A programme of activities is run during afternoons, weekday and Sunday evenings, which enables all students to pursue their interest in art. We provide the opportunity for candidates to build a portfolio of work if they wish to apply for foundation courses in art and design or architecture.

All members of the department are practising artists and teach from their personal experience and commitment to their particular discipline. We have a technical instructor who offers a high level of expertise in photography and printmaking. A skilled technician provides assistance with sculpture. Ampleforth has excellent facilities for art and design with large studios on two floors, accommodated in the purpose-built Sunley Centre.

In the Painting and Drawing studio students are taught to use a variety of different medium including water-colour, acrylic and oil.  The printmaking area has etching and relief printing facilities.  There are well-resourced photography rooms and we are developing computer imaging using ADOBE Photoshop.  We also have a large sculpture and ceramics studio.  Three-dimensional art facilities are available for ceramics, modelling, mould making, casting, carving and construction, using a variety of materials including clay, wood, plaster and metal.

The department has its own library with an extensive range of specialist books, videos and CD-ROM. The Sunley Centre has a computer room with facilities for computer-aided art and design.

Art at A Level

We offer two A Level art courses; Art and Design, and History of Art. 

Art and Design

All students are encouraged to develop their ability in drawing. Students must also develop an understanding of the theory and history of art in relation to their practical work. This will include a programme of directed reading and written critical analysis of selected works of art. In Years 12 and 13 individual tutorials are regularly given and each student will follow a programme of work based on his or her own particular interests and level of ability.

Life drawing is taught to sixth form students subject to the availability of models. Students are expected to attend evening and afternoon activities in order to keep up with their practical work. Drawing is considered to be an essential discipline; sketch books are regularly reviewed.

A series of illustrated talks and lectures are given to Years 12 and 13 on aspects of the Italian Renaissance, the development of the Modern Movement in the Twentieth Century, and contemporary trends in art and design. The department also run trips to relevant galleries and museums which students are invited to join.

History of Art

History of Art is taught as a separate academic subject.  Lessons include the analysis of works of art in slide and digital reproduction. We also visit galleries and museums to study original works of art; this may include a trip to Florence in Year 13.  Essays are set regularly and cover the topics discussed and analysed in class.