Creative Learning Area

The Creatives Learning Area encompasses;

  • Art and Photography
  • Food Preparation and Nutrition, Textiles, Product Design, Graphic Design
  • Drama
  • Music

Each subject is taught in specialist accommodation on different parts of the school site: Art and Photography are taught in three well equipped studio classrooms with an excellent large darkroom, Technology is in four rooms dedicated to food preparation and nutrition, textiles, product design and graphic design. We are also fortunate in having excellent facilities for the performing arts, including a state of the art drama studio. Music is housed at Penn and has several practice rooms as well as main teaching rooms.

Each subject is staffed by subject specialists dedicated to delivering exciting and challenging learning experiences for the students. As a team we support and share ideas through regular formal meetings and informal opportunities. The mix of subjects means that there are always lively debates about learning and every teacher in the faculty has the opportunity to share aspects of good practice.

The faculty aims to teach Key Stage 3 and examination courses through a wide range of exciting and diverse project themes. We are proud of the enthusiasm and achievement of our students at every school level. Each subject area achieves excellent examination results usually well above the national average for similar schools.

Study visits, trips and extra-curricular clubs

In addition to the broad and exciting curriculum the faculty organises a wide range of extra-curricular activities and trips. Each year we use our links with local galleries and museums such as the Holbourne or the Fashion Museum to take part in local arts based initiatives and workshops. The older students have the chance to go to London galleries such as the Tate Modern, The Photographers’ Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Trips also include photography walks where students are guided by specialist teachers in how to use both digital and film cameras to capture highly successful images that they can go on to include in their projects and portfolios.

Technology students have many opportunities to work with designers and local businesses. We have worked with Flying Start and Dyson. The KS4/5 DT students also have the opportunity to visit The Design Museum in London as well as see engineering in action, in places such as Thorpe Park or Legoland. Whilst the GCSE Food students have visited Marshfield Ice-cream, the Bertinet Kitchen for a bread workshop with Richard Bertinet and worked with the Fish Heroes Program.

Theatre visits are regularly arranged for GCSE and A level Drama students and all KS3 students are given at least one opportunity to see a live performance.  There is an annual school production in which up to 80 students take part, from across all year groups. There is a junior Drama club which runs weekly and uses drama games and improvisation activities to help students develop their skills and confidence. In the Autumn, Year 10 Drama students take part in the Shakespeare School Festival and perform their work at the Egg Theatre.

Students from all years are encouraged to take instrumental and singing lessons in addition to their curriculum music and join bands and groups, who perform at various school functions. The Music department organises the annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols in the local Church which is always a popular and significant part of the school calendar. In addition, the Music students perform in regular concerts at the school, and also play at celebration ceremonies and school open evenings.

Resources and additional information

All of our students are given the opportunity to work with a wide range of interesting, sustainable, modern and traditional materials. We provide all resources that are necessary for the students to create work that they will be proud of. Some of the ingredients for the food courses will need to be sourced by the students due to the range of recipes they follow but there is provision to help those who find this a challenge.

Teaching and support staff

Mr Naylor | Leader of Learning: Creatives

Ms Bloomfield | Head of Drama

Mrs Dowding | Art and Technology Technician

Miss C Evans  | Head of Technology

Miss Fielding | Technology Teacher

Mr Fuller | Technology Technician

Miss Hasnat | Textiles Teacher

Miss Noakes | Art and Technology Teacher

Mrs Robinson | Head of Music

Ms Sackett | Technology Teacher

Ms Wells | Art Teacher

Mrs Vivian | Head of Art