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Visual Arts

Student painting

Within visual art at Saint Maur, we focus on developing inquiry-based learning as a route to creativity.

Creativity is often thought to be a ‘gift’ – you either have it or you don’t. This is not the case, creativity is a skill which can be developed; its basis is in inquiry and a willingness to pursue process with an open resilience to problems that you encounter. The true nature of creativity is one of engaging with the world around us, understanding, reflecting and re-interpreting. Creativity is more than spontaneity, it requires deliberation. At Saint Maur, the exploration of ideas, intention and materials leads to creativity in visual art.


To foster creativity within visual art, we aim to:

  • Provide a broad and balanced range of visual art activities to develop technical skills and understanding 
  • Present students with choices and creative problem solving tasks - to develop reflective and lateral thinking skills 
  • Develop student visual awareness and appreciation to engender an informed interest in the power of visual communication 
  • Provide exposure to specialist English language vocabulary for visual art (at an age appropriate level) 
  • Encourage mutual respect for others by introducing varied experiences from different cultures and traditions 
  • Through the application of learned art skills provide an opportunity for higher attainment across other curriculum areas 
  • Provide opportunities to celebrate achievement; developing student self-esteem through individual work, class activities and display


Students develop and explore their visual art vocabulary whilst acquiring skills across a range of approaches to image making in the following areas: drawing, painting, graphic design, 3D work, collage, printmaking, photography, fashion and textiles.

Across both the Middle and High School programs, there is a focus on skill acquisition and the application of reflective thinking. Students are encouraged to perceive the world with open inquiring minds and to make informed personal choices as they progress though each stage of their program.

Middle School

Within the Middle School program, we foster strong links with drama. Students explore a range of media and approaches with a view to establishing a core skills base with which to progress into HS study. Grades 6 and 7 Visual Art is a mandatory subject for all students, while in Grade 8, students elect to study Visual Art.

Students are provided with: the tools of inquiry - promoted through a culture of reflection and discussion; clear guidelines - to follow, to challenge then to move beyond; the opportunity to learn new skills, and the encouragement to ‘test their limits.’

High School

HS visual art is elective study; students in Grades 9 and 10 work towards the University of Cambridge IGCSE Art & Design qualification, progressing into IB Visual Art for students electing study at Grades 11 and 12.

Students are supported in their preparations for application to specialist study in visual art including subject specific careers guidance and portfolio preparation.


Currently there are three art clubs held within visual art:

  • Film Club meeting on a weekly basis, students meet to view genre selected films applying critical and cultural understanding to better appreciate the language of film.
  • MS/HS Art Club a club where students have the option of either following a program of study which includes animation, fashion, illustration, manga, painting and sculpture or developing their own particular interests in the subject with specialist support.
  • SACHI (Society of Artists Committed to Helping Individuals) Art Club a HS art club where students are involved in promoting social issues, supporting charitable causes and providing a visual arts service for the good of the community.


Graduate students have been accepted to study a variety of specialist subject areas including Architecture, Applied Design, Graphic Design and Advertising, Costume for Film & Television, Fashion Design, Film, Digital Arts & New Media, Illustration, Studio and Fine Arts, at a wide variety of visual art centers including:

United States of America

  • California Institute of the Arts
  • Emmanuel College, Boston
  • College of Art & Design
  • Otis College of Art & Design
  • Parsons New School for Design
  • Pratt Institute
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • Ringling College of Art & Design
  • Savannah College of Art & Design
  • School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • Art Institute of Chicago 


  • University of Alberta Art & Design 
  • University of Manitoba School of Art 


  • UAC: University of the Arts College, Bournemouth, UK (formerly Arts Institute of Bournemouth)
  • Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Architecture, France
  • Edinburgh College of Art, UK
  • Glasgow School of Art, UK
  • Kingston University, UK
  • University of the Creative Arts, UK
  • Saint Martins College of Art & Design, UK