Art National Curriculum - Purpose of study
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 both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.
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 cultural development of their art forms
Key Stage One Aims
- Use a range of materials creatively to design and make products
- Use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination
- Develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space
- Learn about the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and similarities between difference practices and disciplines, and making links to their own work
Key Stage Two Aims
- Develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity and experimentation
- Develop an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design
- Create sketch books to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas
- Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay
- Learn about great artists, architects and designers in history.
Our Art Curriculum
Rationale and National Curriculum Coverage
This art curriculum is a knowledge rich curriculum. Knowledge, in the realm of art means knowledge not only of artists, designers, architects and their work, but of the artistic concepts that relate to their work shown in different types and styles of art, how these relate to each other in a historical context and how this affects the children’s own use of materials and development of skills. The curriculum is designed to enable our pupils to learn by making connections between the work of artists, architects and designers (which they study critically) and their own work, which they evaluate and relate back to the works they have studied. This process is cyclical. For children following the curriculum, becoming informed about the subject discipline of art is a process that takes place alongside a growing love for the subject. Meaningful opportunities for self-expression and individual response are woven through the curriculum, giving children space to learn who they are as an artist.
Units of work in the curriculum focus on the different concepts in art and different types of art. In this context concepts in art means the different elements of art (line, shape, colour, tone, form, space, visual texture and tone), how an artist combines these elements and produces art in different styles, for example realistic or abstract art. Different types of art means the different media used to make art (e.g. sculpture, architecture or painting), different subject matter (e.g. portraits, landscapes or history painting) and different artistic movements, historical periods or geographical cultures (e.g. impressionism, Anglo-Saxon art and Chinese painting).
The overall scheme of the curriculum provides for gradual progression in terms of skills (split into painting, drawing, 3D form, collage, textiles, printmaking and mixed media), introducing the children to as diverse a range of materials as possible. It also provides for progression in terms of knowledge of different concepts and types of art (for example Style in Art and Narrative Painting are studied in Key Stage 1, and then revisited in Lower Key Stage Two in History Painting and in Upper Key Stage Two in Style in Art). The structure of the planning also provides for progression in terms of process in art, both in terms of critical analysis of others’ art and the necessary observation, exploration and evaluation needed for the children to create their own art. Activities children undertake in lessons are designed with an eye to the importance of learning and practising a process. These activities include verbal and written observations and observational, analytical and imaginative drawing activities in key stage 1, leading to the process of independent investigation, observation, annotation, sketching, design and planning (allowing the children to experiment and invent) by the end of key stage 2. Independent and investigative study and the understanding of process is particularly provided for in the units which conclude the year for years 5 and 6.
The curriculum fulfils the requirements of the National Curriculum for England and, as such, has as its focus the art of the Western world. This course of study seeks to show how art shapes our history and contributes to our national culture. It looks at key movements and historical periods in the history of Western art, studying art from ancient Greece and Rome, Anglo Saxon England, the middle ages, the Italian renaissance, Victorian art and architecture, French impressionism and modernism of the 20th century. Where a unit looks at a period in history which is also addressed in the history curriculum, the art unit is taught after the history unit. This allows the children to approach their study of art with a degree of confidence and ‘expertise’ and to consolidate their knowledge by creating connections between the different disciplines.
A study of Western art necessarily lacks cultural diversity, and therefore specific units and artists have been added to the curriculum to introduce more balance and cultural diversity . Upper Key Stage 2 study art from the Islamic world, western Africa and China and these units address the issue of accepted art history narratives, colonialization and empire and the influence of non-Western art on art of the Western world. Women artists have also been included, and in key stage 2 there is provision for discussing why women are under-represented in traditional Western art history narratives. Study of modernism and art from the 20th century in year 6 provides an opportunity to study art by women and artists from ethnic groups traditionally underrepresented in British art.
Each unit of work covers each of the aims of the National Curriculum. It is expected that evidence of the children’s study will be recorded in sketchbooks which can include the work, or photographs of the work they produce each lesson. Sketchbooks may include written reflections on the work of other artists/designers/architects, as well as the children’s written reflections on their own work.