Art and Design
"Every child is an artist.
The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."
- Pablo Picasso
The art and design curriculum at St Francis de Sales seeks to inspire, engage and challenge pupils by equipping them with the knowledge and skills to appreciate, experiment and create their own works of art. As they progress through the school, they will develop a deeper understanding of art and design, exploring the impact it has on contemporary life and that of different times and cultures.
Our curriculum is designed to not simply provide a set of encounters from which children form ad-hoc memories; it is designed to be remembered in detail – to be stored in our students’ long-term memories so that they can later build on it. In order to achieve this, we employ a variety of teaching strategies, these include:
- the use of a pupil sketchbook (which accompanies pupils during their time at our school)
- use of a visualizer to show pupils exactly how to use each media in depth step-by-step
- utilising Art Knowledge Organisers in which pupils self-quiz
- the promotion of incidental art and learning outside the classroom opportunities
- working with resident artist 'Becky'. Not only does Becky have over 17 years experience of working in school settings, but also she is a highly accomplised artist. It is anticipated that through class teachers 'team-teaching' alongside Becky, children will benefit from learning from the very best in the field, and could also be inspired to view 'art' as a viable career choice.
In addition, art and design also has a significant and valuable cross-curricular role to play in the overall ethos of our school. Incorporating art into the wider curriculum is intrinsic to teaching at St Francis de sales. Children here thrive, immersed in a curriculum that is ignited by the power of art and design. Lessons are creative and dynamic whilst enabling us to extend and enrich children’s' learning. We pride ourselves on using the work of pupils to provide a vibrant and stimulating environment throughout the school.
Our vision is to ensure that all children not only develop their artistic techniques, but are also inspired and influenced through the study of art. In working with a resident artist, looking at art within our locality, studying the works of famous artists and examining art from different cultures and faiths - we aim to provide our pupils with the essential knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in becoming well-rounded, informed citizens.
Art and design is a flourishing subject within our school. Our teaching and learning overtly promotes the subject, whilst valuing its unique contribution to pupils’ personal development and its impact on their wider achievement.
To improve their mastery of art and design techniques, pupils draw, paint and sculpt with a range of materials under the guidance of our resident artist working alongside class teachers. We revisit previous knowledge throughout the curriculum, prompting children to recall prior learning before the presentation of new knowledge, skills and understanding. Not only is the purpose to engage every child in reactivating such knowledge, but also to assess the quality of current understanding.
We teach our pupils how to ‘look at art’ through Art Appreciation; something which we believe they will benefit from for life. It is our intention for any pupil to be able to walk into a museum or gallery and be able to appreciate and discuss the exhibits with confidence, knowledge and insight.
In order to make learning more meaningful and resonant, we look at art within our own city - appreciating the culture that surrounds us. Not only does this enable teachers to bring the subject alive, but it also encourages children to talk about art against a familiar backdrop. Furthermore we have strong cross-curricular links, place a huge emphasis on art within the school environment and celebrate pupil successes via headteacher/governors awards and a pupil art gallery. We also have an incredibly popular after-school ‘Art Club’.
We use a number of ways to measure and assess the impact of our intent and implementation. This helps us refine and adapt our planning further which, in turn, improves the quality of teaching and learning.
- Through termly ‘sketchbook reviews’, we monitor the quality of artwork and the variety of techniques/skills used to ensure that there is clear progression and that pupils are becoming more independent and confident artists.
- Termly pupil interviews are carried out by the Art Coordinator. Here children reflect on their lessons, talking us through the work in their sketchbook. This has proved invaluable in helping us to drive improvement and gain an insight into pupil attitude towards the subject.
- On-going formative assessment enables us to measure and assess the teaching of art. Teachers will intervene at the point of learning to assess pupil knowledge, model techniques or to simply offer advice/guidance.
- During class discussions, pupils are encouraged to reflect critically (using the ‘language of art’), compare and contrast, justify etc. providing teachers with an insight into how children are progressing. Quizzes, based around our knowledge organisers, also help teachers to identify any possible misconceptions or revisit a particular area of learning.
- Children enjoy creating a final independent piece (drawing, painting or sculpting) which allows teachers to make a summative assessment. We then reflect on what pupils learned or how well they were able to do what we set out to teach them. This constant process of questioning, reflection and measuring ensures the highest quality of teaching within our school.
This presentation shows the standards and progress of pupils from Y3 to Y6 via our identified "Golden Threads" of drawing, painting and sculpting.