Creativity is one of John Lyon’s eight core values and Art — as both academic subject and extra-curricular pursuit — does a lot to fulfil that value, allowing pupils to embrace individuality with flair and vision.

Appreciation of the arts is encouraged in many ways at John Lyon. The creativity of making works of art alongside the artistic discipline fostered by the dedicated team of Art teachers means it can prove endlessly rewarding. Throughout the School works created by pupils adorn the walls, most notable in the Mall gallery space. The vast range of work on show highlights our pupils’ sense of curiosity and experimentation as well as great technical skill.

Studying Art leads to a better understanding of the visual world, allows students to develop their own visual language and gives them the capacity to make informed, critical judgements.

Year 7 and Year 8 | core subject

Art at John Lyon School is based on teaching boys the traditional skills, from which they can develop and express ideas in a variety of media and styles. We focus on drawing, painting, printmaking and 3D skills as well as developing contextual knowledge related to a broad range of artists.

We expect all boys to be motivated and prepared to experiment with both media and ideas to develop a broad range of skills, which they will continue to develop as they progress through the School.

In Year 8 pupils develop their research skills through exploration of the work of artists and designers, which is then combined with practical skills development. The focus is to develop knowledge and understanding of media and processes to communicate ideas considering ICT, Print, 3D and Fine Art.

Year 9 | option subject

By the third year Art becomes an option subject, giving pupils a further year of studying Art before making a decision about GCSE choices.

In Year 9 we review students’ skills to date and access the students who enter the school at 13+, through a series of drawing and observational exercises. From this we develop all pupils’ skills through differentiated teaching and learning, with a focus on traditional skills and creativity. We also focus on developing pupils’ analytical skills through written and verbal studies of artists, individual and peer work, focusing on the use of appropriate artistic terminology. Pupils complete the ‘Portraiture and Embellishment’ project where they explore the work of artists and designers to produce a body of work based on the theme. Leading to exploration of the self, represented by traditional portraiture combined with embellishment and decoration, this leads into a graphic Pop Art project as the year continues.

Year 10 and 11, GCSE | option subject

At GCSE John Lyon follows a Fine Art syllabus allowing pupils and teachers to focus on the development of traditional drawing and painting skills alongside more contemporary disciplines including graphics, animation, print and 3D work. Knowledge and understanding of art, craft and design are developed through research, the development of ideas and making activities work from first-hand experience and, where appropriate, secondary source materials. We encourage personal exploration and experimentation with both ideas and media. All GCSE Art pupils receive excellent access to the School’s studios at lunchtime and after school.

– No specific academic requirements. Pupils should have good drawing skills and be able to express themselves visually in a variety of ways. Pupils who opt for Art should realise that it is an extremely demanding course with four to six hours’ work per week. A high level of commitment is required.

– AQA GCSE 8202 Art & Design (Fine Art)

Sixth Form, A-Level | option subject

A-Level Art and Design (Fine Art) introduces students to a variety of experiences exploring a range of media, processes and techniques. Areas of study include painting, drawing and mixed media, collage and assemblage, sculpture and installation, printmaking, animation, photography and video. A printmaking, photographic and animation studio is housed in AD3, as well as two purpose-built classrooms, a kiln room and photographic darkroom. Students are encouraged to use these facilities during free periods, lunchtimes and before school to develop their individual work.

A qualification in Art and Design demonstrates a student’s capacity to construct and develop a sustained line of reasoning from an initial starting point to a final realisation. It will also allow students to develop enquiry skills as well as the ability to modify and refine work as it progresses, visually presenting ideas and research.

– A strong grade at (I)GCSE Art and a real passion for the subject, demonstrating enthusiasm and commitment through a portfolio of work.

– AQA A-Level 7202 Art & Design (Fine Art)

John Lyon Success

– 75% of A-Level students achieved A*-B grades.
– 29% of GCSE pupils were awarded a 9 or 8 grade.
– Zak Samak (OL2019) left John Lyon to study Architecture at the University of Nottingham.
– John Lyon students have won the Harrow Whitefriars competition for the past two years.
– Our students have won scholarships to attend the Bartlett Architecture summer school.
– Our students have taken part in the RA ATTRACT programme.
– Our students have been exhibited in the Royal Academy Schools exhibition.

Outside the Classroom

John Lyon pupils and students have many opportunities to practice their art outside the classroom and extra-curricular clubs and activities are popular among all pupils, whether they study Art academically or not. Useful activities include the various Art Clubs, Dexterity Club, Photography Club and Print Club. Exhibitions of students’ art take place throughout the year. Students are also encouraged to submit their work into competitions.

Beyond School

Art can lead to many different careers including architecture, engineering, advertising, film and television, set design, art therapy, graphic design, art history, animation, illustration, engineering and many others. It is also valued in dentistry and medicine as it demonstrates dexterity, creative thinking, independent research and other relevant skills.

Teachers and Staff

Head of Art – Mr Peter Cordeaux, BA (Middlesex Polytechnic)
Teacher of Art and Art Technician – Mr Nick Brown
Art Technician – Miss Sinead Worth, BA (Brighton)