It’s our aim that by the time every child leaves Abacus Belsize primary school they can feel as if they have found an area of the visual arts that is relevant and engaging to them – that might be through drawing, or making, or designing, or talking about art.
To achieve this we have created as many different kinds of opportunities as possible so that each child can find the thing which strikes a chord with them. That means covering lots of different disciplines, techniques, materials and approaches.
In practice, that might mean one day a child is practising observational drawing skills, another day they are working from their imagination making larger scale images, and another day they are discussing as a class how the context in which art is presented can change it’s meaning. The richness and relevance of experience makes learning memorable and impactful.
Across all years from EYFS to Year 6 the children will learn skills in drawing, the use of sketchbooks, printmaking, painting, collage, making and using art for a purpose. Across the curriculum children will learn about prominent artists, both historical and up to date as well as accessing local artists. We use the wealth of galleries available to us on our doorstep too.
When a child leaves Year 6 and you ask them “What does being creative mean to you?” we want them to be able to answer with confidence and self-knowledge.
We’ve thought carefully about the purpose of art. Not just in relation to the purpose of teaching art in school but the relevance of art in all our lives.
Art Implementation and Progression
Art is taught discretely in 6 blocks across the year. Each block lasts for a half-term and are taught for 45minutes - to an hour a week. Elements of art are also taught in the DT curriculum and where suitable, art and DT outcomes may be used to enhance or support geography and history learning.
As a school we wanted to give our children more opportunities with art and so from Summer 2022 we have implemented a new curriculum. The Access Art curriculum document is linked below.
Children in reception investigate art through the specific area 'Expressive Arts and Design'. and the prime area 'physical development'.
Through focus groups and free-play activities in the learning environment, children are taught to use a variety of materials to construct, create independent and collaborative pieces of art, draw and paint using different mediums. Children are taught to return to and build upon their previous learning and talk about what they have made and how they have made it. This learning also happens outdoors, for example at Hampstead Heath, children collect natural materials to make an art piece.
Examples of art in EYFS:
- collage using a variety of materials
- experimenting with colour mixing
- finger painting and hand printing
- construction using junk modelling
- creating sculptures using clay, plasticine, salt-dough or play dough
- stamping using a variety of materials
- abstract painting- using marbles and other materials
- chalk drawings on the playground
- cutting and sticking
- leaf and object rubbings
- exploring patterns