Winchmore School excelling in art

on Thursday, 09 May 2013. Posted in N21 Community


Winchmore School became a Specialist Arts College in 2004, as part of the Government’s plans for raising standards in secondary schools. Has this been achieved?  Judge for yourself.


*   The School has been awarded an Arts Mark Gold by the Arts Council


*   Students work is regularly exhibited in the annual Mall Galleries’ National Students Exhibition, organised by The Royal Society of British Artists, to showcase the work of promising young artists and provide an opportunity for them to meet eminent British artists.


*   Students were invited to take part in the Royal Albert Hall Festival of Remembrance ‘Reflecting Remembrance’ art exhibition, seen by over 80,000 people


*   Over 100 pieces of pupils’ artwork are on loan to the Bank of Cyprus.


*   Earlier this year, a group of seventeen students had the opportunity to participate in the Segro Young Artist 2013, one of only six London schools selected for the programme, designed to give talented young artists the opportunity to participate in a unique and invaluable commercial project, over a five month period.


The  students, ranging in age from 12 to 18 spent a week with artist in residence Carlos Cortes, each developing a piece of artwork based on the theme of ‘The World of Work’. The lucky participants had an unparalleled experience in working with a ‘real’ artist’, on a defined commercial brief, over a longer timescale.



The project enabled them to work collaboratively with people of different ages, to experiment with new mediums, including oils and to provide a piece that was more complex than time would normally allow within the school curriculum.


Five of the group’s pieces were exhibited in the Royal Society of Artists final exhibition – more than any other school!  During the evening four pieces of work were purchased by corporate clients, including this oil painting of The Houses of Parliament created by Jake Orros, who represents Enfield at the UK Youth Parliament.




All work exhibited had a price tag of £250 and if purchased by a guest that evening then SEGRO price matched, so four Winchmore School pupils received £500 for their artwork to be used to further their academic study (more than any of the other schools). At the exhibition, both Kayla MIles and Jake Orros delivered thank you speeches on behalf of the students and Jack shared his ambition to be the future Prime Minister!


Remember the name!


Well done to Jake, Kayla and also to Nilukshan Navaratnam (Year 7), Sofia Esposito (Year 8) and Anahita Mohammadkhani (Year 13).






You can read more about the project in the Arts College newsletter here


You can find out more about this annual Segro arts programme, which is organised by social enterprise Creative Junction here


Whilst only a minority of students can ever take part in this type of project or will go on to study art related subjects for GCSE and A level, there are whole school and cross curricula arts programmes, and after school arts club;  all designed to encourage participation and instil an enjoyment of the arts in its myriad forms - and importantly develop creativity and foster innovation. The School provides leadership and best practice in arts teaching to other local schools. In the Summer 2013 term Winchmore School is running an art competition in conjunction with Woodcroft Wildspace which is open to all local primary school Year 6 pupils.




Whilst Arts College status has provided extra resources, including commercial links, much of the School’s success is a result of the tireless work and enthusiasm of Winchmore’s Head of Art, Alison Grassham. She is described by the School’s senior management as someone who goes that extra mile. For example, becoming part of the Segro programme required hours of work outside school hours, filling in detailed submission forms.


Alison is the Arts College Community Coordinator and the School is keen to find further ways of working with the local community. Here are some of the projects already in place.


*   The School can provide artwork for display on loan to brighten up public spaces.


*   Pupils can respond to artwork briefs from local companies. The School isn't up in competition with local creative businesses, but the opportunity to translate a company's brief into a piece of artwork provides invaluable commercial experience for students who want to go on to work in the creative industries, which form such a vital part of the UK economy.


* Winchmore School runs community art classes which are open to anyone. During the 2012-2013 academic year there were classes in life drawing and silk painting.  Details about the 2013 – 2014 programme can be found on the School website here or you can collect a brochure from the School’s reception desk.


The School is always keen to hear from professionals working in creative industries who could spend time with pupils in school or can provide work experience and other learning opportunities in art, design, ICT, dance and drama.


You can see for yourself the high quality of art work produced at the school as you are invited to an exhibition on May 22nd.




If you have any more ideas for involving the School in the local community or could provide potential work experience opportunities please get in contact with Alison Grassham. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


'Learning to raise potential' is the tattoo that Kayla has 'given' to Mr Owen, who is in his first year as Head of Winchmore School. It pretty much sums up some of the ground breaking work within the school - worth sharing?


Winchmore School became a Specialist Arts College in 2004, as part of the Government's plans for raising standards in secondary schools. Has this been achieved? Judge for yourself.

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