Our art and design curriculum aims to inspire, excite and challenge pupils in multiple ways as well as develop curiosity about the subject and the doors it could open for them. It promotes cultural richness and diversity through content choices and exposes pupils to a range of artistic styles.
In EYFS, art is delivered in line with the associated EYFS areas of learning; ‘Expressive Arts and Design’ which is broken down into ‘exploring and using media and materials’ and ‘being imaginative’.
Every other year group learns through the modules ‘Formal Elements of Art’ and ‘Art and Design Skills’. The ‘Art and Design Skills’ unit provides the pupils with a wide range of opportunities, artistic skills and practises which they can experience and develop their understanding of year on year.
The ‘Formal Elements of Art’, line, shape, form, tone, texture, pattern, colour and composition are often used together. How they are organised in a piece of art determines what the finished piece will look like. Over the years, pupils will begin to progress and become confident and proficient artists who can use these elements effectively.
From EYFS through to year 6, our art curriculum has clear themes of progression through the strands of abstract art, sculpture and collage. Abstract art is one example of a deliberately ambitious theme that is built upon year after year. This builds upon prior learning as well as offering opportunity for deliberate practise, helping pupils to learn more and remember more.
The main types of knowledge taught in Art are; ‘substantive’ and ‘procedural’. All knowledge has been carefully selected and is organised in a way in which enables pupils to revisit it, build depth of knowledge to help pupils learn more and remember more.
There are various strands within procedural knowledge; drawing, painting, craft design and applying formal elements. Pupils have opportunities in each unit to apply and develop the knowledge and skills they have learnt linked to each strand, year on year.
Creating collages is an example of an art strand that is taught progressively across the school. E.g Exploring the human form (Year 2), Sculpture (Year 4) and Art & Design skills (Year 5). This ensures pupils have a well-rounded understanding of how to create a collage in different contexts and enables pupils to build more complex schema as they learn and remember more about collages.
We have planned to teach our art and design curriculum on a weekly basis to allow pupils to completely immerse themselves into a unit of work over a long period of time. Pupil voice is collected regularly and demonstrates that pupils do remember what they have learnt over time.
Lessons follow a clear sequence allowing opportunities for deliberate practise and memory recall; challenge for all pupils, through the curriculum, is central to what we believe is key. All pupils will access the same curriculum as we believe all are capable to achieve and thrive, ensuring there are no glass ceilings limiting anyone. For those pupils who need further support within a lesson/activity, we scaffold learning where appropriate to allow all pupils to achieve expected standard or beyond.
Knowledge organisers are shared at the start of every unit. Pupils are taught strategies to help them learn the knowledge and vocabulary that they contain. We also share ideas with parents on how to support their children to learn the content at home. Vocabulary is taught explicitly with opportunities provided for deliberate practice.
At Nechells, we are very proud to have our own bespoke art gallery. All pupils have the opportunity to be part of a sequence of lessons taught by our accomplished artist in residence, Andrew Tims. We believe that working directly with an artist, in addition to learning our art curriculum, can reveal the process of creating art and help pupils to experiment with their creativity and gain confidence in expressing themselves. It also gives our young people an insight into the professional arts world and demonstrates the continuum from art made in the classroom through to professional practice.
Mr Tims also runs an art club for children to attend after school which complements our enrichment offer.
Art Curriculum Documents:
To view all Knowledge Organisers for all year groups click on the folder link below:
More information about our artist in residence can be found here