Ilkley Lido-inspired artwork wins regional art award

We are celebrating five pieces of artwork winning first prize at the Independent School Association (ISA) Regional Art Competition, including a ceramic celebration of a busy Ilkley Lido.

Independent Schools Association

The ISA runs a number of annual competitions for its 535 member schools including Essay, Drama and Art, to give pupils the opportunity to showcase their artistic talents

The winning pieces will be judged in November in the National final. Specialist Art Teacher Miss Keeley Smith entered individual and group pieces from each year group, resulting in five first prizes.

Individual Winners

Joshua in Form 4 drew a detailed dragon piece in his Vikings learning challenge topic. The learning challenge curriculum is a study of a geographical or historical topic explored in dedicated lessons and also in the children’s weekly Art and Music lessons to achieve a deeper level of learning. Joshua spent hours in the art room working on the individual scales, before finalising his design in pen, earning his first place in the ISA Art Competition. This is the second ISA Art award for Joshua, whose textiles sea crown won first prize in the ISA National Competition in 2019.

Beau in Form 6 won in the textiles category this year for her Scrap Monster, created in her learning challenge study of World War II. Her class learnt about how children in World War II made their own toys using items found around the house. She designed, hand-stitched and stuffed her monster to create the winning piece.

11-year old Georgie created an intricate and colourful chameleon in the school’s dedicated after school clay club. The piece won first prize in the Upper Key Stage 2 3D individual category.

Group Winners

Of the two winning group pieces, pupils created their own row of Victorian shops based on Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. ‘Vertic Alley’ featured wand makers, sweet shops and cauldron sellers made from clay, fired and glazed in the school’s kiln.


Forms 2 and 3 created the final winning piece. The children worked together on a pottery pool filled with children splashing in the water and floating in rubber rings, surrounded by smiling sunbathers. The piece was inspired by the Ilkley Pool and Lido, a favourite Summer spot for many local families.

Ilkley Lido pottery piece close up of swimmers in rubber rings.

“Free to express themselves”

Art Teacher Miss Smith, proudly beamed: “Well done to all the children who have received first prize in the regional competition this year! The children come into my art room and are free to express themselves. We have a fixed weekly arts timetable which consequently gives confidence to our pupils.”

Headteacher Mr David Martin commented, “What a tremendous result for the children!  The children experience a wide range of art with us, for example, painting, textiles, mosaics, digital art and pottery.

“I would like to congratulate the children and also thank Miss Smith for encouraging our pupil’s artistic abilities.”

An Artsmark school

We recently achieved Silver Artsmark status in addition to our art wins. Artsmark supports schools to develop and celebrate arts education across the whole curriculum.

ISA National Finals

The ISA National Art Finals will take place in November 2021. To find out more about the ISA, visit the Independent Schools Association website.