🎨 Art and Design at Bessacarr 🎨
“Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the mind. As the sun colours flowers, so does art colour life.” ~John Lubbock
“Where are our future designers, architects, craftsmen/women, engineers, technicians, software designers and mathematicians going to come from if no one can draw?” Bob and Roberta Smith
Our Art and Design Intent
Art and design is an important part of our curriculum because it enables children to express themselves creatively. Not only are creative skills critical to advancing in many different types of career, but participating in art activities also has positive effects on physical and mental health so it will benefit them now and in their future. Through making and talking about art, we provide the children with time to better understand themselves and the world they live in.
We want the children to learn about art and how to think and work like artists and designers. Through regular opportunities to study art and artists from different parts of the world, different cultures and times, we aim to broaden their minds and provide them with inspiration for creating their own work. We want them to think critically and be reflective learners so we teach them how to research, analyse and evaluate. Our aim is also to develop their understanding and skills in a variety of disciplines by regularly returning to drawing, painting, sculpture, printing and other craft. Through experimenting and exploring the effect of different tools and techniques, we want the children to create varied and individual outcomes.
The children build knowledge and skills over time through a combination of opportunities for repeated practice and new projects. The art they learn about and create is linked to their learning in another part of the curriculum, helping them to make connections and build their long-term memory. For example, when our Reception children learn about the Arctic, they look at illustrations by Sandra Diekman in the book ‘Leaf’ and create drawings of polar bears. Y3 pupils study the Stone Age in history so they learn about cave art and create their own work in this style. In Year 6, when the children learn about circulation in science, they create scientific drawings of the heart and use them to design their own prints.
In our Early Years provision, teachers plan indoor and outdoor art activities throughout each half term so that the children have regular opportunities to explore the formal elements of art: colour, pattern, texture, line, form, shape and space.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, teachers facilitate units of work - creative journeys – which follow a sequence of generating ideas, making and evaluating. The children use a sketchbook to record their work and over time, they develop a sense of ownership of their books as they are encouraged more to use their own style and layout. When generating ideas, they analyse pieces of art. The same prompts and questions for them to respond to are repeated in each unit; and extra ones are added throughout school to help develop their analytical skills. During the making part of the sequence, they re-cap previous learning, teachers model the use of tools and new techniques and then children experiment, exploring different effects. They are encouraged to stop and reflect, talking about their own work, listening to others and giving each other feedback before creating their final piece. When they have finished, they evaluate the process and their final outcome. Again, prompts and questions are repeated in each unit to enable them to embed evaluating skills and think deeper as they get older. Recognising their successes as well as the difficulties they faced and how they overcame them helps to build their resilience and raise their self-esteem.
In years 1 – 6, units of art and design are alternated with units of DT (design and technology) as these subjects have many similarities. Although this means that there is not an art lesson every week of the year, we have made sure there is plenty of opportunity for the children to experience and explore art in other ways, helping them to learn more and remember more. We do this through arts assemblies, morning register tasks and organising creative days. We also have a timeline on one of our corridors of the art and artists that the children learn about through school, from the Ancient Civilisations through to a variety of contemporary artists.
On top of this, we deliver Arts Award Discover to all children in lower KS2. This is a project where children focus on learning about what the arts are, take part in arts activities and share their work. The children receive a certificate from Trinity college in recognition of their achievement of this award. For children who then take a particular interest in the arts, we offer an after school club for Y6 children who can work towards the next level of the qualification: Arts Award Explore.