History of Art

“The study of history may draw on documents, written records of the past, physical remains of the past, social rituals and cultural practices as a way of understanding past and present peoples. Art history can draw upon all of these archives but in addition it has the primary archive of the artwork. In this way, art history is the stepping stone into various ways of understanding and interpreting the past.” - Dana Arnold, Art History: A Very Short Introduction

IB Art Exhibition

Lessons use a work of art or architecture as a starting point for discussion. Visual analysis is an important part of gaining understanding of how to look at and discuss art. Art in context is also taught and students will understand how Western art develops and changes.

Study is sometimes thematic and students might do their own research on a theme in order to be able to discuss how it has been represented by artists in a variety of periods and contexts. Taught at Sixth Form level only, girls do not require previous experience of the subject, which does not involve practical work. It can be taken alongside a variety of other subjects in the humanities or in sciences. It will enhance and have relevance for most subjects.

Students who take this subject possess: curiosity about art and architecture, a good general knowledge or interest in culture and society, a willingness to communicate and debate verbally and in writing, and an open-minded attitude to knowledge.

Our lessons ask questions about the relationship between art and culture; develop an interest in visual analysis and what we can learn from interpreting visual sources; develop verbal and written communication and presentation skills, insisting on accuracy and precision; invite discussion and debate in order to look for meaning in art and architecture and encourage students to think critically and creatively.

History of Art and Architecture reminds us that the nature of perception is culturally determined.


Girls take the Pearson Edexcel A Level in History of Art.


Head of History of Art: Dr Lee Beard BA MA

Art Technicians: Mr Chris Gray BA and Miss Hannah Ellis BA