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Arts and Design

"We particularly enjoyed the wealth of art around the college and were pleased to hear of your national and international successes in art, drama and music.” OFSTED  


"The Art department is where I spend most of my time, working until my heart is content. The support, resources and guidance which you will receive through Astor's art department is phenomenal"

Jamie (student)


Visual Arts

We are one of the country’s leading Specialist College for the Arts.  We are exceptionally proud of the calibre of work produced by our students. Our students' experience of the Arts enriches their learning and achievements across the College as a whole.  Student work is displayed throughout the whole College, embedding our commitment to the Arts and further creating an inspirational environment within which the whole College community can work. 

All students will have Fine Art, Textiles, Graphics and Ceramics lessons during their first three years with us and have further opportunities to follow these subjects as examination courses with the addition of Photography.

We are also thrilled to offer the undergraduate qualification of a Foundation Art Diploma, a qualification otherwise only available at Higher Education establishments.

We have been awarded Artsmark Gold, the top grading, continually since its inception.  This is an award created by the Arts Council of Great Britain, which provides a rigorous assessment of the level of Art provision provided by an educational establishment.  Our Gold Award recognises that year on year, both our students' work and our Arts provision are outstanding.

Astor organises and exhibits at the annual National Students' Art Exhibition under the patronage of The Royal Society of British Artists at the Mall Galleries in London.  This is a prestigious exhibition and the only national showcase for the art work of students in English secondary schools.  We are proud that our students have won numerous school and individual prizes.

We are also luckily enough to have an Artist in Residence, who further cements and enhances the opportunity for creative dialogue and helps talent to flourish.  We believe that if young people engage with and enjoy what they see around them, levels of self awareness and achievement can be significantly raised.


Performing Arts

"I have travelled all over the world thanks to the productions at Astor College!" Sarah (Student)


"Students' extensive engagement with Music and performance, locally and internationally in Europe and America is recognised by the International

Schools Award."  OFSTED.


Music, Drama and Dance are strong elements in our

College life, both in terms of the curriculum and as

part of our rich and diverse extra curricular activities.

We have an outstanding reputation for our international work in the Performing Arts and put on major productions in The National Theatres of Croatia, Siberia, France, Belgium and the USA. Our Dance group 'Rebound' has performed at Her Majesty's Theatre, London and The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury. Our own College theatre 'The White Cliffs Theatre', is of a professional standard, enabling our students the very best performance space to demonstrate and hone their skills and talents.

We also offer our students the amazing resources of professional Drama, Music and Dance studios, as well as KETV, a fully functioning film and sound production studio.

Astor is a member company of The National Theatre and we also work in partnership with The Royal Shakespeare Company. To develop young talent we annually produce a junior production which is always a lively and thoroughly entertaining event. We have a College Choir and a Chamber Choir, both of which perform regularly in College concerts and community events. Other growing musical ensembles include African drummers, rock groups and Music technology.

Dance clubs are available for all ages and abilities, encompassing the diversity of dance. Our students’ outstanding achievements are showcased in our annual Summer Dance Show where the students’ commitment, enthusiasm and exuberance for dance is always a joy to witness.



For many years now art and design has been taught by teachers who are specialists in their own creative area. This part of the curriculum encompasses Fine Art, Ceramics, Textiles, Graphics, Resistant Materials, Food Technology, Photography and Animation.

The teaching staff are solely concerned with their area of specialism so that students experience a greater depth of understanding This gives the students more opportunity to discover where their abilities and interests are most suited.

There is therefore progression throughout the key stages from when a student starts at Astor to when they leave that will provide them with creative experiences that will sustain them either personally or professionally.