We want our children to be inspired and challenged by art, craft and design, to be able to express themselves confidently and be able to critically analyse artists’ work. Our curriculum is designed to ensure children are taught both the skills of making art and the knowledge of selected artists, their work, context and influences. Through carefully selected artists we also aim to develop children’s historical, geographical, cultural and environmental awareness and to ‘teach’ them to interpret the stories that artworks tell.
In addition, our curriculum ensures that our children are exposed to a range of significant Cornish artists and movements in order to strengthen their sense of belonging, place and cultural identify as well as opening up opportunities for experiencing art first hand through gallery and artist visits.
Our curriculum sets out to ensure balance between new and established artists as well as to those working with in specific fields such as illustration, costume design, textiles, architecture and graphic art so that our children are exposed to the career opportunities available through art as well for the enjoyment of art for its own sake.
We want our children to use art, craft and design as a means of self-expression and to build resilience and confidence through evaluating and refining. Additionally, we want our children to enjoy looking at artworks and be able to clearly communicate their own ideas and opinions.
Our spiral curriculum is designed so that children revisit media, develop their skills in different contexts and build on previous knowledge.
We deliver our curriculum in 2 day art blocks at the end of a half term as a whole school, to ensure art is prioritised and teachers can focus on providing high-quality and rich creative experiences for our children. It also allows the time to develop each aspect of the creative process outlined below:
- Exploring the artwork and ideas of established of artists and designers
- Rehearsing with new media, skills and techniques
- Exploring and generating ideas
- Creating and refining work
- Evaluating their own and the others’ work
For each unit there is a focus artist complemented by 3 or 4 related artists. Children are first taught about the focus artist and their historical, cultural, political and social context before exploring several of the artist’s works. The children then explore the work of related artists and discuss similarities and differences. Our children are taught the skills and techniques used by the artists and have opportunities to explore these in focused sessions. Drawing on different stimuli, the children explore their own ideas and use sketchbooks to record, experiment and practice, before creating and refining their own work.
Each unit also has an identified media and subject focus to ensure that our children’s learning journey is broad, balanced and meaningful.
Links are also made between art and other curriculum areas such as using art as either stimuli or response in RE, PSHE, English, music or dance or to gather historical or geographical information.
Knowledge Organisers outline the key facts and vocabulary and are used to revisit previous learning and assess and review new learning. New vocabulary is introduced and explicitly taught at the beginning of the unit to ensure children can access and understand discussions and teaching and can also communicate their own ideas and opinions confidently and accurately.
At St Agnes Academy, we have 3 measures of curriculum impact, all of which are essential in ensuring that our children make excellent progress, are ready for the next phase in their learning journey and are well-rounded, thoughtful and responsible individuals. Our 3 measures are:
- What we learn
- Who we are
- How we behave
We ensure our curriculum has impact, by evaluating children’s final outcomes and their contributions to discussions as well as through observing how they work during the process of generating and exploring ideas, rehearsal and practice, creating and refining, and evaluating.
Our children will know about a wide range of artists and movements and will use the correct terminology when talking about artworks and techniques. They will be able to critically analyse the work of established artists and be proficient in using a range of techniques and media so that they are able to draw on an increasingly wide range of knowledge and skills to express their ideas with confidence. As they move through the school, they will be prepared for each phase of their learning journey.
They will appreciate that art can voice social, political and cultural messages which have the power to challenge and change the viewer and will be able to use art to voice their own opinions. They will also understand that art is a deeply human activity which connects us all.
By working through the artistic process our children will develop resilience, critical thinking and problem solving skills as well as learning how to draw on their knowledge to communicate their ideas and opinions and develop a curiosity for the world around them.