Art and design technology are vital parts of our children's education here in the Pre-Prep and involve exploring the properties of materials and their textures, experimenting with different effects, and having the freedom to create.
Creativity is an important part of our curriculum, as it encourages our boys to work independently.
In the early years, the children learn about the properties of the different materials and how to manipulate them, and the use of colour and space. They also learn to work in a team and by talking about what they see, feel and like they extend their vocabulary and learn more about each other.
Developing knowledge and understanding
As the children's knowledge and understanding develop in the coming years, they build on this, becoming more critical and discerning in their ideas and choices. Their making in art, design and craft will become more complex and well thought out. For example, at a later key stage a teacher may teach the class about colours by asking the children to design an appealing juggling ball. They will have learned that certain colours are associated with particular tastes or qualities (pink and red, for example, indicate happiness and optimism; green suggests a natural feel) and they will need to appeal to their target audience in their design.
A less obvious benefit of art and design learning in the Pre-Prep is that it takes children to other worlds, cultures and times. The children explore ideas and meanings in the work of artists, craftspeople and designers and they learn about the diverse roles and functions of art, craft and design. Children learn more about how people lived in the past by looking at their art and artists. The Egyptians, for example, a subject which our boys study in Year 3, surrounded themselves with colourful buildings painted with scenes of everyday life and their gods. The paintings were meant to be realistic: in the tombs they represented the life which the deceased had led.
The Boys' Prep School Art department is a lively, exciting, invigorating place where pupils experience a wide range of artwork and materials through a curriculum that is fresh and stimulating.
The Art department is housed in an impressive purpose-built studio, with a fabulous panoramic view of the London skyline. Pupils gain experience in drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture, through the study of both historic and contemporary art practice.
The main aim of the Art department is to deliver a well-balanced and rich art education to every boy, developing a genuine enjoyment and curiosity in the artistic creative process. By the time the boys leave Eaton House we aim to have introduced them to as many working practices as possible, offering them challenging activity and sophisticated learning, preparing them for the wonderful opportunities on offer at their senior schools.
Pupils who show particular promise will be invited to join the scholarship group, a select group of boys preparing sketchbooks and portfolios for art scholarships to a variety of senior schools. We will help these boys put together a wide-ranging selection of work to take to their future schools, either for interview or for scholarship exam. Recently, boys have won awards to Radley and St Edward's School, Oxford.
Whether for a keen eight-year-old delighted at the prospect of creating a masterpiece from glitter and felt-tips, or for an immensely talented thirteen-year-old heading for scholarship success, we have an art club to suit every age and ability. Junior and senior art clubs offer boys an opportunity to spend a highly creative and enjoyable hour in the art room on a Monday or Thursday afternoon from 4pm. All are welcome. We roll up our sleeves and attack a wide variety of projects, using a number of different mediums. With our breathtaking view of the London skyline and the gentle hum of Magic FM in the background, there really is nowhere else to be!
The art scholarship group meets on a Wednesday afternoon, although potential scholars are encouraged to spend as much time in the art room as possible.