At Brightlingsea Primary School, our intention for the Art curriculum is to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, whilst equipping them with the key knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art. We also believe passionately that allowing children to express themselves creatively benefits them emotionally and therefore has a positive impact on their wellbeing.
Alongside the individuals’ opportunity to express themselves, we recognise that it is essential to teach children about great artists: to recognise the artworks that they have created, but also to enable pupils to recognise and learn about the different cultures and heritages of these artists.
Art should be delivered by teachers so that it is accessible for all, encompassing a variety of learning styles. Teachers should aim to maximise the developments of all abilities, enabling all children to learn about artists and to understand how the skills and knowledge they have learnt can be applied within their own learning and expression.
It is our intention that the skills they acquire are applied to other subjects in a cross-curricular way, allowing children to use their art skills to reflect on and explore topics in greater depth; for example, by sketching historical artefacts in detail, researching geographical locations to support their work on landscape painting or using art as a medium to express emotion and thought to enhance their personal, social and emotional development. Many areas of art link with mathematical ideas of shape and space; for example when printing repeating patterns and designs.
Pupils should be clear what the intended outcomes are and have a means to measure their own work against this. In Art, children are expected to be reflective and evaluate their work, thinking about how they can make changes and keep improving. Children are encouraged to take risks and experiment and then reflect on why some ideas and techniques are successful or not for a particular project.
We teach a skills-based art curriculum, which allows children to express their creative imagination as well as providing them with opportunities to practise and develop mastery in the key processes of drawing, painting, print making and sculpture. This is supported through the studying of key artists and the development of a knowledge of their work.
In terms of delivery, each year group has at least one “theme” in a half-term that has an art focus. Art should be delivered preferably in a cross-curricular way throughout the rest of the year.
Children are encouraged to develop and refine their skills within their art sketchbooks, which follow the children through the school. The sketchbooks are intended to be used as a working document to be used for exploring, recording and analysing ideas and skills. They serve as a platform for exploration and experimentation of different mediums and techniques learnt throughout each year. They enable children to take their own lead in decision-making and encourage them to adapt and assess their own ideas against the success criteria.
When pupils engage with Art in our curriculum, they will develop the skills to draft ideas, learn from their mistakes and express themselves creatively. It is our intention that pupils understand that the skills and knowledge they have learnt can be applied within other areas of learning and expression. Open discussion of their own and others’ artwork will encourage listening and communication skills, which in turn will build resilience and also develop the key skills needed for teamwork and leadership. It is paramount that the skills embedded early on in education and developed within our pupils as part of our art teaching readying pupils to have the key skills required to transfer to Key Stage 3 and later on in their career choices.