At Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School, we believe 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 through 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, with children developing a considerable knowledge of individual artists, as well as individual works and art movements. A systematic approach to the development of artistic skills means that children are given opportunities to express their creative imagination, as well as practising and developing mastery in the key processes of art: drawing, painting, printing, textiles and sculpture. This is achieved through following the Art Pathways from the Access Art curriculum.
Each new unit of work introduces new ideas whilst ensuring previous related knowledge is reinforced and built upon. This helps children to retrieve what they have learnt in the earlier pathways and ensures that new knowledge is taught in the context of previous learning to promote a shift in long term memory. Key vocabulary for the new topic is also introduced slowly throughout each unit. This approach also means that children are able to understand the new vocabulary when it is used in teaching and learning activities and transfer it to their long term memory to enable them to apply it themselves when they approach their work.
Within all lessons, teachers follow a pathway which includes questioning to extend and promote the higher order thinking of all learners. Questions may focus on the recall or retrieval of knowledge. The questions that teachers ask within the same lesson phase then focus on the children’s own work and how they might change or create an outcome and justify a choice they have made which is based on their evaluation. Coordinated whole-school project work such as The Legacy Project ensures that art is given high status in the curriculum whilst ensuring children are secure in their knowledge that art is also cross curricular and can enhance other learning within school.
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 pathways and progression between year groups. This also supports children in achieving age related expectations at the end of the year. The school environment celebrates children’s achievements in art and demonstrates the subject’s high status in the school. It reflects the children’s sense of pride in their artwork and this is also demonstrated by creative outcomes across the wider curriculum. Learning outcomes, including sculptures, enhancing the outdoor, as well as the indoor, environment. The art curriculum at Our Lady’s contributes to children’s personal development in creativity, independence, judgement and self-reflection. Children will achieve age related expectations in art at the end of each year.