In an increasingly busy school curriculum, art can often be overlooked in favour of the core subjects. In addition to this, the pandemic has increased the pressure for children to catch up on missed learning in core subjects, which makes art lessons even harder to fit into the packed timetable.
However, here at St Peter’s we believe that art is an extremely important subject to teach. Encouraging and developing artistic talent increases self-confidence and self-understanding, it enhances and improves both cognitive and communication skills. Children will develop transferable skills, in creative thinking and team work which will boost academic achievement, leading to enhanced well-being and self-esteem.
Self-expression and creativity
When a child is completely absorbed in drawing or painting, their full concentration is on creating, using only their imagination and creativity to express a thought, feeling or idea.
Art fosters experimentation, it gives children the freedom for self-expression and choice to create something that is unique to them.
Self-confidence, self-discipline and resilience
Art allows children the freedom to choose the direction that they take, and so naturally end up internally asking themselves questions and solving problems as the work progresses. This can lead to a real sense of ownership of what they produce. The artwork does not have to be a masterpiece; the outcome does not matter as much as the skills learnt during the task.
Children often feel relaxed during lessons as Art 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.
Art helps children to communicate visually about both how they see and experience the world, and how they feel about it. For some children, this may be too difficult a process to do verbally, but through art they can achieve this.
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.
Our lessons are structured to enhance children’s knowledge of materials, processes and techniques, whilst offering access to the work of other artists and designers and exposure to some of the most powerful achievements of human culture.
The use of sketchbooks are vital when creating and exploring ideas within all lessons. Every child from year 1 to year 6 has a sketchbook. The children are encouraged to take ownership of their sketchbooks, to make it the centre of their creativity, to freely express, create, develop and learn.
In line with the National Curriculum, the children are taught Art as part of their termly topic work. Areas covered include learning how to draw, paint, print and create sculpture, to work with clay and mixed media.
Based on topic work children study different genres of Art including Portraiture, Op Art, Cave Art, Land Art, Natural forms and Botanical Art, Saxon art, Roman art and symbols and the works of the Impressionist artists.
To enrich their learning the children explore the work of a range of artists both national and international whose work support our topics.
Children are given the opportunity to work both individually and collaboratively exploring styles and techniques of a range of artists.
In addition the children’s learning is further enhanced with a whole school arts exhibitions twice a year, Advent Art in the autumn term and in the summer term, the Arts and crafts show.
Year 4 Romans Project
We looked at Roman Artefacts and focused on pattern work favoured by the Romans. We thought about where they got their inspiration from to create such intricate workmanship and also considered the use of pattern in storytelling.
The children practised drawing patterns from natural forms and images of Roman artefacts, using both pencil and ink. They created they own mosaics designs using paper with a limited palette.
We researched Archaeologist discoveries of Roman pots and drew our own designs. We went on to create our own scratch art, this was great fun and every child’s produced a fantastic unique Roman style pot.
Our Art policy can be viewed by clicking here
Our Art Skills Progression document can be viewed by clicking here