We are looking forward to welcoming our new Head of Art to the School next term. Mr Turner will start in January 2023 and is bringing an abundance of exciting ideas.
Tell us a little about your background:
I was always into art at school, it was the one subject that really got hold of me. I loved copying images from comics and by practising, repeating and looking really closely at detail, I started to get quite good at drawing. During my A Level Art project, I worked quite heavily with typography and I became fascinated by layout, design, photography and lettering so after my foundation art diploma, I did a Graphic Design degree at the University of Cumbria. From there, I moved to Brighton and did my PGCE in secondary art teaching. This was way back in 1997 and I have been teaching ever since. I have been a head of art for over 20 years at various comprehensive and grammar schools from Wolverhampton to London, and up until my appointment at Cobham Hall I was head of art and photography at a grammar school in Canterbury.
What is your vision for Art at Cobham Hall?
My aim is for the students at Cobham Hall to become inquisitive, independent, and reflective learners who are willing to take creative risks in their artwork. I want the students to choose the direction of their artwork, take ownership and work in the style that they feel most comfortable. Embracing traditional methods as well as new media is key to having an Art department that fits well with a 21st Century curriculum.
How will that look in practice in the classroom?
I have already been devising plans for the introduction of a wider variety of opportunities and courses within the Art, Craft and Design framework. Students across all years will have access to graphics, photography, and textiles within their Art projects, as this will give them more choice when it comes to options either at GCSE or A Level. Being open to how technology will enhance their experience in the classroom is vital in keeping the subject fresh and relevant for both staff and students.
Art rooms in my department are always a place where students can drop in and work at lunchtime or breaktime; it is a place where they feel comfortable, and where they want to go and work in a supportive, exciting, and creative atmosphere.
Will there be co-curricular opportunities to get involved in Art?
I will be introducing filmmaking, photography and photoshop clubs in the future, as well as trips which will enrich the creativity of the students.
What are you looking forward to most?
I am really looking forward to working with the students, I have met a few classes already and they are a great bunch, they were friendly, enthusiastic and made me feel very welcome. I saw a huge amount of potential in the students, and I am looking forward to unlocking that, so they are ready to face the exciting challenges of the creative industry which is the fastest growing sector in the UK.