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SCHOLARSHIPS AND AWARDS Downe House has a vibrant Art Department and our Art Award Holders play an important role in the creative life of the School. Types of Award We offer two types of Award. Full Scholarships are given to pupils who are exceptional in their ability and attitude, while Exhibitions are offered to pupils who have impressed us with their creativity and who we feel show potential. Value of Art Awards The position of Art Award Holder is an honour and privilege, allowing the recipient to play a prominent role in the life of the Department and take on leadership opportunities. Award Holders benefit from regular mentoring and have access to enrichment and supercurricular opportunities such as gallery visits, workshops and masterclasses to stretch and challenge them, helping them to develop skills and awareness of the wider Art world. Eligibility and Procedures Art scholarships are awarded at 11+, 12+, 13+ and 16+. Awards are made on the results of a portfolio and a practical test held at Downe House in March each year. Junior candidates must be under 14 on 1 September following the examination. All candidates for Art Awards should present a portfolio of ten pieces of work, which should include a sketchbook and one or more three-dimensional pieces. During the visit to the School in March, the candidates will be required to discuss their portfolio and sit an observational drawing test lasting 80 minutes. Headteachers are asked to write reports on their candidate’s academic ability, progress and personal qualities, as well as their artistic ability and potential, which will be given careful consideration. There is no examination fee, but girls who are not already entered for the School will be required to register before sitting for an Award and it is likely they will already be holding a conditional or unconditional place.

Duties of an Art Award Holder An Art Scholar is required to: • • • • •

Attend a mentored weekly Art Club to extend her skill base Take part in School and other artistic competitions Undertake occasional Art and Design briefs at the discretion of the Head of Art Assist younger pupils with their art work Contribute to the School magazine.

In addition, Art Award Holders are required to take Art at GCSE level and to make a significant contribution to the Art Department in the Sixth Form in order to retain their Award. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS What is the process for gaining an Art Award? Pupils have to submit a varied portfolio and undertake an observational drawing test. All applicants are interviewed by the Head of Art with their portfolios and then by the Headmistress. Successful candidates have to demonstrate an outstanding artistic ability, a sincere interest in art, plus passion and commitment for the subject. For candidates who are not successful in gaining an Award upon entry, we do occasionally offer internal awards which are teacher-led. If a pupil demonstrates outstanding ability, commitment and a high level of interest, she could be advised by her teacher to attend one of the three Art clubs to develop a portfolio and might then be recommended to the Headmistress for consideration for an award. What is the standard expected at Scholarship level? A high standard of drawing is expected and we look for an ability to use a wide range of media including paint in the portfolio work submitted. Ideas should be developed through sketchbook studies showing a high level of imagination and a good visual awareness. What should I include in my Portfolio? Choose your portfolio pieces carefully: do not just gather your favourite pieces and put them into a portfolio – give serious thought and consideration into why you are including each example of your work

and include a variety of pieces to demonstrate your versatility.

Art Award Holders will normally be expected to take Fine Art at GCSE level.

Take care not to make your portfolio too sparse or too overwhelming. About ten pieces should be enough to show off your skills and make an impression. Please include observational drawing, painted compositions, a three dimensional project and at least one sketchbook.

Art Scholarships and Exhibitions are valid in the first instance up to the end of GCSEs providing the Award Holder maintains a suitable standard of endeavour and conduct and fulfils the duties required of an Art Award Holder. Awards are reassessed at this stage to allow other talented artists to be given awards for entry to the Sixth Form and to ensure Art still plays a central part in the life of an Award Holder.

Organise your portfolio: If you are concerned about some pieces smudging, laminate them or put them in portfolio sleeves that prevent pencil or charcoal from smearing. You are not required to mount your work, but this can add a polished look and feel to your portfolio, especially if you are including photographs. Use neutral matt tones – bright colours such as neon pink or green will distract from your artistic abilities. How long is the drawing test and what will the subject matter be? The duration of the drawing test is 80 minutes and pupils are required to work from direct observation. The subject matter is usually a still life and the media is usually pencil, oil pastel or charcoal. What does the interview entail? You will have a short interview with the Head of Art and the Headmistress when you will be required to discuss your work and interests. We are looking for genuine interest, skill, passion and enthusiasm for the subject. Prepare to present your work and ensure that you are able to talk fluently about the artwork that you have included in your portfolio. You may also be asked to talk about artists that you are interested in and gallery visits that you have made. What is expected of an Art Award Holder? Art Award Holders are invited to attend an Art Award Holders’ Club for one hour every week. During the Club an art specialist will individually mentor pupils. They are encouraged to develop their ideas and skills by experimenting with new ideas and techniques. They are also encouraged to enter competitions. An annual study trip or workshop is organised specifically for the Art Award Holders.

Decisions about Scholarships The final decision about all matters relating to Scholarships lies with the Headmistress. How to apply If your daughter is registered and has received a conditional offer to join Downe House, the Registry will automatically write to you in November/December of the year prior to entry with details of how to apply for Awards. Further details regarding Art Scholarships are available from the Head of Art, Mrs Sally Scott ( For general enquires about Scholarships please contact Miss Angela Nutt, Registrar on or 01635 204701.

an adventure in education

Cold Ash, Thatcham, Berkshire RG18 9JJ T: 01635 204701 E:

Downe House School



Art Awards and Scholarships Informations Booklet  

Information and frequently asked questions about Art Scholarships and Awards at Downe House.

Art Awards and Scholarships Informations Booklet  

Information and frequently asked questions about Art Scholarships and Awards at Downe House.