Art Education at the ESS
The perception and interpretation of the world that surrounds us have always been part of the process of artistic creation. It is this process and the works of arts that come from it that constitute the main subject matter for art education at the European School.
The teaching of fine arts aims to allow pupils to experience this creative process in all its diversity, through various techniques, and is based on an examination of art history that sees itself as being as wide-ranging as possible.
From S1 to S3, all pupils take fine arts classes. Pupils are introduced to the components of fine art (form, colour, composition, space, etc.) and the methods of application (drawing, painting, printing techniques, sculpture, design, etc.) according to a structured approach, and are given guidance in their practical work. They thus acquire the dexterity and know-how they need to use the various items of equipment, the techniques and the materials.
From S4 to S7, classes in fine arts are optional.
In the double-period classes in years 4 and 5, pupils will have mastered the know-how and will enjoy more freedom to experiment, explore and develop their own solutions under the less prescriptive supervision of their teacher. They learn how to explain and present the creative process behind their work and how it relates to other works.
In years 6-7, pupils can choose between a double-period class and a quadruple-period class.
The objective of the double-period class is to develop pupils’ personal artistic experience. This class is not subject to an exam in the baccalaureate.
The quadruple-period class, on the other hand, is subject to an exam in the baccalaureate. For the sixth year, themes are chosen in consultation with pupils, whilst the work theme for the seventh-year class is chosen by all of the art teachers at the European schools and will be changed each year.
Examples of themes: Art and Science, Travel, Shade and Light, Dreams…
Theory will always be related to practice and takes up approximately one quarter of the time. The course will basically cover artists and art movements from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Practical work opens the way to a multitude of techniques (painting, drawing, photography, video art, etching, installation, performance, etc.) and encourages the pupil to develop work on an increasingly personal level.
The baccalaureate includes a practical exam. This consists of time for preparation of four periods in class and a 5-hour practical exam.