At St John’s Catholic Primary School, we value Art and Design as an important part of the children’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum.
Our art and design curriculum engages, inspires and challenges pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art. As pupils progress, they are taught to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They are taught how art and design both reflects and shapes our history and culture. They do this by studying male and female artists from around the world such as Matteo Pericoli and Eduardo Paolozzi but also local artists and local architecture, taking advantage of our location in Manchester.
The children will develop their understanding of the visual language of art through studying different media within the various disciplines of Art (drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, illustration etc). They will achieve this through effective teaching and considered sequences of lessons and experiences. They will also develop an understanding of the visual elements of Art and Design (line, tone, texture, colour, pattern, shape, 3D form) as we provide a curriculum which enables our children to reach their full potential.
We see art and design as a means to support learning in a range of ways. The skills that are developed in these subjects can be transferred across the curriculum and thus aid learning.
Our resident artist, Mrs Law, works with teachers to develop inspiring and exciting art opportunities for all classes in both KS1 and KS2. Later this year, children in Year 1 will produce scratch observational drawings focussing on the architectural elements and signage of local, independent Chorlton shops. They will then move on to creating a collage of each business created using textured materials. Year 2 will be focusing on sketchbook work and using line drawings of significant Manchester buildings in preparation for the creation of a press print Manctopia city scape, inspired by the artist Matteo Pericoli.
In lower KS2, Year 3 children will be creating casts and dinosaur fossils using Plaster of Paris and air dry clay whilst Year 4 will be looking at Greek vases alongside the work of Grayson Perry to design their own individual 3D card vases. Using the technique of decoupage with tissue, they will be decorating their work in the style of an ancient Greek ‘storytelling” vase.
In Upper KS2 Year 5 will design and make cardboard Mayan Mask in a mosaic style using card ‘tiles’ in jade, turquoise, gold and semiprecious stones whilst Year 6 will be using found and self-collected objects to create a ‘readymade’ ‘assemblage’ piece inspired by technology and industry, in the style of Eduardo Paolozzi.
All of the above activities have been planned carefully to ensure progression of art across each year group whilst in keeping with our wider curriculum topics.
The knowledge and skills that children will develop throughout each art topic are mapped across each year group to ensure progression. This starts in our Early Years Foundation Stage. All teachers have access to progression maps to differentiate learning for those children who have gaps in their learning or who have SEND needs. Progression maps also include Greater Depth challenges to further develop the experience of children meeting the objectives for their year group.
The school’s Art and Design curriculum is supported through the availability of a wide range of quality resources, which are used to support children’s confidence in the use of different media.
Last year, Year 5 entered and won a competition run by Manchester City Council which challenged primary school children to respond to The Lost Words: A Spell Book by Robert McFarlane and Jackie Morris. In class and in sessions with Mrs Law, children were engaged in creative activities which specifically connected with this magical theme. They were interested in the local issue about the potential loss of ‘Ryebank Fields’ and decided that their project would be inspired by this local space. They cast spells by literally capturing botanical samples from the fields in Plaster of Paris; constructed wizarding wands from gathered materials; built life size animal sculptures; and created their own watercolour and gilded icons of their collections in the style of Jackie Morris, the book’s illustrator. The children also wrote emotive poems about local nature and balanced arguments looking at the reasons for and against developing on this green space.
Our Art and Design curriculum contributes to children’s personal development in creativity, independence, judgement and self-reflection. This can be seen in the children’s work on display and their sketchbooks.
The children are keen to learn new skills and work hard to perfect those shown to them. The children’s art is sometimes cross-curricular, and helps them to express feelings and emotions in art, as well as show their knowledge and understanding in history, geography and science.
Teachers make formative assessments against objectives and use this information to inform future lessons; ensuring children are supported and challenged appropriately. Children are given an assessment on their end of year reports and this is shared with parents.
Children in Foundation Stage are assessed within Expressive Arts and Design and age related expectation levels are reported to parents at the end of the reception year.