At St Martin’s, the subjects of Art and Design Technology give each pupil both the practical and intellectual skills that stay with him for life; skills that will prove invaluable on his journey through senior school, perhaps university, in the workplace and during his leisure time.

Art at St Martin’s

The art display boards around our school are testimony to the hard work and high standards achieved in this field by our pupils. In the Main School, particular emphasis is placed on observation drawing. Unusual and exciting art based artefacts from around the world are brought in to stimulate interest, fostering the desire to create detailed and lively images. Similarly, educational visits undertaken by the Pre-Prep to collections such as The Wallace armoury at Hertford House provide opportunities for ‘hands-on’ experience, heightening awareness for observation work. From Kindergarten to Year 8, skills-building is the main objective in every Art lesson. To this end, projects are thoughtfully chosen and planned to incorporate both 2D and 3D experience.

All pupils are exposed to a wide range of good quality materials and equipment. Scholarships in Art are frequently awarded to our Year 8 pupils by senior schools such as Aldenham. Pupils considering sitting for an Art scholarship are invited to attend our weekly Art Club in order to build up a comprehensive portfolio. A range of artwork produced by our pupils is also exhibited externally at the annual national SATIPS Prep Schools Art Exhibition and Stowe Art Exhibition.

Design Technology at St Martin’s

Our main aim in Design Technology teaching at St Martin’s is to provide our pupils with a firm foundation of skills that senior schools can then build upon. To this end, the bulk of the syllabus in Years 3 to 8 is structured around the much acclaimed QCA Scheme. Each unit within the scheme concentrates on a particular aspect of skills-building. Pupils, during their time in the Main School, will have undertaken projects in the following areas: – frameworks, packaging, textiles, pneumatics, mechanisms, vacuum-forming, electrics and computer control. All pupils will have experienced working in both wood and plastics. The department is well equipped with computers, interface units, hot wire strip heaters, vacuum former, Hegner scrollsaws and a comprehensive range of hand tools. Pupils showing particular flair in Design Technology are invited to attend our weekly DT Club and may also be encouraged to sit for scholarship awards to schools such as Aldenham.

In our Kindergarten and Pre-Prep, the Design Technology syllabus is linked in with class topic themes. Educational visits to venues such as Bekonscot model village provide an excellent springboard in the classroom for projects such as model house building, for example, to be undertaken. Construction kits and equipment also play an invaluable role in reinforcing the learning process and enhancing manual dexterity in the early years.