Art 1
Art 2
Art 3
Art 4
Art 5
Art 6

Our ethos

As pupils join the 11-14 curriculum, we endeavour to encourage and nurture an inquisitive and explorative approach to their own learning, and also to develop a more mature understanding of themselves and the world around them. We aim to achieve this through encouraging exploration and discovery, and by creating an environment where personal growth and individuality are valued. Pupils are introduced to a broad range of techniques and skills taught by teachers who have expertise and are passionate about their own specialist areas. At this stage, Textiles, Art and Ceramics are taught alongside each other. As pupils enter the third year of the 11-14 curriculum, Art, Ceramics and Sculpture are taught in the Art department at Bedales, through an introductory year where opportunities are given to sample and develop a range of representational skills. At the end of this year students find themselves well equipped to move into the Bedales BAC Art course should they select to do so.

Our aim

  1. To enable pupils to develop an appreciation of art and beauty.
  2. To encourage individuality, initiative and creativity.
  3. To help pupils to develop talents and good levels of craftsmanship through doing and making.
  4. To introduce pupils to a wide variety of materials and techniques.
  5. To develop a sense of ‘otherness’ through a spiritual and intercultural awareness.
  6. To develop a pride in pupils’ work through both collective and individual achievements.
  7. To encourage comparison and a critical evaluation of their own and others’ work in a contextual setting.


At Dunhurst the syllabus is delivered by means of major projects of approximately 10-13 hours duration in two areas of the department per term.

"We encourage exploration and discovery, by creating an environment where personal growth and individuality are valued"

Projects in Art and Pottery are linked and involve cross-curricular aspects and a contextual framework. Bedales’ Art department delivers the syllabus in a 12 hour carousel within the same framework, building on Block One and Two work. All areas put emphasis on observational drawing and at Dunhurst experiencing artwork out of the classroom is also strongly encouraged. Projects will involve gallery visits, workshops and artists in residence to aid critical and contextual aspects of the curriculum.

Block 1

Subjects are studied on a termly rotation.  As pupils enter the 11-14 curriculum, they are introduced to working more independently on a range of painting, drawing, making and decorating techniques. Pupils will look at various artists and carry out their own visual research, recording ideas, making techniques and sources of inspiration. Landscape and inner worlds are often topics that are explored.

Block 2

Throughout this year, pupils will be encouraged to look beyond the classroom, exploring artists and sculptors’ work through workshops and various gallery visits, including optional Art/Cultural visits abroad. More complex techniques and subject matter will be studied during this year, often including portraiture and identity and the responsibilities we share as artists to inform and enlighten. Pupils are encouraged to make their own contextual investigations and compare and contrast artworks. Ceramics projects encourage the pupils to explore more sophisticated modelling and sculptural techniques and to work with a wide range of decorative finishes.

Block 3

This year will see students being introduced to the BAC course on a termly rotation. This covers ceramics, a 3D project and a 2D unit. The introduction to ceramics involves looking at the work of contemporary ceramic artists and using a range of constructional and decorative techniques, based on a student-led theme. In 2D they look at drawing, mark-making, line, colour and paint. Artists’ work and context of making are considered. The 3D unit involves looking at form, texture and how sculptors represent the world. A personal response will be produced challenging students to work in all three dimensions.

View the Dunhurst Saatchi Gallery Schools Arts Prize submission, 2017

Watch a collaboration between the Art and English departments for the 'Library of Ideas' exhibition held in Salisbury in 2017:

Academic support

Differentiation is core to designing and delivering a fully rounded and inclusive curriculum. All students will be pushed to improve themselves, whether part of the gifted and talented scheme or not, both as individuals and as part of larger group based work.


All members of the Art and Pottery department offer after school activities to both Groups and Blocks, and the department has an open door policy throughout the school day to enable students to be creative as and when they feel like it.

Head of Department: Susan McFarlane