Looking around the school grounds, there is little doubt that the first signs of autumn are beginning to become more pronounced. The contrasts in colour provide a palette all our boys will appreciate, given the time they have spent with our Art department. It is always a pleasure when visiting classrooms around school to appreciate the contrasts at times between our different subject disciplines. That is particularly the case when in the art block. The rhythms of the lessons are somewhat different to those in many subject areas – but the high aspirations are a constant. We have down the years at West Hill School, benefited from a stability in our art teaching staff, this has helped create a culture that enables boys with little, or no artistic experiences when arriving in Y7, develop sufficient skills over time to become quite outstanding individual artists. Many of our boys inspired by the experience they have at school, continue with art related pathways and even forge careers in this sphere when they leave.
This does not happen by chance, and the legacy continued now by Mr Butler and Miss Quinn builds confidence, alongside firing creativity that allows boys to shine. Many schools have squeezed subjects such as art from their curriculum offers. At West Hill it remains a key and valued component of what we are about, and our commitment to art teaching will not be diluted. Critical thinking is valued highly within the department, so art history and cultural links are embedded within projects at all levels. Our boys get to know about great artists, craft makers and designers, understanding the historical and cultural development of their art forms. This approach certainly contributes to building and enriching the cultural capital, that then helps in developing the rounded citizens on which our reputation at West Hill School is based.
Another invaluable contribution the art department makes, is in producing numerous displays that brighten up many parts of our school buildings. On days when we feel we are too busy, we can be distracted by peripheral matters. We need to ensure we keep the time to appreciate and share what are often simple pleasures – they are good for the soul. As the days shorten and the temperatures drop, the colour that West Hill art generates, provides a lift to us all – and that should never be underestimated.
Posted by Mr Owens on 16 October 2020
Category: Headteacher's Log Book