Art Department Staff


Mr Garry Ravenhall

Head of Art

Graduated with a 2:1 honours degree in Fine Art from Reading University in 1985. Trained as a teacher in Leicester gaining PGCE and ATD. I have been Head of Art at the Royal Hospital School since 1994 after teaching at Westbourne High School in Ipswich for the previous 8 years. I am Assistant Principal Moderator for Art and Design A Level for Edexcel and Reviser for their A level examination papers.

I am a practising artist, specialising in oil and acrylic painting, and exhibit my work periodically.

Mrs Debbie Hitchen

Teacher of Art i/c Textiles

Whilst studying for a degree in Fashion, I was asked to teach pattern cutting to older students. Despite winning national competitions, placing at the top of my class for that year and experiencing a fantastic placement for the designers ‘Red or Dead’, my heart changed direction, I tentatively moved away from the design world and changed my career plans by doing a PGCE. It was an amazing course, revolutionising my own approach to teaching and learning. I worked in Guernsey for 5 years before coming to this beautiful school, where I have moved the textiles department towards fashion. I find teaching to be exciting, rewarding and challenging, my classroom is often frenetic and contains passionate and energetic students. Clichéd as it sounds, I never stop learning; evolving and responding to both my environment and the changing students that pass through my doors. Will I make my pupils great designers? Possibly. Will I equip them with the ability to continue improving and growing as creative human beings? I hope so!

Mr Tristan MacDougall

Teacher of Art and Artist in Residence

Melissa Hemmens

Teacher of Art

Melissa Hemmens is an art teacher specialising in Printmaking. She has an MA in Printmaking from Anglia Ruskin and a BA in Contemporary Art Practice (2.1 hons) from the University of Northumbria. As well as teaching Melissa is a keen practitioner and her work can be seen here: She has exhibited both locally in Suffolk and nationally in London and is keen to pass on her passion for all things ‘print’ to her pupils.


Mr Julian Pabla

Teacher of Art Photography

Following graduation from University Campus Suffolk with a BA (Hons) in photography I then went onto to pursuing a career in teaching. I returned to UCS to undertake a PGCE in ‘life long learning’ where I achieved the award of teacher of the year - 2014-15. My area of interest remains firmly in landscape photography and exploring lesser known locations. Long exposure photography is where my passion lies and I upload regularly to my website you can find linked below. In my first year at RHS in 2015-16 the GCSE and A level results for photography were of notable quality. I look forward to continuing to immersive myself in everything RHS has to offer as well as guiding young photographers towards their true potential.

Mrs Wendy Green


Since 1985, my contribution to RHS has been firstly, as a house matron to St. Vincent boys followed by a brief year working at Kelly College, before returning to take up a similar post with the girls in Howe. Originally, this was supposed to be a learning curve of working with children in residential settings because my training was that of a residential social worker. However, the boarding school life had proved so enjoyable that I decided to stay. I have always had a particular interest in anything ‘arty’ and whilst working in Howe, I took a City in Guilds in interior design. On leaving the boarding house (because I was getting married), the art technician’s job became available so this was a golden opportunity to continue working with the pupils but in an artistic environment. I owe my thanks to both children and staff in the Art department for their significant inspiration to me on my journey of discovery in ceramics, printmaking, painting, photography, and especially the textiles area. I studied colour therapy to enhance my appreciation of colour and this has proved very beneficial. During my twelve years here in the Department, I would like to think that not only have the children inspired me but that I have reciprocated this by sharing my artwork creations with them too!


About Us

The Art Department at The Royal Hospital School offers courses to the complete age and ability range catered for by the school; with GCSE and A-level courses following on from Key Stage 3. Art holds a unique place in a child’s education, explaining its compulsory standing at Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 in the National Curriculum, and provides aspects of a student's cognitive and emotional development, which are invaluable.

The Art department is committed to providing a high quality education to all of its students, regardless of their own level of ability in the subject. The philosophy of the department is to encourage all students to participate in Art in some form or other and to provide as wide a range of media and approaches as possible in order to allow all children to succeedat their own level. The department believes that the vast majority of children are capable of achieving success in some aspect of Art. The wider the choice of media on offer, the more likely it is that the individual child will be able to find a way of working and creating, developing their own strengths, in some aspect of the subject (e.g. painting, photography, textiles, ceramics, printmaking etc.).

The aims of the department are, therefore, to offer as wide a range of media and approaches as possible to all year groups, and to encourage as large a proportion of RHS students as possible to take part in creative/artistic activities at examination or non-examination level.

At RHS the Art Department offers GCSE courses in Fine Art; covering painting, drawing, sculpture and ceramics, Textiles; covering fashion and textiles and  Photography; covering traditional and digital art photography. At GCE A Level the Art Department offers courses with the same specialisms as in GCSE but at a more intense level.

Follow us on Twitter:  @RHS_Artists