At St Chad’s, we strive for all of our children to think like artists, produce creative work by exploring their ideas and imagination, and take inspiration from others. Our aim is to provide a high quality, engaging Art curriculum, to instil an appreciation of and a passion for art, and to ensure that all children are challenged to reach their full potential. We believe that art embodies some of the highest forms of human creativity, stimulates imagination and enlightens the mind. We aspire to promote children’s interest and understanding in a range of visual, tactile and sensory experiences, which will enable them to communicate what they see, think and feel using the elements of colour, texture, line, space, shape, form and pattern. Underpinning this, is our desire to create a ‘safe’ environment where there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ results, thus nurturing self-expression, self-esteem and a love of art.
Our broad and balanced curriculum is designed to engage, inspire and equip children with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent, create and discuss their creations. Our curriculum introduces a wealth of artists, builds on developmental subject knowledge and skills, and explores how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.
In the EYFS, we nurture children’s passion for art through exploring and developing their natural curiosity for art both inside and outside the classroom. From self-portraits to vegetable printing, we focus on; fine motor skills such as using scissors and paintbrushes, developing accuracy and care when drawing, creating using a variety of materials, tools and techniques and experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. They are encouraged to share their creations, explaining the process they have used in a bid to spark a lifelong love of art. Our EYFS children are also introduced a main artist focus for the year (Andy Warhol or Van Gogh) which feeds into the importance of artist knowledge in the National Curriculum.
From Year 1 upwards, we operate a two-year cycle in each Key Stage during which time our children will explore, investigate, create and critically evaluate artwork covering the strands of drawing, painting, printing, sculpture, textiles and collage. Each strand is taught on a weekly basis for a half term, over the two-year cycle. In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning, our curriculum is progressive throughout the whole school with teachers planning engaging lessons for their class, mirroring our progression of knowledge and skills document. We focus on the development and nurture of the children’s art knowledge and skills, as stated in the National Curriculum, alongside vocabulary progression, with the children gaining experience in manipulating materials and tools, fostering their acquisition of knowledge, and becoming skilful in the art techniques and processes listed above.
Key to our bespoke curriculum are the opportunities to develop knowledge of significant artists, craftspeople and designers, whilst drawing links with local artists and designers where possible, such as in KS1 where the children study Wedgwood and Clarice Cliff. We guide children on how to have an increasing critical awareness of the roles and purposes of art in different times and cultures, and children learn how to analyse and evaluate creative works, whether it be their own work or that of an artist, using the language of art. Sketchbooks are introduced in KS1, with our children taking ownership of these books, and therefore being able to explore their ideas and develop their creativity freely and without constraint.
Our tailored assessment
tracker focuses on both the acquisition and a depth of understanding of key art knowledge and skills. Summative assessments include pupil discussions/ interviews, annotations and critical evaluations of images/ideas in their individual sketch books and the completion of a Frayer Model at the end of each project to aid sticky learning (Year 1 complete this as a class discussion and Year 2 upwards on an individual basis). We capture children’s creativity, enjoyment, progressive knowledge and skills and appreciation of different art forms through these methods. This informs our planning; identifying any gaps in knowledge or skills and ensuring that our children have every opportunity to develop as inquisitive artists.
By the end of their primary education at St. Chad’s, our children will be able to articulate and demonstrate that they have developed the art skills and knowledge to become creative and innovative artists. Children’s knowledge and skills will develop progressively as they move through the school, establishing solid foundations for them to become competent artists in secondary education and beyond. Having developed a broad knowledge of a range of traditional and contemporary artists, it is hoped that this will manifest into a lifelong interest in art and a desire, and confidence, to invent and create their own works of art.