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Art and design

Curriculum Aims: 

At Hadley Wood we encourage all children to be as creative as possible in order to develop ‘confident and capable’ artists. We believe art can have a powerful and positive effect on children, helping them to become confident, creative learners who are able to express their individual interests, thought and ideas.  

The teaching of art and design in school is based on a set of art skills outlined in the progression of skills table below. These were devised by the Art and Design Subject Lead – in collaboration with the teaching team – and are based on the revised National Curriculum objectives and also using the age specific skills for each age range. Half-termly Arts Trophies celebrate many forms of the arts, including: solo performances, poetry compositions and performance; creative art opportunities with a specific focus such as: painting, conceptual art, fine art and abstract art pieces.  

As a ‘Values’ school one of our core aims is to provide pupils with opportunities to experience success, accept that they will not be brilliant at everything and to celebrate the success of others. We recognise that the arts can provide an excellent platform for this. In our experience, pupils can then transfer their new artistic skills to other areas of the curriculum, making them more likely to re-engage, take calculated risks and build resilience. We are proud to be a Gold Arts Mark school (September 2019) and we are currently in the process of reapplying for our Arts Mark status.  

Our children explore and develop their skills and creativity using a wide range of media. We value the use of sketch books and encourage the importance of experimentation, exploration and pushing ideas in imaginative ways. We believe our broader creative curriculum helps to develop resilient learners and our teachers work hard to plan and deliver a broad and varied art curriculum that links (where possible) to their current topic. This ensures that the children are practising their art skills in as meaningful a way as possible. 

We believe that 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 of art, craft and design. We encourage children to learn from and be inspired by the work of great artists from different cultures and understand the contribution art has made to society, both past and present. As pupils progress, we support them to be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design.

How we plan for and teach art: 

At Hadley Wood Primary School, art is taught over 3 half terms per year with key skills alternating in each year group. Teachers plan sequences of lessons across the half-term that will build on and develop the children’s skills culminating in a final piece.

The skills and knowledge that children will develop throughout each art topic are mapped across each year group and across the school to ensure progression. The emphasis on knowledge ensures that children understand the context of the artwork, as well as the artists that they are learning about and being inspired by. This enables links to other curriculum areas, with the children developing a considerable knowledge of individual artists as well as individual works and art movements.

A similar focus on skills means that children are given opportunities to express their creative imagination, as well as practise and develop mastery in the key processes of art: drawing, painting, printing, textiles, collage and sculpture.

Each year one of our Arts Trophy competitions is dedicated to developing artistic skills and creativity. Trips to art galleries and exhibitions are carried out to enhance the children’s learning experiences and deepen their understanding and knowledge, whilst cultivating a love of art in its many different forms.

How we evaluate learning in art: 

The impact of our art curriculum can clearly be seen in the children’s sketchbooks which pass on with them to the following year group. At the beginning of each unit, a detailed overview outlines the Big Question and “Building Blocks” alongside the key skills that the children will build on and those which will follow. The children are also given the opportunity to consider key vocabulary that will be taught during the unit and what their initial thoughts about the meaning of the words are. Throughout the unit children learn the vocabulary and are able to write a definition in the glossary.

The opportunity to evaluate and reflect on the learning is planned for towards the end of the unit to enable the children to see how their learning is progressing and where they need to take it next.

On completion of the unit of work, children are able to self-assess against the completed product. Class teachers then use the children’s research and preparatory work, along with the final piece in order to make a judgement whether each child is working at developing, expected or exceeding level.