At Oakham we aim to make the creative experience of producing Art as accessible as possible, embracing the spirit of Joseph Beuys’ statement “Everyone is an artist”.
The Art and Design Department comprises an experienced team of six full-time specialist teachers, who are practising artists in their own right and who strongly encourage individual expression, experimentation and invention in our pupils.
Our dedicated studios in the Richard Bull Centre are alive with creativity and the range of activities, media and materials available is extensive. There are also opportunities for students to explore digital photography and new electronic media.
All pupils in Lower One and Forms 1–3 take part in a programme of practical arts, through which they are introduced to a range of skills and creative expression and enjoy experimenting with materials.
Most pupils take one creative arts subject to GCSE level; some study two. There is a wealth of choice available, including printmaking, textiles, painting or sculpture.
In the Upper School, students follow one or more of our Pre-U, A-level or International Baccalaureate Visual Art courses as part of a broad programme of study, whilst some specialise in the creative subjects in preparation for an arts-related career. History of Art is taught through the A-level Art: Critical and Contextual Course.
Beyond the classroom we offer a rich and varied programme of visiting artists, artists’ workshops, frequent visits to museums and galleries and a biennial trip to the USA.
Students’ work features in regular exhibitions both in School and nationally. The standard is indeed exceptional, with Oakham pupils regularly winning art and design awards. The Wheelhouse Gallery provides a dedicated space in which to stage exhibitions by students and visiting artists and is open to the public.
Beyond school, many students have gone on to study Art at Camberwell, Chelsea, the Central School of Art, the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford and universities in the UK and USA. Many former students work in the creative industries, particularly fashion and architecture.