Oundle’s Art School is a vibrant, inspirational, engaging, and creative environment, where every pupil’s individuality and potential to realise their artistic ambitions fully is highly valued. Our Art programme supports an exciting, diverse and challenging journey of rigorous artistic development and self-discovery. We aim to nurture creativity, develop multi-disciplinary skills, critical thinking and foster independence of mind. Pupils are encouraged to develop their awareness of historical and contemporary art and aesthetics, while exploring every facet of making and learning about art.
Subjects taught here
All Art pupils are encouraged to work with new and unfamiliar art materials, alongside approaches that are challenging, to extend the boundaries of their experiences and artistic expression. The freedom within each of these routes allows pupils to produce work which blurs the boundaries between disciplines. As a result, Art pupils acquire new skills in both contemporary and traditional art making techniques, which engenders a progressive approach for all future studies.
Pupils learn skills that build on their adaptability to different briefs and scenarios. Pupils are asked to be critical and reflective about artistic creations in order to strengthen their own critical analysis, applying artistic devices to enhance their work.
The Yarrow Gallery plays host to five or six major exhibitions a year, including the highly popular display of Oundelians’ A level work each June.
In 2022, over 60 pupils studied Art at GCSE Level
Roughly 15 pupils study Art at A Level each year
An Artist-in-Residence is appointed on an annual basis and provides guidance to all pupils.
This course develops pupils understanding of the relationship between society and art; art historical terms, concepts and issues; the influence of cultural, social and political factors as well as developments in materials, techniques and processes of both art and architecture over time.
The Art School, bridges four dedicated studios, an History of Art room, library, and IT suite. The studios are equipped to deliver a multi-disciplinary approach, with the very latest equipment. Specialist teaching from active and experienced practitioners is offered in painting, printmaking, 3-D studies, and textiles. Within these areas pupils can develop their own personal responses. These can range in outcomes from video installation to textile based sculpture, from mixed media printmaking to ceramic forms, as well as more traditional pieces.
As part of our ongoing residency programme, workshops and talks are opened to all our pupils as well as the wider community and our partnership schools. We encourage the pupils from the very first instance to react, question and engage with the visceral experience of standing in front of works of art. Our residencies are a way of supporting new and emerging artists as much as engaging our pupils in the first-hand experience of viewing artworks which are site specific.
Art is a popular option beyond School and each year large numbers of pupils gain places at top institutions to study across a diverse range of creative courses: from Architecture (UCL) to Fashion, History of Art (The Courtauld) to Illustration and Fine Art.
We offer a rich and varied programme of electives, visiting artists, curators’ talks, artists’ workshops and frequent visits to galleries and museums. Sixth formers can join an annual international trip.
Art Scholars are encouraged to work with new and unfamiliar materials and take challenging approaches to extend the boundaries of their experiences and artistic expression. Supported by talented staff, pupils are able to acquire new skills in both contemporary and traditional techniques, which develops a progressive approach for all future studies.
Art has allowed me to strengthen my artistic and creative ability. It has also made me realise that this is the path I want to take as a career.16+ Art Scholar
Four Art studios
History of Art room
The Yarrow Gallery exhibition programme brings external artists expertise and knowledge into the school, allowing direct access to the work of other artists and cultures.
The Yarrow Gallery is devoted to broadening pupils’ exposure to contemporary art practices through a rich exhibition programme, lecture series and workshops. As well as showcasing pupils’ own work, from Oundle School and schools from our Open Learning Partnership.
The eastern side of the Cloisters was built in 1763 and 1799 as accommodation for the Headmaster and pupils. The “Names of Pupils 1799” were inscribed in stone alongside the foundation stone. In 1880, plans by Mr Joseph Gwilt were begun to build the Cloisters, comprising a range of buildings forming a quadrangle with the original Old School House, and adding classrooms, a large hall, a library, museum and laboratory.