Art at the Skylark Federation
Our ‘Intent’ – In designing our bespoke, South Downs curriculum is to maximise the potential of all of our pupils; intellectually, socially, morally, emotionally and culturally. – we believe our curriculum should be relevant and have a strong local resonance with pupils. In doing so, our intention is that all learners reach their full potential through a curriculum that is tangible and real for pupils of the South Downs. That is not to say our curriculum is narrow-sighted: we use children’s local understanding to project their minds across the globe.
Art is delivered by teaching specific skills and also through opportunities for purposeful cross curricular links. Examples of cross curricular art work is very strong throughout the school; with EYFS producing clay work for Diwali and Bonfire Night fireworks pictures. KS1 produce work for their studies on the sea by producing their own Hokusai wave art. During our history project, KS2 produced some fantastic printing work based around their work on the Aztecs.
Art and design is taught in the Summer term, as a main focus for our ‘Create’ project. This has been planned by focusing on the 7 areas of art; line, shape, colour, value, space, texture and form. By analysing quality pieces of art by famous artists, the children are developing their language and understanding of these areas, before exploring and experimenting with them.
Art sessions are differentiated and creatively thought out; giving all children, of all different abilities, a chance to reach their potential, with a suitable challenge for all. Children are supported through analysis with key questions and then guided with their experimentations of the key areas areas using a variety of different mediums. We encourage creativity and individuality, when children are creating final pieces of artwork.
Our school works in collaboration with the two other local schools within our federation; with art specialists working in all of the schools. Subject leaders meet and discuss aspects of the art curriculum, sharing good practice, promoting the use of the progression of art skills and ideas for purposeful teaching and learning.
As the children move through the school, they will develop their skills by teachers planning using the ‘progression of skills’ document which helps to recognise the skills expected for each age range.
Classrooms are well resourced, with children working in their dedicated sketchbooks, which move up to the next class with them. We have a fully supplied art resource cupboard.
Staff training sessions for class teachers on how to use the progression of skills document when planning for children in each year group. This has seen a real improvement in the differentiation of art sessions. Teachers liaising with our art specialists about which artists to use and different mediums to best fit skill development has seen the teacher’s enthusiasm for art shine through.
The display of art is valued greatly within Skylark, with every child having their work displayed to feel proud of. All classes end their Create project with an art exhibition, where all of the children are involved in setting up and choosing the work they have displayed. These special exhibition days invite all of the classes as well as parents to view our work. The impact of this is a positive feeling around art and celebrating everyone’s individual pieces.
At Skylark, we value the arts in high regard as we want to develop the confidence of all of our children so that they believe that can succeed in anything. Subject and school leaders monitor the impact of our curriculum provision through completing regular monitoring, that includes listening to the voice of our children.
In EYFS Art and Design is often planned around the children’s interests, with children having independent access to a variety of art materials and mediums. Children are encouraged to express their feelings, ideas, thoughts and designs using all 7 areas of art.
Children are given the opportunity to revisit skills throughout the school year, we can track skills by monitoring work output in sketch books and project books, as well as using the Create threshold assessment tool.