“Every artist was first an amateur.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Art, as a creative and expressive subject, offers a unique platform for us to explore and reinforce our values. Through various art activities and projects, our pupils have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of each value and develop their artistic skills simultaneously.
Art holds the power to inspire hope, ignite imagination, and bring forth a sense of optimism. Through art, our pupils explore different themes and concepts that encourage them to envision a better world and believe in their ability to make a positive difference.
Art promotes the understanding and appreciation of diverse perspectives, cultures, and art forms. By engaging in various art techniques and studying the work of different artists, our pupils learn to respect and value the creativity, talent, and individuality of others.
Art encourages critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. It challenges our pupils to think outside the box, experiment with different materials, and make thoughtful choices. Art also provides a platform for self-reflection, allowing pupils to develop their emotional intelligence and express their thoughts and feelings in a constructive manner.
Art has the remarkable ability to bring people together and foster a sense of belonging. Our pupils collaborate on group projects, participate in community art events (Heritage Week), and showcase their work to peers, parents, and members of the wider community. Through these experiences, they learn the value of teamwork, empathy, and the positive impact art can have on creating a strong and vibrant community.
At St. Mary’s we value art as part of a broad and balanced curriculum. We aim for all children to be stimulated and challenged so that they recognise the true values of art. Cross-curricular links allow opportunities to work collaboratively and expose children to a range of different media and inspiring experiences, which will endeavour to develop children’s individual interests, thoughts and ideas. Our Art curriculum is designed to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, whilst equipping them with the knowledge and skills to be able to experiment, invent and create their own works of art. We use sketchbooks to collect ideas and record experiences in order to develop and master techniques whilst working towards our final piece. We look at the work of great artists, analyse their work and encourage an understanding of how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and nation.
The art curriculum at St Mary’s provides a broad framework and outlines the knowledge and skills taught in each Key Stage. Lessons are planned using our progression of knowledge and skills document. This document supports teachers to plan their art and design lessons suitable to their class’s interests and where possible make cross-curricular links with their current topic or link to a piece of artwork or artists which the children will discuss and learn about. These ideas are taken from a range of styles, genres, times and cultures and used to inspire the children’s own work through the concept, medium or subject matter. Our curriculum topics include one or more skills – for example drawing, painting, collage, 3D work or printing. The progression document ensures the curriculum is covered and the skills and knowledge taught is progressive from year group to year group. These skills and media are revisited in different year groups allowing for the skills to be developed.
Sketchbooks are used in both key stages to explore and experiment with skills and techniques, develop and plan their ideas and respond to the artwork of other artists or craftspeople. Their final piece/outcome may be displayed in school or in their sketchbooks.
Children will leave St Mary’s as creative imaginative individuals who have developed a love and appreciation of art. They will have developed their keys skills of drawing, painting, printing, textiles, collage and sculpture. They will also have taken inspiration from many of the great artists and be able to comment on their work. Children will have developed the confidence to express themselves in new ways, cooperate with others in shared projects and understood how art can bring people together and improve their mental well-being. Children demonstrate our school values of Hope, Wisdom, Community and Respect through their artwork. It is displayed in our local church and some published in our parish leaflets and throughout the school for all to enjoy. On special occasions as a school, we have specific themes where a pop up gallery is there for parents to admire and purchase their child’s work. We encourage the children to review and modify their ideas as they respond to peer and adult feedback. There is no formal testing in art but the sketchbooks are used as evidence of skills taught and photographs and displays demonstrate how well they have achieved in art.