At Earlsfield we are fortunate enough to have a dedicated art teacher who works three days a week. This means that the children receive specialist teaching.
As stated in the National Curriculum for Art and Design, our bespoke Earlsfield art curriculum sets out to ‘engage, inspire and challenge’ our pupils. Children are taught the knowledge, skills and techniques that enable them to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.
Our pupil’s Topic learning is enhanced through our thematically linked art curriculum and this allows children to make meaningful connections across curriculum areas. They are exposed to a range of art and design, spanning genres, styles and including culturally and ethnically diverse art and artists.
Progression in skills and techniques is in-built and all children are given opportunities to confidently develop at their own pace as they gain a visual language with which to express their ideas and experiences. In our well-resourced art studio the children experience working like real artists.
Pupils are encouraged to engage with and critique the art of others as well as their own and they are supported in using key art terms and language. We help children gain confidence talking about their opinions on art, in school and in real world settings. Children learn about the role of art and creativity in our city and understand that art plays an important role in our history and the wealth of our nation.
Children visit the Art Studio once a week and are taught by a specialist art teacher. Each child has a sketchbook that moves up through the year groups with them; an excellent way to see each child’s art journey from Year 1 – Year 6.
Each project in art links to the relevant Topic theme for that term and is taught during the same term as that Topic.
Each art scheme of work has one or more key artwork(s) that the children discuss and learn about, as they move further up the school they use mind mapping and annotation to write about art. The key artworks include a range of genres, styles and culturally and ethnically diverse art and artists. The key artworks inspire the children’s practical work too, through the concept, medium or subject matter.
All schemes of work include one or more skill e.g. drawing painting, collage, 3D or printing. Progress in these is built in across all year groups and skills and media are often revisited as the children move up the school.
Children produce work in their sketchbooks where they explore and experiment with skills and techniques, develop and plan their ideas and respond to the artwork of other artists, craftspeople etc. They produce final pieces/outcomes that go on display around school or in classrooms/go home/stay in sketchbooks. The teacher does not ‘mark’ in the sketchbooks, assessment is carried out formatively and there is an emphasis on self and peer assessment methods.
The children are not formally tested on their art skills but we are confident that the quality of outcomes as evidenced in sketchbooks and displays demonstrates how well our pupils achieve in art. Our pupils speak confidently and competently about their own individual learning and a love of art is evident in our Artsmark award, pupil voice, uptake for art competitions and extra-curricular clubs – we have a genuine culture of art appreciation!
If you walked into a lesson at Earlsfield you would see:
- Children using art materials, techniques and skills OR discussing and sharing their opinions about art (theirs or others)
- Children moving around the Art Studio independently and showing ownership over the space through care and respect for their environment
- Children reviewing and refining their work with self and or peer assessment and teacher feedback
- Children using their own ideas, experiences and research to create art
- Children demonstrating their confidence, resilience and security by taking risks, problem solving and being curious
What do our pupil tells us?
How do you know when you have made progress in art (referring to the no marking in sketchbooks approach)?
‘When I feel proud and when friend and teachers compliment my work’
‘I feel confidence and creative’
‘I know because I look back at my old pieces of work and compare them’
How has having an Art Studio and special art lessons changed art for you?
‘It’s making me feel like an actual artist. I always look forward to my lessons’
‘It has inspired me to do more art, even at home’
‘Art makes me feel free and my imagination has grown’
‘The Art Studio is a place of calm’
‘I enjoy the calmness and how there is no right or wrong, no one is judging you’
Our successes in 2018-2019
We are very proud to have achieved the Artsmark Gold award in 2019 and we continue to consolidate the ethos of appreciation and celebration of The Arts across school. This was the second year of Earlsfield’s Art Studio and specialist teaching; routines and expectations are now embedded as well as a culture of creativity and genuine art-making.
Our priorities for 2019-2020
This year there will be a focus on establishing and facilitating activities with the Earlsfield Arts Council, made up of pupils from year five and six. There will also be a focus on ensuring that whole school display areas reflect the quality and quantity of art created in the art studio.