At Excalibur Primary School we value Art as a vital part of the children’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. Art allows curiosity, creativity and self- expression to develop whilst also providing the children with opportunities to improve their resilience, problem solving and critical thinking skills. We intend to provide our pupils with the skills, concepts and knowledge necessary for them to express individual responses to ideas and experiences in a visual or tactile form.
Our art curriculum has been specifically developed in line with ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance and to build on the National Curriculum 2014, giving pupils the opportunity to develop both the substantive (practical and theoretical) knowledge and specific disciplinary knowledge they need for their next stages in their learning journey. This helps to ensure that the children make meaningful links with other subject areas and allows for deep exploration and application of knowledge and skills. It has been designed to bring engagement, fun and enthusiasm to learning, so that our children develop independent curiosity, acquire a lifelong appetite for learning and become well-rounded individuals.
The art journey begins in Early Years where they are encouraged to explore and experiment with various media and materials. These solid foundations continue to develop in Key Stage One, where children use their imagination and creativity to record their ideas, through the introduction of sketchbooks, whilst developing their knowledge and early skills. Exploration and experimentation of skills are further developed in Key Stage Two where children are encouraged to think more critically when evaluating their own and other artists work. Sketchbooks should be at the centre of the child’s creativity and are a space for them to freely express, invent and develop their skills and knowledge often with limited guidance from the teacher.
To further enhance learning, the children explore various artists from different countries and cultures. In addition to this they will be shown the true breadth of art and how it has shaped our understanding of history and the narrative it has left behind. We believe that the primary function of art is to teach children to be creative, impacting on their future lives and careers.
Art at Excalibur is taught in termly units throughout the year, so that children can achieve depth in their learning. Key knowledge and skills of each unit are identified and mapped across the school, ensuring that knowledge builds progressively and that children develop skills systematically.
Tasks are designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners, in line with each school’s commitment to inclusion. At the end of each unit, key knowledge is reviewed by the children and consolidated as necessary.
The art curriculum at Excalibur is sequenced so that children develop skills across four main areas of learning: Drawing, Painting and Mixed Media, Sculpture and Craft and Design. Within each of these areas knowledge and skills are developed in five key areas: generating ideas, using sketch books, knowledge of artists, creative making skills and evaluating and analysing their own work.
The curriculum from Year 1 to Year 6 is designed to build on the starting points within Expressive Arts and Design in the EYFS. This begins in Key Stage 1 with drawing units on still life and character illustrations to ensure all pupils recognise the importance of observation within art to draw more lifelike and realistic objects. As the children move further into school, units on observational drawing and still life build knowledge of techniques and application of skills so that all children progress within this strand and demonstrate the understanding of the drawing processes as they move through the school.
The sequencing of painting through the school is based on developing children’s knowledge of colour theory and applying this in increasingly complex ways. For example, building on the EYFS, Key Stage One will mix primary colours to make secondary colours, using these to develop pattern and texture. Through Key Stage Two children explore tints and shades and tertiary colours. This culminates in them will exploring the effect of colours, mood and techniques used by established artists.
Building on the children’s learning in the EYFS sculpture is developed through the art curriculum beginning with exploring malleable materials adding texture and pattern with tools. This progresses through the medium of natural sculptures, such as leaves and stones. In Key Stage One development continues through investigating paper sculptures, through the developing 2D ideas into 3D art. Progress continues through the application of learnt skills through the medium of clay, joining of shapes, understanding the effect of scale, concluding the use of their creative experiences to refine their work.
Craft skills begin in EYFS with the experimentation of found materials, transient art and ‘junk’ modelling. This is developed throughout Key Stage One, with the application of various craft techniques to paper and fabrics. Throughout Key Stage Two craft skills are used to create contemporary responses to ancient art, develop modern imagery, extend ideas and apply composition skills.
The stimulus for all units of work within Art are based on established artists and designers, from cultures around the world.