Life Class and oil painting, which form the core of the AS and A2 courses. All upper school Art students make use of the Intaglio and Relief print facilities.
All children in the Lower and Middle School take part in a programme of practical arts. Through a carousel of projects they are introduced to a range of skills and creative expression. Most pupils take one creative arts subject to GCSE level; some study two.
Pupils might try printmaking, textiles, jewellery, painting or sculpture. In Design, they can work not only with wood, metal and plastics but also operate at a technologically advanced level thanks to computer-aided design facilities.
Many Upper School students then follow one or more of our AS, A2 or IB Visual Art courses as part of a broad programme of study, whilst some specialise in the creative subjcts in preparation for an Arts-related career.
Regular exhibitions of the work of pupils of all ages are popular with visitors and the school community alike. The standard is indeed exceptional, as shown by Oakham pupils regularly winning art and design awards.
We try to make the Art & Design Department as accessible as possible embracing the spirit of Joseph Beuys' revival of the ancient belief that "everyone is an artist". The Richard Bull Centre is open throughout the week and at the weekend. Enthusiasts benefit from the guidance of an experienced team of full time specialist teachers and technicians.