The art curriculum at Swallownest Primary develops creativity, engages pupils and equips them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art. The curriculum is designed with creativity in mind, and enables pupils to build on skills acquired as they progress through each year from FS1 to Year 6. Pupils are encouraged to explore and investigate, create and evaluate artwork as set out in the National Curriculum (2013) whilst studying a wide range of artists, architects and designers from throughout history.
In each year group, the children will be taught three different art disciplines from drawing, painting, collage, textiles, printing and sculpture. Throughout their school career, each child will be taught twelve projects in drawing or painting, and three projects in each of collage, textiles, printing and sculpture. In years two, three and five (KS1, LKS2 and UKS2) the children will also access a ‘local artist study’. This will be an opportunity for them to use and apply the knowledge they have acquired so far, as well as to learn more about Sheffield based art and enhance their cultural capital opportunities.
As our children progress through school, they have the opportunity to build on their substantive and disciplinary knowledge proficiency in each of the key areas. Basic skills are introduced, then built upon and finally revisited with the use of ongoing sketchbook work underpinning this process. We believe in fostering an open-ended exploration of creativity with units of work not following prescriptive outcomes, instead we believe the role of the teacher is to introduce key skills, materials, artists and ideas to the pupils in such a way that each pupil can then explore his or her own creativity. By creating a safe and nurturing environment, pupils are encouraged to take creative risks and to learn from the journey, explaining their choices rather than heading towards a pre-defined end result.
Our curriculum develops the concepts of colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space. The pupils use a variety of different mediums in which to explore these concepts, adding new experiences and skills as they move through school. The provision is enhanced by the inclusion of art-related trips and visitors.
Regular, lesson-by-lesson assessment and feedback is undertaken by teachers in all year groups. Discussions with children around their end-of-unit final pieces will also help teachers assess what children in their class have learned and remembered. In each year group, children have access to ‘memory jogger’ sheets that contain the key knowledge for each of the three-four units they will complete throughout the year. These are stuck into their individual sketchbooks and will follow them through as they move into the next year group, so they can refer back to them at any point. The art curriculum at Swallownest has been carefully planned to ensure there are regular opportunities for the children to build upon prior substantive and disciplinary knowledge. In turn, this allows teachers to assess the children’s knowledge retention.