The Art Department at Shiplake College is renowned for producing a diverse range of dynamic and innovative work. Throughout their time at Shiplake, pupils have the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding in art and design, develop ideas and expand creative thinking. This enhances pupils’ independent learning skills and allows them to apply learning in a practical and realistic way.


The Art Department is housed on the top floor of our revolutionary John Turner Building. The department features three large classrooms, all of which benefit from natural light flooding in through numerous sky-lights. The inspirational space allows artists the freedom to express themselves creatively through painting, drawing, sculpting, crafting and designing.

The ceramics room, including a kiln, is specifically-designed for 3D work. The art room houses 2D work such as life drawing and portraiture while the third classroom is predominantly used for textiles work.

Thanks to generous donations from members of the College community, the John Turner Campaign has helped to raise additional funds to provide the very best equipment and resources for artists at Shiplake.

Additional Opportunities

The Art Department regularly organises trips to galleries and exhibitions in the UK and abroad. Furthermore, the College hosts workshops in which visiting artists share their skills and knowledge with pupils. The co-curricular Art Club provides a fun and relaxing environment for pupils to release their creative tension. Club members enjoy attempting ambitious projects away from the pressures and limitations of the academic environment.


Key Stage 3

Lower School and Year 9 pupils are taught a range of techniques across several different artistic media. The boys are encouraged to experiment and express themselves, which leads many to discover a passion for the subject. The varied curriculum also enables pupils to identify particular strengths which they may wish to focus on when pursuing Art further up the College.


Art is a very popular GCSE subject option with Shiplake pupils. Pupils will have the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding in art and design. Pupils undertake the AQA Fine Art course which includes drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpting and printmaking. The course requires pupils to develop an ability to assess, question, criticise and make decisions through a number of artistic languages. This provides excellent all-round basic training and an insight into the rigours of A Level Art, as well as identifying pupils' strengths.

The final assessment pathway has not yet been confirmed; however, pupils should expect to complete a unit of coursework on a chosen theme and sit a 10 hour timed exam, producing preparatory work in support of the final piece.

Sixth Form

Anyone who has a proven ability and a love of Art will be well-suited to studying the subject at A Level. The course further builds upon skills and techniques which have been nurtured throughout school life. Teaching will follow an art and design course in drawing, painting, print-making, photography and ceramics/3D. Art history is extensively explored and pupils are expected to link themes from recognised artists back into their own work. Pupils are also expected to conduct research on field trips and in their own time by visiting galleries and exhibitions.

An excellent A Level portfolio opens the door for further study and a career in art, design architecture, teaching, fashion textiles, ceramics, commercial art, photography, theatre design, film and video. Shiplake offers first-class training and assistance for budding artists, and teachers are always eager to help Foundation Course applicants prepare a suitable portfolio.