The national curriculum for art and design aims to ensure that all pupils:
- produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences
- become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques
- evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design
- know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.
At Hook Junior School, we teach to the National Curriculum expectations, but also aim to inspire children to develop a passion for art and design and recognise how it can develop their creativity and imagination by building on their knowledge, skills and understanding of materials and processes.
Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design.
We want all children to achieve within art and design and to know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation. We are committed to ensuring that all children are able to use their experiences to help them to develop their understanding of the diverse roles and functions of art and design in the locality and in the wider world.
Art and Design Curriculum Implementation
The knowledge and skills that pupils will develop throughout each art unit are mapped across each year group and throughout the school to ensure the curriculum is covered and the skills and knowledge taught are progressive from year group to year group. 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, with children developing a knowledge of individual artists as well as individual works and art movements.
Our skills-based art curriculum allows pupils to develop creativity and imagination as well as developing mastery in the four key processes of art: drawing, painting, sculpture and textiles.
Lessons are taught in units on a half-termly basis. Art lessons are taught at least fortnightly in order to maintain continuity and to allow children to develop and revisit learnt skills. Units begin with a recap of prior knowledge. Children’s knowledge of colour theory is always re-visited at the beginning of a painting unit. Existing pieces of art are studied, along with the artists. Sketches are made from existing works, necessary skills are developed, and a final piece is composed, whereby children apply the skills and knowledge taught. Evaluation of artwork is a strong focus within our art curriculum and children are given ample time to reflect on the strengths of their work and on their areas of improvement. All artwork is documented in sketchbooks. Children are provided with timely and constructive feedback and suggestions for next steps, so that they can further improve their work and to ensure skills are being developed and progress made.
Co-ordinated whole-school art work ensures that art is given high status in the curriculum; the school takes part in an annual whole-school art day, which enables each year group to study a great artist in depth and to produce a range of collaborative and individual artworks. Parents are invited to celebrate the artwork produced and the work is displayed centrally in school.
We provide our children with a range of learning opportunities, both inside and outside the classroom. We take part in the annual festival, ‘The Big Draw’, a nationwide celebration of the power of drawing, which allows all subjects areas to appreciate the value of drawing and visual literacy and to support the use of transferable skills and knowledge. Children engage off-site, and in collaboration with other schools, in a range of activities linked to drawing. In addition to our curriculum provision for art and design, we also provide all pupils with the opportunity to participate in art-based extra-curricular clubs. Pupils are consulted termly about which clubs they would like to be offered.
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 knowledge and use of different media, e.g. pencil, charcoal, paint, clay.
Children are taught art and design together in mixed ability classes to support all children to achieve. The expectation is that most pupils will move through the school’s programme of study at broadly the same pace. However, teachers use their assessments to decide when it is appropriate for children in their class to progress. Scaffold and additional support are provided for children who may be struggling to grasp a concept, which may include differentiated work or additional resources.
More able children are challenged to think more deeply about the concepts and apply them to unfamiliar contexts. This supports children to develop their critical thinking skills, with children of all abilities challenged to reason and think deeply about concepts related to art and design.
Please see the PDF below which outlines the skills, knowledge and understanding within art and design for each individual year group.
Art and Design Curriculum Impact
Formative assessment in art and design takes place during each lesson. Oral feedback is provided to pupils as well as written feedback in sketchbooks. Misconceptions are addressed and staff use the next lesson to ensure that children have the opportunity to work through their misconceptions and continue to apply the skills learnt.
Planning is informed by assessment in order to enable all children to progress. Children’s understanding of topic-linked vocabulary is assessed before and after units are taught – this is often the focus for pupil conferencing, so that the impact of the curriculum can be measured. Year teams will discuss and review learning outcomes together in order to agree the next steps for children – each teacher will personalise learning for their own pupils.
Teachers make a summative assessment at the end of each term. The data gathered is used to inform planning and next steps. Moderation, within and between schools, is undertaken so that a dialogue can exist between teachers and to ensure that judgements about pupils’ work are consistent with agreed standards.
The teaching of art and design is monitored regularly, at least termly, through data, sketchbook and planning monitoring or peer observations. This information is used to identify strengths and areas for development. An action plan is drawn to support with any areas for development.
Displays around the school reflect the children’s sense of pride in their artwork and this is also demonstrated by creative outcomes across the wider curriculum. Our school environment also celebrates children’s achievements in art and demonstrates the subject’s high profile in the school.
These factors ensure that we are able to maintain high standards in art and design. Our art curriculum contributes to children’s personal development in creativity, independence, judgement and self-reflection. Children progress well and are equipped not only with a rigorous understanding of the content covered, but also an awareness of how art can enrich lives, encourage appreciation for diverse cultures and traditions, build communities and cultivate cultural assets.