Art & Design
The school has a dynamic Art department offering the subject to all ages and abilities, personalising creative experiences to meet individual needs. The department is headed by Kath Hitchings, who is also a freelance community artist: www.mhitchings.wix.com/creative-portfolio.
Kath works alongside Esther Parmour, Art Technician and the current Artist in Residence. The school is unique in embracing the ‘Artist in Residence’ initiative, an annual appointment, which has proven to impact on learning across the school and college. We have now extended it to provide more artistic opportunities within the Care environment as well.
Art is either taught by the class teacher as part of a broader curricular approach, as a discrete subject by Kath Hitchings, or in individual one to one sessions by the Art Teacher and Artist in Residence. The Arts Policy covers the whole school which includes students from Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3 and Key Stages 4 and 5 and it enables students with a wide range of learning difficulties to access the National Curriculum and their entitlement to the Arts at the appropriate level. The Arts within any school provide a powerful vehicle for self expression and communication, but in a school for students with learning difficulties they have a particularly vital role to play:
“I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way… things I had no words for.” – Georgia O’Keeffe
We are in the process of applying for the Platinum Status for the Arts Mark and continue to take many of our students through the Arts Award Qualification. This is on top of offering GCSE and WJEC Art and Design. As part of show casing the Arts Award activities, we hold regular events for sharing with parents and the wider community. We have very strong links with both NADFAS and Cranleigh Arts Centre and regularly seek opportunities to bring new Art experiences to our students or by taking them out on trips to galleries and exhibitions. Every October we hold an Arts Week, kindly sponsored by NADFAS-where we have involved sculptors, actors, animators and graffiti artists to name a few!
Last year the department was very proud of our student, Joel Etienne, who came first in ‘The People’s Choice’ out of 2000 applicants in ‘Create Art for Autism’ competition.
This year Kath Hitchings won the ‘Arts Teacher in Special Education’ 2016 award.