Art and Design
“Art has the role in education of helping children become like themselves instead of more like everyone else” – Sydney Gurewitz Clemens
At Mersey Park Primary School, we value Art and Design as an important part of the children’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum and believe that a high quality art education shapes well rounded and confident individuals. Alongside literacy and numeracy, creativity is another skill needed in our workforce today and because of this, our aim is to provide pupils at Mersey Park with unique, holistic opportunities to unlock their innate creativity and develop their creative competence through artistic expression. In order to do this, we plan for and deliver experiences which allow our pupils to learn a collection of skills; develop their proficiency to use a range of media; and learn about significant artists and art movements, whilst subsequently developing their design skills by expressing their individual interests, thoughts and ideas. At Mersey Park, we pride ourselves in providing all pupils with inclusive, accessible learning experiences in every area of the curriculum and this is especially evident in our art curriculum due to the very nature of the subject. We ensure that all pupils, wherever they start in life, have a high quality cultural education as we believe this should be a right, not a privilege.
Art and Design is a natural form of expression and source of great pleasure for most pupils. As a school, we encourage our pupils to have a growth mindset in all curriculum areas as it promotes a positive learning attitude. We feel this approach to learning is particularly important during our art lessons as exploration is encouraged and mistakes are reflected upon consistently as we perceive them as important parts of the learning journey. This learning journey is evident in the children’s sketchbooks; a space where they can take risks and explore creatively and critically. Without this process they would not produce the individualised outcomes which we believe exhibit the learning that has taken place. Sketchbooks are seen as a narrative of the learning journey; they do not follow the school’s presentation and marking policy for this reason.
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 in this subject. As pupils progress along our skills ladder, they become more independent in thinking critically and creatively and develop a more rigorous understanding of the subject. They also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.
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.
Through our engaging art curriculum, we give our pupils many opportunities for creative success and feel confident that they leave primary school with the skills and knowledge necessary to progress to the next stage of their art education.
The children’s journey as artists starts in Foundation Stage where they progress through the EYFS curriculum with Expressive Arts and Design and on to the National Curriculum in Key Stage One and Two. Art days and art weeks are often embedded within topics but can also be delivered discretely. These themed days/weeks allow the children to work both independently and collaboratively and become fully immersed in a variety of high quality creative activities where they get the opportunity to develop their skills and express their creative ideas in a supportive and inclusive environment. In recent years, these art days/weeks have also included visits from local artists to help inspire and enthuse the children about the subject. The children are also given the valuable opportunity to visit local galleries as we feel this experience contributes to a high quality cultural education and teaches them the aspirational aspect of the subject.
The children are taught a variety of techniques and given a range of materials and tools which they are then encouraged to explore in their sketchbooks. Class sketchbooks are also used for collaborative work and to record a variety of finished pieces. This is clearly set out in our Progression of Skills planning document, which has been carefully structured to allow lots of opportunities for children to practise and embed key skills and concepts.
A strong focus for teaching is the use of correct technical vocabulary. Teachers carefully plan the language they use during their sessions and model, through discussion and subject specific vocabulary to help embed this language in the children’s long term memory. This is also reinforced through the use of knowledge organisers, sentence starters and lesson specific word banks which support the children to appraise their own work and respond to the work of others.
Teachers are provided with opportunities to develop their own subject knowledge through sharing good practice and peer observations. The children are taught art, discreetly and as part of their termly topic work. These can be found in our long term plan.
As there are no national standards for art and design, we assess the subject holistically and over time. To do this, we use our school’s progression of skills and Target Tracker statements. Teachers use this information to inform future lessons; ensuring children are supported and challenged appropriately. This data is analysed to inform and address any trends or gaps in attainment. Further information is gathered through pupil questionnaires; highlighting strengths and achievement and any improvements, knowledge and skills that still need to be embedded.
Final end of year assessments are made using teacher judgements and assessment criteria that has been developed in line with the National Curriculum and Target Tracker. Thus identifying the level in which the child is working.
Children in Foundation Stage are assessed within Expressive Arts and Design and their progress is tracked termly using the Target Tracker system and Tapestry. Age related expectation levels are reported to parents at the end of the reception year.
By the end of KS2 we aim to have produced pupils who feel able to express themselves artistically and feel assured in their own abilities, skills and knowledge. We aim to provide our children with the ability to appreciate, appraise and discuss the works of art of a wide range of artists, crafts people, sculptors and designers using technical language, and feel confident in their own opinions and views.
Listed below is an outline of some of the work covered within each year group
To view the overview for our Art and Design curriculum please follow the link for your child’s year group:
Click below to view the progression of skills across the year groups for Art and Design:
We were awarded the Silver Arts Mark in 2019, celebrating our ambitions for high quality arts and cultural provision.
FOUNDATION SUBJECT REPORT TO GOVERNORS – SPRING 2019 – ART