The creative Arts are very very important at Sands. In a school where choice is so encouraged Art becomes central to the lives of many Students. It is not unusual for a student to spend most of their day working on their Art.
Facilities for visual Art are exceptional for a small school. Provision for Art and Design was rated as outstanding during the 2007 OFSTED inspection.
Art has its own building on two floors with 6 separate work spaces covering a wide range of media. It is often likened to an Art School in miniature with specialised media areas open to students at all times. Final year students now have personal workspaces as in most Degree level courses. 3D workshops are on the ground floor with a permanent dedicated plaster area and a recently (2008) improved and enlarged clay studio with a new kiln and additional workspace.
There is a large general mixed media workspace, used for working with willow, wood, paper, card, textiles etc, and a studio for welding and larger scale sculpture, built by staff parents and students. As part of a major upgrade of our facilities following the successful OFSTED of 2007 a new covered outdoor sculpture space was created so that most welding can now take place outdoors. There are tools for all general metal and wood working.
On the first floor is a general 2D drawing and painting studio with good provision of all necessary materials. Sands has a very generous budget for visual Art. There is an extensive Art library of approximately 500 books and additional resources in the form of specialised folders on commonly occurring subjects. This extends to hundreds of images. Books are being continually added.
An additional space on the first floor, created 4 years ago by flooring over the ceramics area, (Work carried out by staff and students) serves as the main base for final year GCSE students and doubles as a small exhibition space at other times.
In this space is a newly installed Macintosh computer which serves those students interested in Film, Photography, and Animation. We have a new digital SLR camera with professional tripod, other film SLR cameras and general photography equipment.