At St Helen and St Katharine, we believe that art is for everyone. We seek to develop the visual literacy of all pupils, to enliven and complement the academic life of the School in ways that can exist beyond the art studios. Academic excellence is secured through a rich tradition of independent learning and tried and tested teaching, so that our young artists become ever more curious, courageous and original as they engage with the world.
The Art Department is housed on the top floor of the School’s original, Edwardian and has a well-equipped and wide-ranging suite of facilities. We work closely with the Design and Technology (DT) Department to realise ambitious and exciting work by students of all ages.
Open call art exhibitions allow students, no matter their age, experience, or whether they study an art-based subject, the chance to exhibit work alongside older, more experienced students. We feel this provides a truly democratic art journey to all.
A*–A at A level 2023
9–7 at GCSE Art 2023
9–7 at GCSE Ceramics 2023
A wide range of activities, trips and events are run for all students throughout the year. Years 7–9 visit local galleries, while Years 10 and above travel further afield, with a residential trip for Year 10 to Cornwall, and a Sixth Form visit to a European city.
Practicing artists come to host workshops with students, with recent events including blacksmithing with Moggy Metals, textile workshops with renowned artist Michael Brennand-Wood, photography with Christopher Baines, history of art sessions with Lizzie Rowe and a sustainable fashion design talk from Suzanne Delaney.
We encourage all students to consider entering competitions and events – this year their work will be exhibited in Oxford Art Weeks, Young Art Oxford and Royal Academy Young Artist exhibition.
You do not need to be a master painter to find something you can get involved within the Art Department. Art and ceramics clubs run for Years 7–9 throughout the year, while GCSE support classes wrap around to give public exam students a bit more time in the studios. Years 8 and 9 have an invite-only club which supports more advanced and challenging work for those who are particularly interested in the subject. Open call exhibitions encourage everyone to submit pieces for display and students work closely with the Drama Department to create sets and props for the plays.
Explore our Beyond programme to find out more about art and design opportunities at St Helen’s.