The intent of our Meadowside Art Curriculum is to give our children:
· The opportunities to be creative and expressive.
· The knowledge of a diverse range of artists and their work.
· The skills to replicate a broad range of techniques used by other artists.
· The confidence to explore art independently and beyond Meadowside.
For each subject, we use an aspirational Golden Thread statement that is important to our school vision and values at Meadowside. We have considered how each subject can help the children in their journey to secondary school and beyond.
Our Meadowside Golden Thread for Art is:
To be able to create art works which are inspired by a diverse range of artists.
At Meadowside Primary School, we teach art through our topics. Each year group uses different topics to tie together our curriculum subjects in a meaningful way. Art skills- based on the requirements of the National Curriculum- are taught sequentially, progressively getting more difficult as children move through the year groups. Art lessons are planned carefully to ensure that each year group explores new artists while building on the knowledge and skills learned in previous year groups. Pupils use the work of a variety of artists as a stimulus for learning and study. Skills are practiced and refined in sketch books before being used to create independent final products. Sketch books are also used for children to experiment and explore their own techniques. Teachers model new skills but give children the opportunity to try things for themselves without intervention- children understand that it is okay to make mistakes and that new skills require practice. We encourage children to take risks and be bold in their art lessons, recognising that art is subjective and open to interpretation. We empower them so that every child from EYFS to Year 6 recognises themselves as an artist. Children are given the opportunities and skills to be able to reflect on their own work and the work of others and are encouraged to verbalise their thoughts and feelings using the age-appropriate vocabulary that is embedded into all of our art lessons. At Meadowside we embrace every additional chance to use art outside of our formal lessons. From Christmas cards and calendars to art weeks, artist visits and community competitions, we welcome all of the extra opportunities to incorporate art into our school life.
The children are assessed throughout the year by their class teacher, based on the work being produced in class. It is the knowledge and skills that are being assessed rather than the finished pieces of artwork. Three times a year, the art subject leader will hold a pupil voice session to moderate the assessment judgements made by the class teacher. This gives our subject leader the chance to see strengths and areas for development in the teaching and learning of art at Meadowside.
How can I support my child with art?
The beauty of art is that it can be created and enjoyed by anyone, almost anywhere. Give your child the opportunities and encouragement that will allow them to be artists wherever they go. Seek opportunities for discussion when you see your child’s artwork- ask them about the techniques they are using and what their picture or sculpture means to them.
Here are just a few ideas to help bring out your child’s inner artist:
· Let the experts help. There are hundreds of tutorials on YouTube- from How to Draw a Killer Whale to Creating shadow with pencil. These can be fantastic for teaching specific skills or just helping your child get started with a drawing idea they have.
· Get the family involved. Sit down together and either all have a go at drawing the same thing and make it into a competition, or perhaps everyone could draw/ paint/ collage another family member to put together to create a family portrait.
· Visit an art gallery or museum. Nature in Art is a fantastic local museum and gallery- you can often see professional artists at work there too!
· Give art a purpose. Ask your child to create an art piece to be hung on a blank wall in your house or to decorate a ‘boring’ folder or notebook. You could even work together to create birthday or Christmas cards for friends and family.
· Find art in the natural world. Get out into the natural world and talk to your child about the patterns and the beauty that you see. Give them opportunities to photograph or sketch the art they see on a woodland walk for example (perhaps a particularly unusual tree or some beautiful flowers) or create art by arranging pinecones or leaves.
· Become an illustrator. Challenge your child to create an illustration or set of illustrations for a favourite book. Can they bring to life a character or setting from a description?
· Take a break from technology. Many children love to create art in school but don’t necessarily take much interest in it at home. This is partly due to the distractions of tablets, televisions, and phones. It is much easier to sit back and watch a screen and so children don’t always seek opportunities to get creative. By giving children screen-free time and providing them with basic materials they can use their time in a more creative and artistic way.
· Look out for local competitions and events. Quite often your local library, church or supermarket will run art competitions or events linked to the local area or national events.
· Mix up the media. Along with drawing and painting there are lots of other easy ways to create art at home. Save leaflets, magazines and newspapers to use for collage and use playdough or the contents of your recycling bin to create sculpture.
· Look at art together. Whether this is in a museum, an image from the internet or an illustration from a book- talk to your child about what you like or don’t like and discuss how you think that particular piece was created.
· Make links to topics. Your child could create a piece of art or sculpture linked to their current topic and bring it in to share with their class and teachers.