An art school is an educational institution with a primary focus on the visual arts, especially illustration, painting, photography, sculpture, and graphic design. Art schools are institutions with elementary, secondary, post-secondary or undergraduate, or graduate or postgraduate programs in these areas. They are distinguished from larger institutions which also may offer majors or degrees in the visual arts, but only as one part of a broad-based range of programs (such as the liberal arts and sciences). France's École des Beaux-Arts is, perhaps, the first model for such organized instruction, breaking with a tradition of master and apprentice instruction when it was formed.
The South Australian School of Design was an art school in the earliest days of the City of Adelaide, the progenitor of the South Australian School of Arts, a department of the University of South Australia.
In 1861 the South Australian School of Design was founded under the management of the Society of Arts and connected with the South Australian Institute, with Charles Hill in charge. In 1862 enrolments were low and decreasing, rising slightly to 21 students in 1863. From the beginning, students were encouraged to show their work at Society exhibitions, and special prizes were offered for members of the School. This led to much mediocre work being shown, but acted as an impetus to native talent. By 1868 there were three classes: girls, boys, and young men, with an average attendance of 25. The school moved into a larger hall at the Institute previously reserved as exhibition space, and the small schoolroom handed over to F. G. Waterhouse, curator of the Museum. A large consignment of busts and statues had been donated by the Royal Society to add to the plaster models already in use for drawing "in the round".
Originally located on 10 Borrett Road of the Hong Kong Mid-Levels district (the site of a former British military hospital), the school moved to its current and only campus on 20 Borrett Road in 1973. It currently houses around 1200 students across 33 nationalities and around 100 members of teaching staff.
Island School is a registered IB World School, and offers the IB diploma program along with an alternative BTEC program. Its students are academically successful, with a high graduation rate and results which are consistently above international averages. It also sports a vibrant community with a large range of student-led organisations and activities, allowing students to pursue responsibilities in a variety of aspects such as the environment, sports, international relations and providing student voice.
In January 1977, Island School began with 12 students ranging up to eighth grade. Within four years, enrollment was up to 68 and its high school had been established. But by 1983, Island School had graduated only eight students and the high school was disestablished. But in 1996, the high school was re-opened due to rising enrollment. Island School began graduating seniors again starting with the Class of 2000. Today, Island School is a fully accredited college preparatory institution. Graduates are accepted at such institutions as MIT, Yale, Wheaton, Babson, and Ithaca in the East; Oberlin, Denison, Purdue and Creighton in the Midwest; Stanford, University of Southern California, Pomona College, Reed, Gonzaga, Lewis and Clark, University of the Pacific, University of San Diego, Loyola Marymount University, University of Idaho, and the University of Nevada in the West; the University of Hawai`i, Hawai`i Pacific University and Chaminade in Hawai`i.