Innovation in the Visual Arts

GCSE Show 2019

During their time in the Art Studio, students are encouraged to explore new ideas and ways of working. The GCSE work produced by our Year 10 and 11 students exemplifies the Art Department’s innovative approach to media, processes and student outcomes. This year’s show covers disciplines and processes as diverse as stop frame animation, installation, silkscreen printing, objet trouvé and photorealist painting.

Innovation Through Photography

Since introducing Photography to the Department in 2015, we have invested in a bank of SLR cameras and a photographic studio area. The photographic outcomes produced by students have gone from strength to strength. Not only are students using photography to push photography into new and exciting areas, they have also used it as a powerful tool to develop their work in different disciplines. Examples this year have included, graphic imagery, screen printing, painting and stop frame animation to name but a few.

Drawing Outside the Box

Any artist, no matter what their specialism, will tell you that drawing is key to recording and developing their ideas. We encourage a diversity of drawing approaches with which to explore the world, from traditional chiaroscuro and still life, to blind drawing, single line work and expressive mark making. Our motto; ‘If it makes a mark, draw with it!’

Artist in Residence

Our annual Artist in Residence programme has brought artists from a wide range of visual disciplines into the school. In recent years this has included designers from Heatherwick Studios, Portrait artist Maureen Domoney, humanitarian photographer Giles Dooley and, this year, collaborative environmental artists Olly&Suzie.

Philosophy For Children

We recognise the complexity and level of academic work that has been written about art, especially over the last century. This is an important aspect of Art education at A level and beyond. However, we feel it is important to introduce this much earlier in a students academic career, and to begin introducing students to ways of talking about Art and discussing it confidently. To this end students from Year 4 upwards, engage in philosophical enquiries, led by students and facilitated by staff, that follow a Philosophy for Children (P4C) model, using Art as a starting point for these discussions. Enquiries over the last academic year have included; 'what is beauty?', 'was Da Vinci right to withhold some of his designs?' and 'is photography truth?'

Trips and Visits

Through our trips we encourage active engagement with the museums, galleries and places we visit. These have included rubber band sketchbooks made in the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden, a postal art project, responding to work at the Tate Modern which was then posted back to school, investigative drawing at the Booth Museum and our annual Brighton photography walk.

Diversity in the Art Studio

Art is a vital human endeavour. As long as there have been humans on this planet there has been art. Without exception it is practiced in every culture and creed. Our contemporary, Western conception of Art is only a small part of a rich and diverse artistic world. We believe students should be aware of their place in this context. In exploring the art of other times and cultures, students develop their understanding of diversity and difference.

In an act of solidarity with artists and producers from around the world, the Art Studio is stocked with African, kitenge aprons, proudly worn by our students, who even know the makers of their apron by name.

WINNER! Photographer of the Year 2018-19.....Alex S!

Congratulations Alex! Judges were particularly impressed with Alex's use of depth of field in his cat photograph and the level of detail he achieved on his dragonfly shot. A well deserved win!


Children in the EYFS enjoy gazing at the blue sky through the bare trees, an experience they later capture in artwork.

ISI Inspection Report, 2017

'Tea and Biscuits' With Giles Duley

'Tea and Biscuits' is a student publication, produced with humanitarian photographer Giles Duley. It is a photographic and reflective writing response to time spent in the company of the residents of a local nursing home. The residents shared their stories and old photographs with the students.


Art students are confident to make choices in their work, justifying those choices and are not afraid to experiment and to learn from experience. This is clearly demonstrated in the diversity of their creative artwork, including original costume designs, complex sculpture and careful portraiture.

ISI Inspection Report, 2017

Beyond the Art Studio

As artists, we draw inspiration from the world around us and we encourage our students embrace this attitude. We actively seek out opportunities to share and make Art outside the Studio; from the corridors of the school, out into the grounds, the local environment and the world beyond.


Older pupils’ photography following a school trip captures their sensitivity to the environment around them.

ISI Inspection Report, 2017

Celebrating Excellence - 'An Evening of Original Works'

Every year we join forces with the English, Drama and Music Departments, to showcase work that exemplifies the very best that students at Duke of Kent produce. Much of this work is completed outside the main curriculum by students we are supporting in developing artistic talents that take them beyond the classroom. This exhibition takes place outside school, in an informal setting, giving students an understanding and experience of what it is like to exhibit and perform professionally.


You never know what's going to happen when you come in here!

Student on entering the Studio, 2019


The Endeavour Programme

In the Prep School, an important part of the curriculum is the Endeavour Programme. This lesson is an opportunity for students to lead their own projects, exploring a variety of creative processes and research projects. Some of this years areas of exploration have included calligraphy, origami and photography.


We love the variety and individuality of the work that our children do in the Art Studio. They enjoy having ownership over the direction of their work, and that leads to a real sense of pride and achievement in what they produce.

Parent, 2019


Year 6 The Elements of Art - A Lens Based Exploration


The Art Studio is a real haven for all - a place you can go to and know you will be well supported and resources will be found for you - even if you are asking for a rusty wheel barrow to paint for your GCSE project.

Year 11 student, 2019


I love the fact that there is always something going on in the Art Studio - you know that the everyone in there is doing something different and helping each other with a project - even if that means mixing concrete!

Year 10 student, 2019