Art at Bishops is based on the study of visual disciplines such as drawing, painting, architecture, sculpture and ceramics. The term 'Visual Arts' is used to distinguish it from music, dance, drama, etcetera.
The course has two components: practical and theory. Currently each component is given equal weight in teaching and assessment, i.e. 50% practical, 50% theory. In the FET system, to be introduced in 2006, the split will be 75% practical and 25% theory (that will be called Visual Cultural Studies).
In practical classes, a wide range of traditional and new media are introduced to the learners who are encouraged to interpret themes with an independent vision.
The theory component of the Visual Arts course is a process of investigation and discovery in which the learner is expected to be fully involved. Images are studied in terms of their historical context and iconography (formal elements and meaning). 'Caves to Canvas' is prescribed as a textbook to supplement the reference material available on the intranet & internet.
The Digital Design Club is open to all learners at Bishops, even those who do not take Visual Arts as a subject. The club meets every Tuesday at 12:45 to explore the possibilities provided by new media. There is an annual Digital Design camp where expert guidance is given in new software and techniques in this field.
To promote drawing from life among the learners, Inter-school figure drawing workshops are scheduled every term.