Our art and design curriculum empowers our children to believe that they are artists and to instil in them the mindset that they can succeed in their artistic endeavours. Our curriculum aims to inspire creativity, experimentation, and self-expression, while providing component progressions to support artistic growth.
At the heart of our curriculum is the development of confidence in making creative choices. This confidence comes through a range of experiences with different materials, underpinned by the development of components, allowing children to channel their creativity and imagination and think critically about the choices they make in their artwork.
Children are exposed to the work of over one hundred and thirty artists, craft makers, designers and architects. This range broadens children’s artistic understanding, inspires them to explore new artistic ideas and nurtures a deep appreciation of art.
Each artist has been carefully chosen to enhance children’s cultural capital, highlight diversity and equality and explore the traditional, modern and contemporary paradigms of art. These vary from 'master drawers' such as Honoré Daumier, Eva Gonzalès to the installation work of Chiharu Shiota and the Saville Row tailoring style of Ozwald Boateng.
Above all, our selection of artists brings vibrancy, passion and a love of art to our children. Fifteen of these artists have been selected as our key artists.
The foundation of our curriculum are the progressions in drawing, painting and design components.
Our design components introduce children to the Gestalt principles of proximity, figure/ground, similarity, closure, common fate and continuation. In addition, the design techniques of using a grid (including symmtery) and applying the 'rule of thirds' are developed.
Our painting components give children colour theory knowledge and repeated experience in blending, controlling paint viscocity, water colour techniques such as painting from light to dark and techniques suited to poster/acrylic such as pointilism and impasto.
The bedrock of our art and design curriculum are the deep and spirally progressive drawing components. Children learn the fundamental principles of drawing form, as master drawers have done for centuaries. This begins with the development of an appropriate pencil grip to control pressure and creating confidently-lined basic shapes. Expressive line work is then introduced before developing form, including atmospherics, value and shadow work. Alongside this core, children also develop portrait components such as the Loomis head and manipulation of form to define features such as a nose.
We recognise that in art, there is no fixed path for artists to follow and disciplinary knowledge is less defined than in many other subjects. However, we believe that by equiping children with component knowledge (particularly drawing), we build the foundations with which children can achieve our curriculum aim of inspiring creativity, experimentation, and self-expression.
Within our art and design curriculum, we explore the seven creative industries with the primary goal of raising aspiration for our children, showing them paths for their future.
Each of our units of work have been developed with a range of project approaches. This avoids children simply mimicking artists and their work and builds greater creativity and self expression. Our project approaches are:
- Observation (primary or secondary)
- Techniques (often craft based)
- Imaginary (ideas and imagination)
- Question (inspiration from a deep thinking question)
- Cognitive (sensory or memory)
- Abstract (thoughts and emotion)
- Artist (reinterpretation)
Touching on disciplinary knowledge in art, we have considered what are generally agreed themes and developed our units to incorporate a significant range.
Our children are exposed to artwork from over 40 movements, spanning traditional, modern and contemporary time periods.
Children develop their knowledge of thirteen of these movements throughout the art curriculum. These have been chosen to balance knowledge of the paradigms of art, build cultural capital and enhance children's understanding of chronology and cause and effect. These movements are:
Gothic > Renaissance >Baroque > Romanticism >Impressionism > Post-Impressionism > Art Nouveau > Cubism > Bauhaus > Abstract Expressionism > Pop Art > Conceptual Art> Street Art
Children do not learn about these in chronological order with complex movements such as Baroque, Gothic and Conceptual Art delibrately married with upper key stage 2, where children have reached an appropriate maturity.
These images show which year groups our drawing, painting and design components are taught or developed within.
In addition to the development of components, creativity and expression within Art & Design, children learn about colour theory and specifically chosen artists and movements from History. We call these our 'Key Artists' and 'Key Movements'. Each knowledge organiser focuses on this as well as showing a compressed year group timeline that includes a selection of artists explored and key movements.
Our timeline shows the artists and movements children explore through our curriculum. The 13 movements learnt about are in dark gold as are the associated artists. Other artists explored and the movements they are associated with are in yellow.
Below are example documents and support from our curriculum intent.
Fundamental to our intent, the Art Map documents coverage and component progression.
From this Art Map, each unit has been created.
The Art & Design subject leader, together with the leadership team, have created each unit plan. This ensures the desired coverage is met whilst broadening and deeping component knowledge progress over time.
There are 35 Drawing Component in our Art & Desgin Curriculum. This is one example.
We have created video support for teachers due to the high expectations and specialist nature of our drawing components. Below are 2 videos linked to the Compound Form component shown above.
This document gathers elements from our Art Map, Component Progressions and unit plans to give a year group overview and progression summary.