At Gilded Hollins, we aim to teach Art and Design in an engaging way to inspire and challenge our pupils. We equip our pupils with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. Art is taught as a spiral curriculum. The children build on the skills and knowledge they have as they progress through the school. Art and Design as a subject encourages children to be creative and to experiment within boundaries to create a piece of art. As our pupils progress throughout the school, they are encouraged to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of Art and Design as a subject and the cultural significance behind it.
At Gilded Hollins, we dedicate an entire week each year to the arts; this is called Arts Week. During Arts Week, children in every year group experience a range of new activities all under one common theme. Arts Week also develops the social and emotional skills of the children as they spend a percentage of the week working in mixed-aged groups. The children of Gilded Hollins leave having experienced a wide range of opportunities to unleash their inner artist.
Art is taught as a spiral curriculum; we build on children’s skills and knowledge as they move through the school. All children will be taught a drawing, painting and sculpture unit in each phase of the school. We have also enhanced our curriculum by ensuring each child in our school completes a collage, design and digital art unit of work in each phase of the school too. Key Stage 2 children also look at the significance of different architecture in each phase.
Planning is of a high standard overall. If a unit of work uses an artist as inspiration, the children will learn about the artist in their first lesson. The next series of lessons will focus on specific skills which the children will use in their final lesson(s) in the unit to produce a final piece of work.
The art curriculum is accessible to all children using a variety of media to aid independent research, for instance, the use of the internet and studying artists. Children work in groups or pairs to analyse and appraise each other’s final pieces of work. As pupils progress, they are able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design.
The needs of all children are met through various means including the use of differentiated work, the support of teaching assistants or mixed ability pairings as appropriate. All vulnerable children are considered carefully by teaching staff at both the planning and delivery stages of teaching and learning.
“If I was struggling in art, my teacher would work with me to show me the example and the artist’s work again. She would keep telling me it’s part of learning to struggle and would help me be able to do it.” Y1
Areas taught across the school
Teachers monitor progress continually and adjust their teaching accordingly. Much of the learning covered in this subject is very much hands-on and kinaesthetic, providing practical learning so that skills learnt can become embedded and ensure concrete learning.
“I’m proud of this piece of work because I was able to use my sketching skills from last year to make it better.” Y3
“In this lesson, we were practising blending oil pastels to decide which colour combinations to use. I tried using contrasting and complementary colours to see which was more effective. I chose contrasting in the end.” Y6
To augment this ongoing diagnostic assessment, children’s progress will be monitored yearly as they move up school. A child’s assessment in Art and Design takes into account all four aims of the National Curriculum:
Produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences.
Become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques.
Evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design.
Know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.
Monitoring, evaluation and review
In art and design, the children use sketch books and displays as an ongoing resource. Progression is shown and monitored throughout school. For example, during Arts Week 2022, all children worked in mixed-age groups for two of the five days. Throughout these days, all children accessed the same tasks at different levels.
Photographs, work sampling and evidence of whole class display work is collected throughout the year – allowing monitoring of children’s work and progression.
Current standards and progress
We have worked hard this year to ensure the sequence of art lessons in each unit is progressive and purposeful. Our new progression document will be used throughout the school in the next academic year. The 2020 theme of ‘The Natural World Around Us’ was finally experienced by the children. The children had a brilliant week and experienced sessions on sculpture, drawing, painting, digital art and other areas of ‘the arts’. Unfortunately, as this Arts Week was planned in such uncertain times, we did not have visitors in to deliver sessions to the children like we normally would. However, this did not lessen the experience for the children as they all had the opportunity to develop our school qualities in both the mixed-age groups and their class groups.
Where to now? Recent developments, highlights and priorities for future developments