Art & Design

Preparing our students for life and work in the 21st Century is at the core of what we do here at Glenalmond. Creative thinking, problem solving and having an unreserved passion for what we do underpin life in the Art department.

Our aim is to challenge! Challenge what people understand about Art and to produce exceptional pieces of work that are both contextually aware and beautifully crafted. We are very fortunate at Glenalmond to live and work in a stunning setting. We have the freedom to express ourselves in a caring, nurturing and creative environment.

Art Activities

Over the last few years the Department has run a series of Art and Design Master Classes featuring prominent Artists and Designers in addition to what we already do with weekly clubs, workshops and tutorials. These have proved to be excellent catalysts for further study and individual project development.

The department offers activities and a tutorial system that pushes our students to be the most creative versions of themselves. Life drawing lessons are offered, in addition to a whole program of individually tailored workshops aimed at nurturing creative talent. Preparing our art students for life after Glenalmond is paramount to what we do. 


We hope you enjoy seeing of the latest creative work from our pupils in these Art Galleries below.  Please click on the images below to view.





University Entry

Each year a number of students proceed to Art Foundation Courses or direct entry into University degree courses in Fine Art, History of Art, Architecture and Design . In the last few years, alumni have gained entry into some of the most prestigious Art Colleges in the UK such as Central St Martin, UCL, Edinburgh College of Art and Glasgow School of Art.

To view the latest work in the Glenalmond Art Gallery 2020 please click here


Head of Department - Keir Downey MA, BA Cumbria, PGCE 

Christopher Moss, BA Hons, Bath Academy of Art, PGCE


In the junior school, pupils are introduced to painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, and photography, partly through a focus on the work of relevant artists and designers. Pupils assimilate a greater understanding of artistic language through practical studio work and written responses. They are also encouraged to discuss art in class, which encourages a more mature insight and greater artistic awareness. Specific course content is formulated by individual teachers, with prep being set fortnightly.






At GCSE, pupils follow the OCR Art and Design specification. In Fourth form students start a course of study that prepares them fully for the coursework section of the qualification. This is fun; engaging, diverse and helps each student mature into confident, inquisitive and technically excellent Artists. 

Coursework consists of one lengthy project, exploring ideas, various media and the work of relevant artists. The Controlled Test, starts in January of the Fifth form and comprises a short project, culminating in a ten-hour final resolution. Throughout the course, pupils work closely with an art tutor. There are frequent group, individual consultations and tutorials. When the whole unit is complete, it is marked to the full GCSE standard using the published mark scheme and assessment objectives. At the end of the course, an external moderator from the examination board visits to assess the selected work.


The course should be contemplated by pupils who have a natural ability and passion in drawing, visual awareness, and the potential to be highly creative. They should have attained a good grade in GCSE Art and Design or show a portfolio of work that shows the passion, self motivation and talent to succeed in this rigorous but exciting course. 

A successful Art and Design education offers pupils opportunities for the development of personal and social skills within a cultural context. Particularly relevant are the transferable skills that are gained through the research and development processes involved in the practice of Art and Design and these skills of analysis, problem solving, divergent thinking, conceptual thinking and communication can be applied within a range of disciplines across the curriculum.

Course Content - Lower Sixth

The Lower Sixth year is a great year of experimentation, discovering strengths and weaknesses and developing an inquisitive and passionate work ethos. 

Key areas

  • Recording from primary and secondary sources (drawing)

  • Experimenting with materials, ideas and processes

  • Developing ideas and techniques

  • Presenting and developing a project on a theme

  • Learning to analyse your own work and the work of others in a contemporary, historical and cultural context

All work completed will support the development into the A level course with regular assessment and reviews. 

Course content - Upper Sixth

  • A specialist project built on the skills and knowledge acquired when studying the Lower Sixth units

  • One major project which should follow on from previously chosen endorsement

  • Focus on personal response and the need to show working through a range of experiences

  • Must include a related Personal Study between 1000 and 3000 words

Personal investigation (01) 120 marks non-exam assessment (internally assessed and externally moderated). This will consist of 60% of the A Level.

Externally set task (02) 80 marks 15 hours non-exam assessment (internally assessed and externally moderated). This contributes 40% of the A Level.

Trying to imagine and understand the job market in thirty to forty year’s time is difficult, especially in understanding what skills will be needed and what will be obsolete.  Some traditional industries will disappear and the job market will look very different from what it looks like today. However, what will definitely be needed are people who are creative, adaptable and able to learn and relearn skills and information as technology and industries changes. These skills are fundamental to Art at Glenalmond.

The diversity of employment for Art and Design graduates is greater than many people realise. As well as the traditional practice carried out by an Artist or Designer working in their own studio, other potential careers are many and varied. These include advertising, graphics, illustration, multimedia, web design, games design, film, VFX, television, animation, architecture, interior design, product design, applied arts such as fashion, textiles, ceramics, jewellery, museum and gallery work, styling and buying for the retail and publishing sectors, education and art therapy. In addition to applying skills learnt in art to a business context such as entrepreneurship, startups and being uniquely different from a computer.