The art of Woodhouse

Dated: 23 June 2023

Our A level art and design department put on a wonderful show of student work this week. 48 students took the exam this year with around 50% progressing to an art related course next year, the majority of them to study art foundation but some directly to degree courses like architecture, design or textiles.
 Woodhouse Art Dept (from left) - technician Yvette, Head of Art Sharon and art teacher Emma
Head of Art, Sharon White, told us “Our students have done extremely well in their A level exam this year and we are very happy for them all. They’ve produced a really diverse range of art work in the 15 hours they are allowed for their exam, really excellent work.
We have students going on to do foundation at UAL, Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts, Central St Martins, City and Islington -and a number are going to The Working Men's College. My colleague Emma and I went to the foundation end-of-year exhibition at Working Men's College in Camden and are developing a strong working relationship with them now, as well as City and Islington, because they are where the majority of our foundation students are looking to go to now, which is great.
It’s so enjoyable to teach here at Woodhouse because students are curious and want to learn and try out different techniques. And when one student sees somebody trying something new, they’ll come over and want to join in and have a go. I’m passionate about art and I love it when the students kind of reciprocate and get really excited about art too.
I think it’s helpful that my colleague Emma and I come from different disciplines. I have more of a 3D background and Emmas is print - and we work really well together (as well as both having core skills in painting and drawing).
Prospective students have to be keen and willing to work hard, it really is about the effort you put in. Practice, trying new things and being brave is the best thing you can possibly do. Be daring, be excited and find the fun in art because we want students to come here and enjoy their time and make fabulous work - and I think you can tell when art has been made with joy and happiness…”
Art student Jessica
Art student Jessica came to Woodhouse from St James' Catholic High School and is studying A level art and design, English literature and maths. Jessica told us...
“Studying art at Woodhouse has enabled me to experiment with media that I hadn’t tried at school. I’ve experimented with charcoal a lot in my time here and it’s turned out to be one of my favourite mediums. I’ve also been able to strengthen and refine my technique in other media like acrylic. Photography is another thing I’ve learned more about here as it can be used as part of a very artistic response. I think one of my favourite experiments was painting with acrylic on top of photographs that I’d taken.
The teachers are really encouraging and I like the one-to-one support that they give for every single lesson where we review the work done over the weekend and they give advice on what you can do to improve or what you can do for your next steps. They get you to think outside of the box.
I spent a lot of time planning for my A level exam piece. In the first two sessions (exams are spread across two weeks during art lesson times, but in exam conditions) I was like ‘oh no, can I finish this on time?’ but then on the third session, three hours in, I thought ‘yes, this is all coming together’. Art exams can be stressful but I think as long as you plan it out well and show each of the development stages in your art, you should be ok.
In the future, my first choice is to study architecture at either Bath or Edinburgh, but I may take a foundation course first.
I find Woodhouse to be very liberating and it is definitely welcoming of you expressing yourself. There’s a lot more freedom than at school, a lot more independence and they treat you more like adults. I’ve really enjoyed my time here.”

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