At Beechwood Park, Art is accessible to all children from Woodlands Nursery to the Senior Department and provides a challenging and varied syllabus allowing all children to experiment and enjoy the subject, irrespective of their level of talent or ability.
For talented and interested artists there is a programme of enhancement, including clubs at lunchtime and after school, with a proven track record of Art Scholarships to a range of Senior Schools.
By its nature, Beechwood Park provides a stunning environment in which to foster artistic talent. The rich history of the building and the landscape provide inspiring material for the all pupils to draw upon. The Art Room itself was formerly the coach house, and has now been converted to provide a wonderful and extremely well-equipped Art Studio, whilst the Pottery Room, once the wine cellar of the original manor house, is now home to the Ceramics Suite complete with two electric potter’s wheels and a kiln.
At Woodlands Nursery, Art is a key part of the curriculum and provides a clear visual record of progression. The stunning natural forest surroundings of the Nursery provide the children with daily inspiration and they use a wide variety of media and artistic techniques to develop their love of Art at this early stage.
As the children progress to the Junior Department, they develop the ability to draw from observation, using colour and different techniques to express themselves. They seek inspiration from both contemporary artists and Old Masters, to create two- and three-dimensional work of their own.
In the Middle Department, the children research the work of artists in greater depth. We are very fortunate that Oxford Art Historian Lizzy Rowe visits the Middle Department annually to give lectures, which in turn encourage the children to scrutinise works of art in more depth. Whilst in the Middle Department, Year 4 take their work out into the stunning Beechwood Park grounds to experience ‘Plein Air’ Landscape work based on Van Gogh’s linear drawings.
In Year 6, pupils benefit from a visit from artist Emma Collins, a practising contemporary designer, who delivers annual workshops in various mediums, using different techniques. These workshops take place in our wonderful woods and truly spark the children’s creativity and interest, whilst further developing their knowledge.
Boys and girls from Year 3 onwards who demonstrate a particular gift and talent for Art are invited to join extra art groups. These groups enable gifted artists to experience working outside of the style of their normal classwork. Year 3 and 4 examine the techniques of Claude Monet in a club entitled ‘The Impressionistic Impressionists’ whilst Year 5 study the colours of Fauve landscapes and the Surrealist symposium in ‘The Fauves Forum’. Whilst talented artists in Years 6, 7 and 8 can make use of the art library and their own exclusive private study area (including access to an eclectic collection of books on different artists and artistic techniques) to help them prepare for Art Scholarships to their selected Senior Schools.
The Art Department is a very special place, ASK ANY BEECHWOOD PUPIL!
No surprise that there is a good handful of art scholars most years. The Good Schools Guide, 2017