Art & Design Curriculum – Primary
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Pablo Picasso
What is the intention of the KS1 and KS2 Art Curriculum?
Art and design is a subject that many of our children enjoy learning. It equips them with the knowledge and skills that fosters their creativity, allowing them to design and create their own work in a stimulating environment. Pupils can observe how their abilities progress and improve through practise and hard work. And Art encompasses such a broad range of skill areas meaning that all children can find their strength within the discipline and feel successful.
The study of art is also a fascinating social study, exposing our pupils to the grand achievements of humankind. Pupils learn about how artists from different countries, cultures and time periods have used art to express themselves, communicate messages and manage their own emotions and experiences. Pupils discover artists and designers who dared to break away from the confines of tradition by using skills, techniques and media in alternative ways to launch a new art movement which created ripples across the world.
Art provides a means to promote discussion and debate within our classrooms and beyond. Interpretation is subjective, and with no right or wrong answers, pupils can feel empowered and confident to articulate their feelings and opinions towards an artist, style or artwork.
The Aims of our Art curriculum are outlined below. Pupils will:
- Build an understanding of the Visual Elements of Art: Line, Shape, Colour, Tone, Form, Texture and Pattern.
- Gain competency in different skills in art, including: Drawing, Painting, Collage, Sculpture, Printing and Textiles.
- Practise the different art skills, using a range of media.
- Critique artwork, including their own, their peers and that of great artists, designers or architects from around the world.
- Acquire knowledge of and influence from Art History across the world
How will this be implemented?
Whilst we refer to the separate aims in describing the Art & Design curriculum, they are carefully blended together in planning and teaching.
Curriculum planning materials highlight the Visual Elements that are being developed within each unit of work. And, at the start of each lesson, it is made explicit which visual element(s) the pupils will encounter, such that they will be able to:
- recall the different visual elements
- recognise the visual elements in the artwork of others, including that of renowned artists
- use and develop the visual elements in their own work
- describe the effect of the visual element in both their own and others’ work
2.Art Skills (drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, printing, textiles)
Pupils will develop an understanding of the visual elements of art, by practising and gaining competency in the different skill areas of art. Each academic year, pupils will spend one half-term on each art skill. The skills have been sequenced across a year to build upon each other. This reflects the fact that some skills areas cannot be taught in isolation from others. (e.g. painting may depend upon the accurate drawing of an outline).
Across five to six lessons, pupils will gain gradual practise in specific techniques in the skill area. Pupils will then use and demonstrate mastery of these techniques to produce a final art piece.
3.Using different Media
Across KS1 to KS2, pupils will practise and aim to master increasingly more complex techniques within a skill area. In doing so, pupils will:
- manipulate the same media in different and increasingly complex ways (e.g. clay techniques used in Year 5, are more sophisticated than clay techniques taught in Year 1)
- use different media in the same skill area (e.g. use recycled materials to create a sculpture instead of clay)
- Describe the effect of the media
- Recognise the benefits and drawbacks of using different media
- Make informed choices about the media and techniques they wish to use in their artwork
Our curriculum has been organised so that all year groups practise the same skill set at the same time. This will clearly demonstrate progression between the year groups and provide an opportunity for pupils to share their artwork and teach one another. It also allows academies and The Federation to deliver CPD around a skill area that it is applicable to all teaching staff, at the same time of year.
There are resource lists for each unit of work. And our academies are committed to investing in these resources to ensure that our pupils have rich and meaningful learning experiences within art.
In every art lesson, pupils will be exposed to at least one piece of great artwork. High quality discussion and talk around this artwork is strongly encouraged.
Pupils will be able to identify:
- What they like or dislike about an artwork
- The skill and media used to create the artwork
- The visual elements that have been developed
- The feelings it evokes
- The intention of the artist or potential meaning behind the artwork (KS2)
Equally, from KS1, pupils will be required to evaluate their own artwork, and that of their peers. Including:
- Which elements were successful
- Where they would like to make improvements
- Which skills they found more challenging and require practice in
- How it reflects the intended style/theme/objective
5.Art History across the world
Each unit of work focusses upon developing a specific skill. Each unit also uses the artwork of one or more great artist to demonstrate the application of this skill, and provide an artistic style to inspire the pupils’ artwork:
The artists and artistic styles have been carefully selected to ensure that:
- The artwork is accessible to the age-group and can realistically influence/ be replicated in their own artwork
- Pupils gain an understanding of the key characteristics, artists and chronology of different art movements
- Pupils gain understanding of art traditions and developments unique to different cultures around the globe
- Pupils appreciate the intention and impact of significant artworks
- Pupils create artwork in the style of a broad range art movements, art traditions or cultures
Where we recognise a potential gap in pupils’ appreciation or knowledge of a specific artist, cultural art form, or art movement, Art History lessons have been included within a unit to ensure that pupils gain a broad and eclectic picture of art from around the world, and across the ages.
Our curriculum materials also recommend and encourage enrichment opportunities outside of the classroom for our pupils to observe and experience art in its true form.
The Knowledge Organiser is a tool that captures how each of the areas above are covered within each unit of work. It outlines the key visual elements, vocabulary, techniques and influencing artists/styles that we expect our pupils to learn and remember overtime.
The Harris Federation provides training to teachers and Art subject leaders on how to build their knowledge and understanding of the Art curriculum. Teachers can lack confidence in teaching art as a
result of their own art skills. Therefore, training is also provided for teachers to develop their own skill set in different areas of the curriculum, including sculpture, drawing and clay work.
Art Skills: Order of teaching
How will we judge the impact of the art curriculum?
Informed by our intentions, assessment of Art falls into the following areas:
- Competency-level in a skill
- Knowledge and understanding of:
- Techniques and processes
- Artists and designers: their artwork; style and contribution to the art world
- Art History: the chronology and characteristics of art movements and traditions across the world
- Use of specific vocabulary, including the visual elements when:
- Describing a technique or process
- Describing an artwork
- Critiquing their own artwork or that of others
The following areas are assessed in the following ways:
1.Competency-level in a skill:
- Teacher-assessment of pupils’ artwork in lessons
- Teacher-assessment of pupils’ final art pieces
2.Knowledge and understanding:
We test pupils’ ability to recall key knowledge through:
- Retrieval starter exercises
- Retrieval quizzes at the end of a lesson
- In-class questioning
- Low-stakes Tests at the end of a unit
3.Use of specific vocabulary:
- Class discussion
- In-class questioning
- Teacher-assessment of evaluation tasks
- Retrieval quizzes
- Low-stakes tests
We can also gain feedback on the impact of the curriculum, through Pupil voice and parent feedback.
Teachers will also receive feedback on the impact they are having through observation, and Network Events provide an opportunity to share best practice and pupil outcomes across academies within the Federation.