Our school believes that art is a vital part of children’s education, with a significant and valuable role in the taught curriculum and the enrichment opportunities we offer our pupils. The art curriculum will develop children’s critical abilities, as well as an understanding of their own and others’ cultural heritages through the study of a diverse range of artists. Children will develop their understanding of the visual language of art with effective teaching and considered sequences of lessons and experiences. Understanding of the visual elements of art and design (line, tone, texture, colour, pattern, shape, 3D form) will be developed by providing a curriculum which will enable children to reach their full potential.
The skills and knowledge that children will develop throughout each art topic are mapped across each year group and are progressive throughout the school. The emphasis on knowledge ensures that children understand the context of the artwork, as well as the artists that they are learning about and being inspired by. This enables links to other curriculum areas, including humanities, with children developing a considerable knowledge of individual artists, as well as individual works and art movements. A similar systematic approach to the development of artistic skills means that children are given opportunities to express their creative imagination, as well as practise and develop mastery in the key processes of art: drawing, painting, printing, textiles and sculpture.
Coordinated whole-school project work ensures that art is given high status in the curriculum. The school’s high-quality art curriculum is supported through the availability of a wide range of quality resources, which are used to support children’s confidence in the use of different media. The school’s unique locality is also utilised, with planned opportunities for learning outside the classroom, as well as the involvement of adults with specialist skills from the local and wider community.
The structure of the art curriculum ensures that children are able to develop their knowledge and understanding of the work of artists, craftspeople and designers from a range of times and cultures and apply this knowledge to their own work. The consistent use of children’s sketchbooks means that children are able to review, modify and develop their initial ideas in order to achieve high quality outcomes. Children learn to understand and apply the key principles of art: line, tone, texture, shape, form, space, pattern, colour, contrast, composition, proportion and perspective. The opportunity for children to refine and develop their techniques over time is supported by effective lesson sequencing and progression between year groups. This also supports children in achieving age related expectations at the end of their cohort year.
Classroom displays reflect the children’s sense of pride in their artwork and this is also demonstrated by creative outcomes across the wider curriculum. The school environment also celebrates children’s achievements in art and demonstrates the subject’s high status in the school, with outcomes, including sculptures, enhancing the outdoor, as well as indoor, environment. The Art curriculum at St Mary’s contributes to children’s personal development in creativity, independence, judgement and self-reflection.