At Holy Spirit Primary School, we value art as a subject, to inspire and develop our children’s creative thinking and to develop their cultural, spiritual and moral understanding. We encourage all our children at Holy Spirit to express their thoughts and emotions in a safe and appropriate way. Creativity and the freedom to be imaginative is embedded in everything we do - the subjects which are encompassed by The Arts are a fantastic medium, which can support and empower our children to do this. We know that art stimulates creativity and imagination. It provides visual, tactile and sensory experiences, and a special way of understanding and responding to the world. It enables children to communicate what they see, feel and think, by using; colour, texture, form, pattern and different materials and processes. Our lessons offer the chance for children to develop their emotional expression through art to further enhance their personal, social and emotional development. We teach our children to be reflective of their work and respectful of others. We enhance our Art curriculum further by inviting local artists and working with a range of practitioners to lead year group workshops which offer our children different opportunities to explore the Arts in a variety of contexts.
In Early Years, the children explore and use a variety of media and materials through a combination of child initiated and adult directed activities. They have opportunities to learn to: explore the textures, movement, feel and look of different media and materials; respond to a range of media and materials, develop their understanding of them in order to manipulate and create different effects; use different media and materials to express their own ideas; explore colour and use for a particular purpose; develop skills to use simple tools and techniques competently and appropriately and select appropriate media and techniques and adapt their work where necessary. During Key Stage 1, Art is about expanding children’s creativity and imagination through providing art and craft and activities relating to the children’s own identity and experiences, to natural and manufactured objects and materials with which they are familiar, and the locality in which they live. Children will explore the visual, tactile and sensory qualities of materials and processes and begin to understand and use colour, shape and space, pattern and texture, to represent their own ideas and feelings. Through our curriculum, children will focus on the work of artists, craftspeople, other cultures, and sculptors and designers by asking and answering questions, such as: ‘What is it like?’ In Key Stage 2, the children are taught to develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design. They develop their sketch books to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas. They improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials (for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay). They learn about great artists, architects and designer both in history and in modern day.
By following the National Curriculum expectations, progression through subjects will be evident in the children’s sketch books and through teacher assessment of the skills progression document. Children’s sketch books show a clear journey in skills assimilation from inspiration through to design, skill development and evaluation. The scheme of work we follow, allows this journey through learning. To ensure the curriculum is suitable ambitious for all, we differentiate tasks and provide opportunities for deeper discussion/ exploration e.g. How was the effect achieved? What materials were used? How could you recreate it? Thinking about and showing an understanding of artistic intent/ consumer need. We aim to ensure that the children know and remember more by revisiting skills/ideas and concepts throughout the year and ensure learning is built upon year on year.
At Holy Spirit we use the prospectus curriculum which includes a DT focus within each topic. The curriculum is sequenced in such a way that builds on prior knowledge, which ensures there is smooth progression of skills. Children build on these skills year on year within the topics they are being taught. There are structured opportunities for DT to be taught within the curriculum.
The aim of our curriculum is to ensure coverage of immersive and interesting topics which also cover the NC requirements across the school. Therefore, we aim to develop both the use of different materials and media in the lessons but also the overall coverage of DT within the school. Further teaching and learning of the understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users is also one of our intended areas of learning. In addition to this, we aim to focus on teaching the children how to understand and apply the principles of nutrition and to learn how to cook. Critical thinking and feedback to peers is also an area we will be working hard to develop and promote within the lessons. Children can do this with confidence now in Art and we will use this critical approach in DT. We have recently purchased a membership to the DT Association to enhance learning in this area.
The DT curriculum helps our children understand the learning has a purpose. The links to the topic ensures that the DT activities are familiar and have meaning. For example, in Y5 during the topic of ‘Walls and Barricades’ children are tasked with three options of creativity during either a POWer project or a class lead activity. Some examples of the design work children can undertake within this topic are: model making of a castle to show its features and defences, creating a castle, its defences and grounds using Minecraft and inventing a new defence system for a castle. Encompassing the teaching of Design and Technology with skills in Computing also help to enhance the holistic learning of the topic. All teachers use the Prospectus DT focus within their topic planning effectively and with successful links to learning at home with the POWer projects.
The curriculum is creative and aims to bring a sense of awe and wonder to the topics we are teaching. Each DT lesson has a specific learning challenge which is the end goal for that learning, however we aim to challenge children’s understanding and knowledge of DT by letting them explore. We use a progression of skills matrix in order to assess knowledge of DT. This is completed annually with outcomes being used to bridge those gaps. The Prospectus curriculum gives us the tools to create different models which are topic linked. We have seen a positive impact on the children’s engagement with different materials and media in producing some fabulous models throughout the school.
Art around our school.
The national curriculum states, "Pupils in Key Stage 2 should be taught: “to create sketch books to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas.” Here at Holy Spirit, we have included pupils from Key Stage 1 who are also using sketch books as part of their learning journey. We are developing the use of the sketch book, not only in art lessons but throughout the curriculum and our children are enjoying the freedom to express, create, develop and learn, often with limited guidance from the teacher. Each piece starts a journey in our sketch books from a point of inspiration, whether it be a famous artist's picture or painting or a piece of writing. We gather ideas, experimenting with different forms, texture, colour and media, building up to a final piece.