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Art in the Community

The Art department are always keen to support local community initiatives where our talented pupils can contribute. Putting your work out for public scrutiny is a big step for an artist and we see real benefits in facilitating this as early as possible. Since we started our Art in the Community programme we’ve not only seen our pupils become more confident about their abilities but we’ve been delighted by the response of our community partners.

Here are some examples:

Helmsley Swimmming Pool

Year 8 and 9 pupils designed and created four mosaics for the outdoor swimming pool in Helmsley. These designs are all based on a water theme including two under the sea, one a moonlit seascape and one is an abstract sea with jellyfish.

The Art department organised and led weekly workshops to support the girls and so they could learn and practise mosaic techniques. These were an extra-curricular opportunity to give specialist art skills to Year 8 and 9 pupils.

The pupils have spent several sessions working with mosaic artist Sue Kershaw who gave inspiration and shared her knowledge and experience of this skilled area. The pupils have used a range of stones, shells, glass tiles, glitter tiles, porcelain tiles and glass beads to develop textures and movement within their work.

Val Travis, manager of the Helmsley Open Air Swimming Pool originally approached school in 2014. Val mentioned a water idea working with bright colours to enhance the existing environment. The funding was provided by the Helmsley Pre-School Committee. Anne Lishman and Tracy Carpenter who originally helped to raise funds were able to join the pupils to celebrate the Mosaic Installation.

Claire Marwood, Art Teacher, explains:

It has been an exciting time watching the mosaics evolve. The girls have shown creativity,
dedication and superb teamwork throughout each stage of the project. Installing the mosaics at the pool together was a rewarding finish to our year. Also hearing feedback from members of the public on seeing the mosaics was wonderful and a credit to all of the pupils involved.

It certainly has given the pool a stunning new look and is worth a visit. I have found it very difficult to choose a favourite as each of the mosaics are so individual and so well designed. I can see favourite details across all of the four mosaics. The girls have been amazing, a pleasure to work with and can be proud to have such stunning work on permanent display at the pool.”

Some quotes from the pupils:

Mosaicing has been a lot of fun and I have made new friends. Not only have I learnt new skills and techniques but I have also learnt to be patient and how to work really hard!”

Ellie Pickering, year 9.

I really enjoyed taking part in the mosaics project because it helped me to develop my artistic skills. It also helped me to work well in a team which is an important life skill to have. I am really proud of how the mosaics turned out.”

Amy Richardson, year 9.

YUMI – Ryedale School Artists in Residence initiative

YUMI connects Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people who have come to live in York with the local community.

Their aim is to work towards community cohesion in York by bringing together people from all cultures, helping them to develop a sense of belonging by offering support and helping them develop friendships.

What does YUMI do?

They support and train people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds in a range of activities and projects, including gardening, cooking, photography, delivering public events and activities such as film shows, conversation cafes (where people can practice their English).

Opportunities for Ryedale School

YUMI is delighted to work in partnership with Ryedale School art students and looks forward to supporting them in the role of YUMI’s very first Artists in Residence. We have identified the following areas where the Artists in Residence will help us:

• Documenting the garden through the different seasons through a variety of artforms to develop a selection of images that could be used to create a calendar for 2018, as well as notecards and illustrations for international recipe cards – all of which can be sold to raise funds to help YUMI become more sustainable.
• Designing promotional materials for YUMI events/activities (using images and illustrations of the garden).
• Creating the artwork for items for sale (e.g. packets of seeds, recipe cards, calendar, notecards (using images and illustrations of the garden).
• Creating artworks to be exhibited in the YUMI International Community Garden (e.g. the corrugated iron shed, sculpture in the beds/on the walls of the allotment plot) taking the following into consideration: environmental conditions, location in the garden and the growing cycle (i.e. limited access to certain areas due to coverage by plants), weather, risks of vandalism, our environmental policy and budgetary limitations.

YUMI artists in Residence Programme

YUMI will be able to support Ryedale School art students by providing:

• Access to the allotment plot on Mondays, Thursday afternoons and weekends. Access to the walled garden is only available at the weekend.
• Access to images and resources to use for inspiration
• Opportunities to exhibit work in the YUMI International Community Garden as well public events organised by city wide partners including City Screen, York Explore and York City Council (Millennium Fields Summer Fair, Westbank Park Summer Fair, Rowntree Park Birthday Party)
• Reciprocal support from our gardener to grow international plants in Ryedale School’s Community Garden

YUMI artists in Residence Programme

Further updates on our YUMI project will be added here over the year ahead.

Exhibition at Bridge Street Frames & Gallery

Students celebrated their GCSE Art success with an exciting exhibition at Bridge Street Frames and Gallery in Helmsley.


The exhibition featured stunning pieces of work produced by students from Ryedale School as part of their GCSE coursework and examination. The work included a wide range of styles and demonstrates the use of a range of media including acrylic paint, pastels, mixed media, watercolours and pencil drawings. This was a fantastic opportunity to see work from young local artists inspired by a range of topics.

The work included pieces based on ‘Identity’, ‘Close Up’, ‘Disguise’, ‘Openings’ and ‘Atmospheres’. Pupils were required to research their topic and select artists to inspire the final exhibition pieces.

“There are a lot of talented individuals who should be encouraged to exhibit their artwork. This was a fantastic opportunity to bring to light some of the talent we have at Ryedale School.”

Mr Hopkins, Head of Art

Exhibition at Nunnington Hall

Nunnington Hall

Our exhibition of pupil’s work was a great success – James Etherington, visitor experience manager at Nunnington Hall, said:

At the National Trust we always find it a pleasure to see young artistic talent emerging; to see the development of their style and the pushing of creative boundaries. The talent on display in this exhibition is breath-taking and I the work inspired debate and delight in equal measure.”

James said they were delighted to be hosting work from Ryedale School.

Developing partnerships with local schools and colleges is high on our agenda at Nunnington and we look forward to working with Ryedale again in the future.

The standard of work produced for the GCSE course is consistently high and the exhibition fittted seamlessly into our exhibition programme alongside the more established artists and photographers we host across the year.”

GCSE art student Airlie Mason, from Ryedale School, who had her work on display in the exhibition, said:

Art at Ryedale School is a thought-provoking and creative subject. There are no boundaries and it truly broadens your perception of what art actually is.”

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