“Every artist was first an amateur.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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.