“Art is not just a subject to learn, but an activity that you can practise with your hands, your eyes, your whole personality.”
- Quentin Blake, Children’s Laureate
Art and Design stimulates creativity and imagination. It provides visual, tactile and sensory experiences and a special way of understanding and responding to the world. It enables pupils to communicate what they see, feel and think through the use of colour, texture, form, pattern and different materials and processes. Our art lessons should be a hive of activity – children should experiment with their ideas, line, shape, colour, texture, form, pattern, composition and different materials and processes. Pupils become involved in shaping their environments through art and design activities. They learn to make informed judgements and aesthetic and practical decisions. (Self-evaluation of work should be encouraged and children must be taught how to be resilient to achieve their goals.) They explore ideas and meanings through the work of artists and designers. Through learning about the roles and functions of art, they can explore the impact it has had on contemporary life and that of different times and cultures. The appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts enriches all our lives.
We want Art to allow the children to develop their imagination and creativity; to make connections through their inventive minds; and give them the skills to record their imagination and ideas. We want to ensure that Art and Design is embedded in our whole school curriculum and that opportunities for enhancing learning by using art are always taken. We also want to nurture children’s confidence in creating art, so art lessons can be a genuine place for self-exploration and freedom of expression.
At Bransty Primary School, we give the children the opportunity to be creators. Our Art curriculum develops creativity, sets challenges, engages and inspires children and equips them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. The curriculum has appropriate subject knowledge, skills and understanding to explore and investigate, create and evaluate artwork, as set out in the National Curriculum, and so will enable the children to reach and exceed their potential. Our children will be taught Art and Design in a way that ensures progression of skills, and follows a sequence to build on previous learning. Our children will value their work and always have high expectations in the process of their work, as well as the outcome.
Children are able to experiment with a range of resources and materials and are encouraged to learn different skills and techniques. Our children will gain experience and skills of a wide range of formal elements of art in a way that will enhance their learning opportunities, enabling them to use art and design across a range of subjects to be creative and solve problems, ensuring they make progress. We encourage them to be proud of what they achieve and what they learn.
Displaying and sharing the work they create (showcasing their skills and progress) enables pupils to create artwork with a real purpose. We want our pupils to be aware of different artists (from a variety of cultures, genres and races) and know that it’s good to have unique and individual styles; this will provide opportunities for inspiration and discussion. We want our students to understand that art can be a powerful form of personal expression.
Our Art curriculum provides a clear and comprehensive scheme of work that will show progression of skills across all key stages within the strands of Art and provides both support and challenge for learners.
Art starts in our Nursery, where the children experiment with colour, textures and materials. Different opportunities are available to the children daily. Children can work on their own ideas and select their own resources. They are encouraged to think about what they are making and use tools in a safe way. The children then build on these skills as they progress though the school. Children begin using sketchbooks in Year 1, which they keep as they move up through the school. They are a key resources to assess the children’s previous learning and progression. Sketchbooks are ‘safe spaces’ where the children can experiment with and explore different techniques and ideas.
All pupils will have a scheduled Art and Design lesson each week. The children study different artists and their styles. The children are given the opportunity to present their sense of vision through observation, experimentation and illustration. Pupils are encouraged to use their imagination through a wide variety of media and manipulative skills are developed as well as an awareness of colour, texture, design and dimension. They learn how to add detail to their drawing, use different resources to create texture and print as well as using tools to carve and create and add pattern to sculpture.
Because the children will have access to key knowledge, language and meanings (each unit has an accompanying knowledge organiser), they will be able to apply this to their work in Art and across the wider curriculum. Children will be exposed to different art styles by artists from different cultures, genres and races, to provide students with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed. In addition to discrete lessons, there will be (where applicable) meaningful links to develop the children’s learning experiences, which could take the form of whole school workshops or be linked to a wider cross curricular project. Teaching should plan for a final piece of artwork to be produced, displayed and shared at the end of each topic.
Pupils will have opportunities to reflect on, and evaluate, what they are doing in most lessons. This could be done orally or in writing. They should also have opportunities to respond to their own peers and artists’ work. They should be using key art terms and vocabulary (e.g. colour, contrast, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space).
The aims of our Art curriculum are:
- to enable pupils to record from first-hand experience and from imagination, and to select their own ideas to use in their work
- to develop creativity and imagination through a range of complex activities
- to improve the pupil’s ability to control materials, medium and techniques
- to increase their critical awareness of the roles and purposes of Art and Design in different times and cultures
- to develop increasing confidence in the use of visual and tactile elements and materials
- to foster an enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts and a knowledge of artists, craftspeople and designers
- To incorporate art into the new curriculum across a range of subjects
Access and Inclusion
We recognise the fact that we have pupils of differing ability in all our classes, and so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all pupils by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this through a range of strategies:
- setting common tasks that are open-ended and can have a variety of responses
- setting tasks of increasing difficulty where not all pupils complete all tasks
- grouping pupils by ability and setting different tasks for each group
- providing a range of challenges with different resources
- using additional adults to support the work of individual pupils or small groups
The Art and Design curriculum will contribute to children’s personal development in creativity, independence, judgement, and self-reflection. This would be made apparent through their ability to talk confidently about their work and share their work with others.
Our children enjoy and value Art and Design and know why they are doing things, not just how. Children will understand and appreciate the value of Art and Design in the context of their personal wellbeing and the creative and cultural industries and their many career opportunities.
Progress in Art and Design is demonstrated through regularly reviewing and scrutinising children’s work, in accordance with our Art and Design policy to ensure that progression of skills is taking place. Progress will be shown through outcomes and through the important record of the process leading to them.
What we want our pupils to achieve by the time they leave Bransty:
- we want them to understand that everyone can progress and develop their artistic flair and skills
- we want them to understand that anyone can be a creator
- we want them to understand that being a good artist is about the process and not always the end outcome
- we want them to understand that they should be proud of what they achieve
- we want them to feel supported and unafraid of making mistakes