Art and Design

The Art Department aims to provide a programme of study for all year groups which will lay the groundwork for students to communicate fluently in visual and tactile form, familiarising them with the principles of Fine Art and Design.

Students will be required to strive for originality in order to discover and develop creativity and will be introduced to a variety of experiences exploring a range of Fine Art media, techniques and processes through personal projects.

This is undertaken through team teaching to those who have opted to study Art for GCSE or A Level, where staff have different specialisms to offer, but is built gradually through drawing, painting and printmaking through the Lower School curriculum, which is compulsory.

Understanding creative diversity is important to the department and students will be encouraged to be reflective about their own development and the work of other artists. They will be required to sustain intense interest, develop resilience and an understanding that creative practice is often challenging, and always purposeful.

The core of the syllabus is the development of ideas and recording in many forms often uniquely meaningful to themselves. They will be asked to be adventurous and communicate confidently and powerfully through purposeful, individual tasks.

Benenden Gallery

The Art Department produce a twice termly Benenden Art Newsletter so everyone can be kept up-to-date on what they have been up to.


Skills and Techniques  Knowledge and Understanding
  • Making appropriate use of colour, line, tone, texture, shape and form;
  • Providing evidence of an understanding of special qualities, composition, rhythm, scale and structure;
  • Using different approaches to recording images, such as observation, analysis, expression and imagination;
  • Showing in their work an understanding of the conventions of representational and abstract/non-representational imagery and genre. 
  • How ideas, feelings and meanings are conveyed in images, artefacts and products within Fine Art;
  • A range of art, craft and design processes in two and/or three dimensions and traditional and new media and techniques;
  • A working vocabulary and knowledge of specialist terms relevant to chosen areas of study within Fine Art;
  • How images, artefacts and products relate to social, historical, vocational and cultural contexts.

Head of Department

Philippa Futrell 

Pip Futrell

Philippa chose to join the teaching profession after a number of years working as a graphic designer in London and joined Benenden in September 1990. She has worked as a DHM in Founders as well as taking on other roles in the School, such as being part of the Weekend Activity Team, and became Head of Department in 2015. She lives near the School with her husband and dog and when she can she paints for her own pleasure.