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The High School Low Down with...Mrs Bell

The High School Low Down with...Mrs Bell

The High School Low Down is profiling Mrs Carolyn Bell, Head of Art and Design at the Senior School.

Mrs Bell started as an art teacher in session 2003/04 and became the Head of Department in August 2014. Here, she explains how she went from wanting to be a Blue Peter presenter, to heading up our hugely talented Art Department.


Give us the low down: what was your path to the High School?

After graduating from Art School in Belfast, I was successful in obtaining a PGCE place at Moray House in Edinburgh. Before starting the course, I spent time travelling in Australia with my now husband.

After teacher training, I secured a job in Alloa which I loved. However, commuting from Glasgow every day started to take its toll so after five years I looked for a job closer to home. Fortunately, a position came up at the High School and I started in 2003. I haven’t looked back!

When did you know teaching was your calling?

Well… I wanted to be a Blue Peter presenter – but only the part where they make things! I used to make and design things as a child pretending I was on Blue Peter!

So, what better way to impart my art and design knowledge but to teach it? I knew that art, but especially design, was always going to play a big part in my life. For me, it is such a valuable subject and my hope is that everyone will enjoy it and get something out of it.

There have been so many past pupils who have moved on to have successful careers in Art and Design and I am very proud to have been able to play a part in influencing and helping them achieve their goal.

Tell us your biggest highlight at the High School so far?

The format of the Art Exhibition has changed dramatically over the past few years. The space has got bigger, we have enlisted our senior musicians to play ambient background music and our hospitality students have made and served the most delicious canapés. A real team effort!

The recent addition of the Where Are They Now wall, showcasing the career paths of past pupils has been very well received. The exhibitions have been hugely successful and I am sure they will continue to grow. I am so proud to be able to show off the talents of our Art and Design students.

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Arty, organised and fun!

If you could take one movie or song to a desert island, what would it be?

That is a difficult one! It changes regularly but it would definitely be a song. For today it would be Elton John – 'Tiny Dancer'.

Who or what inspires you most?

Looking at creative, clever and innovative designs. Zaha Hadid, Timorous Beasties, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood are a few inspirational designers that I particularly love.

What’s one thing you hope to never forget?

Meeting my daughter for the first time.

What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to someone?

Don’t try to be anyone else but yourself. You are good enough.

And finally, give us your low down of the High School

The High School of Glasgow is a welcoming and caring community. There are opportunities for all pupils across so many areas. With endless clubs to participate in, trips to go on, sporting events, school productions and concerts, there really is something for everyone.

Working in the Art Department for the last 19 years has been so much fun and I consider myself very lucky! It is a pleasure to work with like-minded and creative people who are passionate about their subject. I have made friends for life working here.