At St.Michael’s Primary School, Art and Design holds a very important place within the primary curriculum; it helps to balance the weight of academic vs creative subjects, and supports the development of the whole child. We also recognise the many hidden values that our pupils explore as they immerse themselves in an art curriculum.
Art encourages experimentation more than many other subjects do. It gives children the freedom and choice to create something that is unique to them. Art enables pupils to develop their imagination and provides an outlet for self-expression and creativity.
Many children feel more comfortable in art lessons because this is a subject where there is no ‘right answer’. They are free to explore their ideas without the threat of being wrong, and so become more at ease with the uncertainty of not knowing how something might turn out. As a result, children are more likely to experiment and try out new ideas. They are less likely to give up when they encounter a problem or things don’t end up as they had planned.
We aim to provide a diverse and broad art curriculum to celebrate artists of all colours, cultural and geographic backgrounds, ages and genders. This is important as we want our pupils to feel represented by the art and artists that they learn about.
We celebrate the children’s artwork in praise assemblies, school art gallery, displays, school Facebook page and an art learning journey display in the main corridor. This enables children to be proud of their work and reminds pupils of their potential, being inspired and learning from each other. In addition, discussing the artwork of fellow classmates or those of famous artists helps children to look at the world around them through different eyes. It teaches them that not everyone’s idea or view of something is the same, nor does it have to be.
Art and design helps learners to develop problem solving skills, fine and large motor skills, language skills, social skills, decision-making, risk-taking, patience, perseverance, and inventiveness.
As well as integrating art into our curriculum we also teach two terms of specific artistic skills. We highly value the importance of building on the children’s prior learning. Each child has a working art journal folder for drawing and painting. These folders move up with them each year to allow the pupils to remind themselves and build on their previous learning. The children are encouraged to reread their annotations of successes and what they would do differently that they previously encountered. This ensures that year on year the pupils make progress.
Within an art unit the pupils go through 5 stages in their art learning journey:
1. Research, 2. Explore, 3. Design, 4. Create and 5. Evaluate.
Below is an example of an art learning journey: