At the Oratory Prep School the main aim of the Art Department is to encourage pupils to feel that art is an accessible and exciting subject, one that extends far beyond the confines of the art room, increasing their capacity to enjoy, understand and value the natural and man made environment around them.
Learning and progression
The pupils are introduced to a wide range of different media to help them explore and develop their own practical responses to the subject and they are given many opportunities to share their ideas and opinions so that they can also develop the confidence to read and evaluate the visual images and artefacts created by others.
All the pupils have a 70 minute lesson each week in the well resourced Art Room. The programme of study covers themes such as Aboriginal Art, Colour, Light and Environmental Sculpture. Each theme is carefully planned to provide a breadth of experience, encouraging pupils to experiment with different starting points, improve their technical skills in a range of different media and styles and to begin to develop their own personal art preferences as they progress through the school. Personal. Art journals form an integral part of this process as pupils learn to record their journey through each theme. The use of ICT , workshops and visits to galleries and museums further supports their learning and understanding of art from different times, cultures and traditions.
Pupils with particular ability for and commitment to art are encouraged to apply for Art scholarships and the Oratory Prep has enjoyed success in gaining awards to a wide range of senior schools.
“Art and design is not just a subject to learn, but an activity that you can practise: with your hands, your eyes, your whole personality." Quentin Blake, Illustrator and Children's Laureate
OPS Summer Art Exhibition
Summer 2017 saw the biggest exhibition that the school had put together featuring work from all school pupils
On Friday 23 June the OPS sports hall took on a new persona as a gallery space in which art work from (very nearly) every child in the school from nursery to year 8 was displayed. The theme, ‘A Sense of Place’, brought together a wide range of work, from beautiful PrePrep responses to the school environment with natural materials and clay, to ceramic patterned houses from Year 4 and digital self-portraits from Year 8. There were walls of bright colour with the Year 7 landscapes based on the Shropshire hills where they had recently completed a geography field trip and in the brightly patterned African Kente weaving from Year 5. A more subtle expression of place came in the form of atmospheric black and white photographs of playground spaces by Year 6. Visitors sometimes had to look closely to find tiny snails and spiders on the Year 3 ceramic leaf worlds or read the moving descriptions of ‘What the OPS means to me’ by Year 8 pupils. Sometimes, as in the Aboriginal rainmakers and hangings, it was better to view the display as a whole to get a sense of this traditional style of Australian art. It is so exciting to see lots of art all displayed together and the children should feel hugely proud of their achievement in creating work in so many different styles and media. Thank you to all the teachers who work so hard to give the children a stimulating and fulfilling experience of visual art at the OPS.