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Department Overview

The art department is housed in the Casson Art School, named after Old Eastbournian Sir Hugh Casson. Within the department there are four full-time and one part-time highly qualified members of staff. Each member of the team has specialised in different forms of art and design ranging from fine art painting through photography and three-dimensional design, to graphic design at St Martin’s. Through sharing ideas and processes we aim to offer a broad range of experiences and knowledge. We have particularly strong ceramic and design expertise within the department with two excellent teachers and two invaluable technicians with three-dimensional design degrees and freelance ceramics careers. The recent appointment of a teacher of photography has opened up new horizons for A level pupils who have interests in creative careers. Our expert technicians provide individual support for ambitious projects.

The department enjoys exceptional facilities and strives to stimulate, encourage and sustain pupils’ interest in the enjoyment of art. On the ground floor the ceramic studio is equipped with two large kilns, drying rooms, glaze room, plaster studio and outdoor sculpture area  and a spraying room while the large computer room offers an Apple Mac suite with variety of photo-manipulation and editing programmes, a photographic classroom, studio and dark room, and a light box for silkscreens and polymer etchings. On the second floor there are three large painting and printmaking studios together with a well stocked storeroom and a resource room.

The Year 9 course introduces pupils to art and establishes core skills. Pupils study the formal qualities of art, colour, line, tone, shape, form and texture. They are introduced to a variety of techniques and art materials including ceramics, painting, computer-generated imagery and printing.

We currently follow the Edexcel syllabus and our pupils achieve outstanding results from GCSE to A level. At GCSE in 2016 86% of pupils achieved A*–A (100% in 2015, 92% in 2014, 90% in 2013 and 93% in 2012 ). At AS Level students achieved 100% A–B in 2016, 2015 and 2014 (94% in 2013, 100% in 2012 and 2011) while at A level students achieved 100% A* to B in 2016, 2015 and 2014 (94% in 2013, 100% in 2012, 2011 and 2010).

The department is very proud of its outstanding exam success.  During a recent exam assessment the following comments were made by a visiting A level moderator:

'It is clear that the art team at this centre is highly motivated, enthusiastic and work closely together to extend the candidates' experience and raise their artistic awareness and creativity. There were outstanding creative approaches which fully exploited potential often going beyond the scale of the specification in ambition and outcome. Work showed outstanding examples and a high level of engagement. The scale and ambition of many final examples was outstanding. It was a pleasure to moderate such a diverse range of exciting and imaginative work which takes place in this centre of excellence for art and design.'


Beyond the classroom

The art department runs a large extra-curricular programme to give access to our facilities and staff expertise throughout the week. Pupils are encouraged to work in the department independently during any of the department opening times. We are open on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights until 7.30pm and Fridays until 6pm and Sundays 12.00 till 2.00pm

Eash year Year 9 students take part in the Towner schools exhibition and exhibit their work in the Towner art gallery alongside schools from all over the South Downs National Park region. During the Lent term Year 9 work hard on their entries and pupils visit the Towner archive to see original works and then developed ideas through etching, ceramics and painting. In 2017 pupils prepared wicker frame works with professional company, Same Sky. These large-scale pieces were paraded in the Eastbourne Carnival as part of Towner Schools entry.

We offer extra Year 9 activities where pupils build large scale ceramic pieces to display in the gardens around the College or explore ideas through photography. As part of the Gold Arts Award and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award pupils have developed ideas for exhibitions with local galleries, conducted workshops with children and explored darkroom photographic ideas. As part of the S@S programme pupils have also painted murals for local schools.

We run extra sessions to prepare pupils for applying to art colleges and to ensure that they make the right choices. Every year we welcome a number of visiting speakers including university tutors and former students who share their experiences and help inform current pupils about the vast range of options available to them at art college.

Seeing art in the flesh is an invaluable learning experience and school trips to galleries are key to the success of our department. We are regular visitors to the Towner Gallery (a stone’s throw from the Casson Art School) with all year groups who enjoy the evolving shows. We visit south-coast galleries including the Jerwood, De La Warr Pavilion, Pannett House and Contemporary Sculpture at Goodwood. We run a GCSE visit to the London galleries and biennial residential trips for sixth form pupils. 

Throughout the year we celebrate our pupils’ achievements by showcasing outstanding work in the Birley Centre. There are two Year 9 shows, one in the  Birley Centre gallery and one in the Art School on Speech Day. For the senior school there is an exhibition of outstanding work from the previous year held during the Michaelmas term. Our final show in the art department for Speech Day always open with a packed private view on the preceding Friday. Every pupil from Year 9 to the Upper Sixth has their work displayed in a highly professional and successful show.

We have built links and connections with local arts groups such as the Eastbourne Group who hold highly successful shows in both the Casson Gallery and the Donald Perrens Foyer in the Birley Centre. These artists also link with our pupils through their own exhibitions as well as through teaching evening sessions with the life model. This gives us the opportunity to display professional artists’ work and share this with pupils at the College. The Birley Centre also hosts the Geoffrey Williams Arts Bursary award which encourages young artists to invest in their passion by means of an equipment bursary.

Head of Department Mrs JLA Harriott BA
Full-time teaching staff Miss EZ Greenwood BA
  Mrs S Martin BA
  Miss I Pocock BA
Part-time teaching staff Mrs J Lathbury BA
Technicians Mr C Murphy BA
  Mrs K Peters BA


Exhibition Photo Gallery 2017
Exhibition Photo Gallery 2016 - A2
Exhibition Photo Gallery 2106 - AS
Exhibition Photo Gallery 2016 - GCSE
Exhibition Photo Gallery - 2015
exhibition photo gallery - 2014
Exhibition Photo Gallery - 2012

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