We are surrounded by images and artefacts, in fact they are weaved into the fabric of our modern day existence and cultural heritage. Our aim is to empower our students so that they may develop an informed opinion about these images in addition to equipping them with the skills needed to express themselves visually. Art at ICHS challenges students to fuse practical and conceptual elements, informed by their study of the work of others, so that they may produce images through which they successfully communicate their intentions.

Ofsted report


Provision for art is good. 'Good teaching leads to effective learning. Students produce expressive and imaginative work.'

Department description


In Key Stage 3 all pupils follow a broad course in Art and Design which is designed to develop our pupils’ ability to confidently manipulate a range of materials and techniques. A balance between 2D media such as charcoal, paint and printmaking and 3D materials such as papier-mâché and clay is achieved and pupils work in both the fine art and design based domains. Working to set themes, with some linking to the work undertaken in other subjects such as History and English, pupils are encouraged to develop expressive and imaginative ideas with the emphasis on pushing boundaries to further independent thought. The importance of fusing visual information gleaned from ‘real-life’ observation with those extracted from second hand sources such as the internet is emphasised. The use of digital photography is a useful tool which coupled with the high quality printouts from the department's colour laser printer provides pupils with high quality reference material.

Drawing is an integral activity of all projects as is highlighting links with the work of artists which pupils are encouraged to analyse in depth using key art words.

Art is an optional subject at GCSE with a good number of pupils selecting to take the subject in Key Stage 4. Projects build on the foundation laid in Key Stage 3 and personal sketchpad and research work, often set as homework, enables students to take projects in a personal direction. Links with artists’ images is augmented with a trip to a National Museum/Art Gallery.

Our Sixth Form A-level course produces exciting and often large scale work as can be seen in the superb acrylic paintings displayed around the school. In addition to Fine Art and Graphic based courses ICHS students often secure places to study Architecture at degree level through the high quality portfolio of art work which they have produced during their AS and A2 studies.

The department’s desire to develop and improve Schemes of Work in the light of evaluation is rewarded by the high quality work which our art students produce. We also enjoy contributing to a wide variety of events which extend the curriculum and the charcoal studies for the Sports Hall, the lino-prints for the LRC, the Geography and Science corridor murals and the giant stamp produced for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee visit to Valentines Park are just a few examples of our successful participation.

We are also fortunate to benefit from the artistic skills and hard work of our part-time technician.