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    I am not what I am, I am what I do with my hands

    Louise Bourgeois

    Dover Grammar School for Girls has a very successful Art Depatment. Students are taught by Art specialists from Year 7 to Year 13, learning about and creating Art in a wide variety of media, both in class, and on visits and in workshops. Students are encouraged to enter prestigious exhibitions and competitions.

    Mrs M. Dachtler (Subject Leader)
    Mr P Graham

    Mr M. Redden (Technician)

    We encourage all students to work to the best of their ability in a relaxed but busy atmosphere in the studios. We like to discuss work in progress, and give individual and group tuition to introduce new ideas or techniques. We encourage class members to support each other, praising others’ achievements and helping one another. This makes for a very positive and friendly atmosphere in the studios.

    At Key Stage 3, students are taught in form groups and are introduced to the formal elements of Art focusing on the use of line, colour, form, texture and perspective. They work on drawing, painting, printing, textiles and 3D work. They research into the lives of varied artists and are given an introduction to their styles of work. Students are also shown how to link their own art with poetry, literature, music, drama and history.

    All students have a sketchbook for weekly homework, making notes or drawings during the lesson and for collecting information and collating research work. From Year 7, students are encouraged to take photographs and create PowerPoint presentations of their work, including digital manipulation of their images, linking them with particular artists or photographers being studied in their Art lessons. They are also introduced to storyboarding and creating their own stop-go animation films. This leads to an interest in forms of animation and film making.

    At Key Stage 4, students follow the Eduqas course. They complete a practical portfolio (Component 1, 60% of the marks) and then sit an externally set assignment, interpreting themes and starting points set by the Board (Component 2, 40% of the marks).

    In Year 10 students focus their studies on the Arts and Culture of Africa, and will learn about textile techniques and complete several textile responses. The second half of the course in Year 10 concentrates on drawing and painting techniques, leading to each student completing a portrait using oil paints.

    In Year 11 the focus is on Colour, with an introduction to artists from different eras and their use of colour. Students also study painters of the 20th and 21st centuries who have developed their own colour theory and method of paint application and styles of composition. There is also a strong emphasis on photography during KS4 so that students can record and save their own choice of images from first hand experiences and use digital manipulation to create an artistic response.

    At Key Stage 5, students take A2 Art and Design, and have the option of taking A2 Photography. The course runs over a two year period. Please view the documentation below for course structure and details including course breakdown and marking frames. design-spec-from-2015.pdf?language_id=1&dotcache=no&dotcache=refresh

    Each year we aim to have a variety of educational visits. Over the last few years our GCSE students have visited the Victoria & Albert Museum, The Tate Modern, The Tate Britain and were involved in a Plein Air Painting experience at Dover Castle. Year 12 visited The National Gallery and The National Portrait Gallery and The Turner Contemporary. We also spent time at the Harbour Arm in Folkestone as part of the "Ruins" theme. Year 13 visited The Tate Modern followed by The Turner Contemporary, The National Gallery and The National Portrait Gallery. Visits to local sites and galleries have also been arranged on a frequent basis.

    In July we organized an Art Residential for KS4 and KS5 students in London. Students thoroughly enjoyed the dance workshop, Aladdin, the National Portrait Gallery and the many eateries along the way!

    Students at KS3, KS4 and KS5 are also given the opportunity to work at different venues or with visiting artists and writers as they arise, and take part in different kinds of artistic competitions organized by the school or outside agencies.

    Students at KS4 and 5 also have the opportunity to exhibit their work, either as part of schools’ competitions or in local galleries. Students work with English Heritage, creating exhibitions of paintings and photographs featuring Dover Castle and currently Walmer Castle. We have entered and won competitions that have granted much press and local publicity, including winning The 2015 People Of Dover Award for recognition of our outstanding contribution to “Beautiful Dover” and have recently been awarded a certificate by The Good Schools Guide Awards for ‘Best performance by Girls taking Art and Design at an English Grammar School’.

    Alongside the enriching experience of creating and discussing Art, there are several extra-curricular opportunities available to students. Students are invited to join the Photography Club, Gifted and Talented after school sessions and Art Club. Other clubs, activities and workshops are run at different times of the year but the studios are open Monday – Thursday lunchtimes for student use.

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