Our Art and Design Curriculum
Art and Design at Chambersbury is valued as a creative enterprise, a route to self-expression and a means for children to share their perspectives on the world. We intend to provide the groundwork for children to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding so that they can become changemakers and assets to society through the medium of art, design, architecture, craft and other creative industries. Chambersbury acknowledges Art as a protective factor in children’s wellbeing. Art will be approached in both studious and playful ways in order to meet the needs of the whole child. It is an important part of children’s early development in terms of fine motor skills and personal expression and this will particularly influence Foundation Stage Art. will add depth to other subjects and provide a way to reflect on what is learned by seeing other perspectives. Art is a way of developing critical thinking skills, and we aim to develop children’s ability to examine what is presented to them in a way that protects from the manipulation of propaganda and misinformation (see our Prevent Training) and helps children to grow into thoughtful, reflective citizens. We believe Art makes our environment more enjoyable and that being around Art is a positive experience for children and staff. Displaying children’s art work is good for self-esteem and demonstrates our pride in all our children’s skills and enables us to share their achievements with our community.
All children will leave Chambersbury having learned about a diverse range of artists, from grand masters to new talent from around the world. They will have learned a broad skill set in a range of disciplines. They will have had the opportunities to make shared art works, display their art work and enter in-house, regional and national competitions.
Teaching Art at Chambersbury
All children learn Art through the practice of: drawing, painting, textiles, design, sculpture, collage, craft and architecture.
All children have the opportunity to use a wide range of media including: pencil, paint, charcoal, pastels, papers, photography, clay
All children have the opportunity to use a wide range of techniques such as: printing, sewing, weaving and modelling.
All children build skills in these areas and curriculum planning shows progression across and within year groups. There is a strong focus on observational drawing as it is critical to skills development. All units of learning have observational skills embedded. There is an expectation that every child produces original, individual and unique pieces of art. This happens in every taught unit. All artworks are valued and every child gets to see their artwork on display in class or around the school.
Children learn about and from a diverse range of artists. Every academic year begins with Art Week and each class chooses an artist to study in depth. Children create their own art based on the work of this artist and this is displayed in class and around the school. Artists chosen are, as a group, representative both of our community and the wider world. Their learning is shared in displays, assembly, and in the school newsletter. Discrete Art lessons are taught weekly in Years 1-6.
Children study 4 units of Art and Design each year. Not every year group covers all practices, media or techniques, but over time all skills are developed. Each unit follows the same sequence
Artist Discovery – learning about artists working in this topic area
Using art to answer a big question – each unit poses a question to the children which is answered in their final evaluation
Skills development – children learn the techniques and use of media and materials they will need in their final piece
Planning and practising – children practise using their new skills as they plan a final piece
Creating a final piece – each child creates their own finished piece of art or contributes to a whole class ‘big art’ project
Evaluation – each child evaluates their own piece and how they got there.
Some units are linked to other curriculum areas. For example, Year 5 when studying Changing Power in the Tudor period in History will learn about the portraits of Hans Holbein, symbolism in Tudor paintings and will create their own portrait. In Year 3 Art will support the RE curriculum by teaching techniques of Islamic art. Year 1 create art around their History theme of The Great Fire of London. This improves retention of new learning as children make connections between subjects and have an opportunity to see other subjects through the vision of relevant artists.
The artists linked to each topic provide examples of excellence within this skill set or area. They show children the best that can be. They are drawn from all time periods, cultures and schools. In artist discovery, children are taught to ask questions about their work – including what makes it ‘good’. They learn to evaluate from a position of understanding and knowledge. For example, in Year 3 children learn not just that Monet’s waterlilies are famous, but how Impressionism works and why Monet’s paintings are a good example of this.
In Foundation Stage, children learn through units of Art teaching and opportunities in independent learning. Art supports the development of fine motor skills that enable cutting, sticking and mark making – the foundation of good writing.
We provide extracurricular clubs including: junk modelling, sewing, craft and art. We also enter competitions, including drawing an Owl Mascot for their house in school and designing, for example, postage stamps or Christmas cards for the armed forces overseas.
Art is part of our outdoor learning programme. Children use our rich outdoor space as a source of inspiration and materials. For example, children in Year 2 collect flowers to draw so they can create floral wallpaper. Children have art lessons outside as part of our focus on observational drawing.
For children experiencing difficulties with mental wellbeing, we offer two Art programmes. Draw and Talk is a playful therapeutic approach that enables children to process emotional issues in drawing. Art Therapy is a form of counselling that supports children struggling in difficult situations. An Art Therapist is in school weekly and the referrals process is managed by the SENCo.
Impact: how will we know good art learning is taking place?