At St Thomas More Primary School, we teach a broad and balanced art curriculum, ensuring the progressive development of knowledge and skills. The purpose of studying art at St Thomas More Primary School follows the purpose outlined in the National Curriculum:
“Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.” The National Curriculum, 2022.
We believe that art is purposeful in shaping the whole child. We strive to prepare children to take part in the development of tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. We aim to encourage children to become creative problem-solvers, both as individuals and as part of a team. Art is taught alongside half termly topic themes in order to enrich and extend the teaching of other subjects too.
The school’s aim is to provide an art curriculum, which will enable all children to reach their full potential in learning in art and design.
The national curriculum for art and design aims to ensure that all pupils:
- 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 culture development of their art forms.
To achieve that aim, art is taught in half-termly blocks interlinked with an overarching topic linked to other areas of learning. Units are planned to include teaching about key artistic concepts, use of media, methods and techniques, and about great artists, designers and architects in history.
Teaching art at St Thomas More Primary School should be guided by these principles as set out in the Teaching & Learning Policy.
Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction
- Begin a lesson with a short review of previous learning (Reactivation)
- Present new material in small steps with pupil practice after each step
- Ask a LARGE number of questions and check the responses of ALL pupils
- Provide models
- Guide pupil practice
- Check for pupil understanding
- Obtain a high success rate
- Provide scaffolds
- Require and monitor independent practice
- Engage pupils in regular reviews
Most importantly, pupils should be taught to become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques. Pupils cannot be expected to simply ‘be creative’ without proficiency of technique, or the knowledge of how to improve their mastery of art and design techniques. Picasso, for example, received formal artistic training from the age of seven from his father, who was an art teacher, who believed that proper training required disciplined copying of the masters and life drawing.
Here at St Thomas More Primary School we encourage a growth mindset across all areas of learning, art is no exception. Regular practice and attention to teaching to improve skills and techniques, promote confidence, and create a positive view of the subject. Rewards, including class merit certificates can be used to promote effort and positive attitudes towards art.
Teaching in art should address the fact that all children will develop their ability to make images and to learn and apply knowledge at different rates. Therefore, scaffolding is key and as such will be planned for according to the learning objective and or by task, according to ability. Individual children will also be supported by relevant questions from the teacher. These interventions from the teacher to individuals will increase their thinking, extend the range of options that may be considered and raise individual standards and support mastery in art.
Every pupil has a sketchbook, which are the primary record of a child’s art learning journey and progression within art across Key Stage One and again in Key Stage Two. They will be used as evidence for assessment and reporting purposes, as well as monitoring of the teaching of the subject.
Teachers should ensure that the objective of the lesson is clear to all pupils and recorded in their sketchbooks with work recorded beneath. The date should also be recorded on each used page of the sketchbook.
- to support and guide the practice of teachers and support staff;
- to ensure coverage, continuity and progression in planning;
- to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of art teaching and learning;
- to update documentation where necessary;
- to produce action plans for the School Development Plan, prepare bids and manage the Art budget effectively;
- to liaise and consult with outside agencies where appropriate;
- to prepare and lead Staff Meetings when CPD requested.
- to attend relevant INSET training, or arrange for teachers to attend;
Art plays an important part in the life of our school. Children are able to enjoy and achieve. It must be available to every child and all children should take part in creative activities. Activities both within and outside the classroom are planned in a way that encourages full and active participation by all children, matched to their knowledge, understanding and previous experience. Children should have equal opportunities to develop their understanding and enjoyment of art. Pupils should be taught about a diverse range of artists.
Teachers must ensure that the curriculum is appropriate for the needs of the children.
Assessment, Recording and Reporting
The teacher of art should note individual pupil’s progress to provide guidance for future teaching and learning and for reporting at the end of the school year. The long-term curriculum plans will allow teachers to form medium and short-term art plans and work alongside skills ladders to ensure skills are covered.
Coherence of assessment across the school is supported by discussion and consultation between staff, guided by the art Leader and specialist staff.
Teachers can obtain evidence of skills learnt and quality of finished pieces by direct observation of children at work, questioning pupils or listening to their conversations, and by assessing their sketchbooks and finished pieces.
The art leader monitors teaching and progress in art by:
- creating a long term art plan
- an annual resource audit;
- assessing sketchbooks, work and progress;
- pupil voice
Art resources should be kept and well organised within the resource area of the main School. When the resources are in the classroom, pupils are expected to take an increasing level of responsibility for organising and respecting the resources.
The class teacher is primarily responsible for ensuring the safety of the children during the lesson by instructing them in the safe and appropriate use of any equipment. The class teacher is responsible for the general care of the equipment during the lesson by instructing the children in the correct use of the equipment and by replacing them safely after use. Teachers should report damage to equipment to the art leader as soon as possible.
This policy is monitored through:
- Regular scrutiny of children’s work
- Evaluation and analysis of assessment evidence
- Lesson observations to monitor the quality of teaching and implementation of planning
- Pupil voice
Staff and governors review this policy every three years. Parents are most welcome to request copies of this document and comments are invited from anyone involved in the life of the school.