Art and Design
At Rode Heath Primary School, we believe that art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity.
At Rode Heath Primary School, our intention is to deliver a high-quality art and design education which engages, inspires and challenges our pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. We aim to provide a curriculum that is well-planned, relevant and values led. Through our art and design curriculum, we strive to bring out the artistic talent and creative imagination which lies within all of our pupils. We aim to nurture skills and teach concepts important for self-expression and well-being, encouraging our pupils to believe in themselves and have the confidence to ‘make their mark’. Our pupils will know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.
Each class completes three art units per year; each unit focuses on particular skills in one or more areas, eg. drawing, painting, collage, 3D, printing, textiles or digital media. Progress in these areas is built in across the year groups, and skills and media are revisited as the pupils move up the school. Some art units are linked to other curriculum subjects, or to that term’s ‘Topic’, while others are taught as discreet units. Several units across the key stages also link directly to real-life creative industries to help the children make the connection between art as a subject and art as a career. Each unit of work has one or more artwork(s) that the children discuss and learn about. These key artworks come from different eras and include a range of genres, styles, and culturally and ethnically diverse art and artists. The key artworks inspire the pupil’s own practical work through the concept, medium or subject matter. Pupils are also given opportunities to develop their own ideas and experiences in their work. - to ‘Think like an Artist’.
Each pupil 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 to Year 6. They use their sketchbooks to explore and experiment with skills and techniques, and in KS2, to develop and plan their ideas and respond to the artwork of other artists, designers, craftspeople etc. Pupils then produce final pieces/outcomes which can go on display in classrooms, around the school, in Rainbow Books, in the sketchbooks or go home. Teachers do not mark in the sketchbooks, assessment is carried out formatively and there is an emphasis on self and peer assessment methods.
KS1 and KS2 pupils also have their own doodle books which are used during spare minutes in a day or at playtimes. In these, pupils are free to draw what they choose - to ‘make their mark’, developing confidence in self-expression and nurturing well-being.
In addition, we hold an 'Art Attack' week every year where we coordinate activities across the entire primary range so all children produce either an individual, or collaborative piece of high quality work. During these weeks we often invite artists into school to work with all pupils on particular mediums. This year we studied the artist Yayoi Kusama, the results of which can be viewed in our new entrance hall where work from the whole school is displayed.
What better way to assess the impact of our Art and Design Curriculum at Rode Heath than through listening to what our pupils have to say about it.
Year 1: Can we do art everyday? It makes me feel happy. I love painting and mixing colours. I love art.
Year 2: I love art because I can do things from my imagination, I get to paint and learn about artists. Art makes me feel happy and free, like I’m in my own world. My teacher helps me by explaining it and she helps us to organise ourselves.
Year 3: Art isn’t just about something you draw, it’s about imagination. I feel comfortable and creative in art lessons. I’m proud when other people like my art. Art is different to other lessons; the things we do are different every time. We get to learn about artists. Sometimes it’s 2D then it can be 3D! I like looking back in my book to see how much better I’m getting.
Year 4: When I look back in my sketchbook it is much better than what I did before. I feel calm and composed in art. My teacher helps me to learn new skills. We have art lessons to open up new doors. I am proud when other children comment on my work.
Year 5: I feel calm and at peace and lovely in art lessons. I feel really excited when we do art as its my favourite subject. Art reminds us we have creativity. Art lessons are different to other lessons because they promote non-verbal creativity. My teacher is a great instructor. I like looking at different pieces of art. I am proud when I had fun and I didn’t worry.
Year 6: I am happy in art because I can express myself. I am proud when I try and don’t always succeed but I try again and I do succeed! I like art because it’s important to express your feelings and you’re free to be yourself. My teacher makes me feel better about my art when I’m not confident. Art lessons are excellent because we get to learn how to do art in different ways. I feel great in art because it feels like a small break where I get to be creative and be in my own head.