Art Curriculum Rationale
“Art to the child is more than a matter of painting pictures or making objects. It is a means by which he/she expresses his/her individuality and communicates his/her ideas about him/herself about his/her world.” Jane Cooper Bland
At West Malling CE Primary School, we believe that all children’s education begins in Early Years (including SEND and vulnerable children).
‘Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances.' EYFS Statutory Framework, 2021
Our art curriculum develops the sequential steps of essential knowledge acquired from EYFS to Year 6. Our intent is that all children know more, remember more and do more, thus ensure that all children meet the expected standard in art and have the knowledge required for secondary school. Our art and design curriculum is broad and balanced, providing a wealth of opportunity to embrace artists, designers and their work from both our locality and a wider range of cultures and religions. Fundamental British Values and global themes are an integral part of this and are threaded through whenever relevant. We strongly believe that our art and design curriculum will facilitate the development of our children’s cultural capital in order for them to become good UK and global citizens. Art and design should promote diversity and be used to express the children’s personal and cultural identity
The substantive content for the West Malling art curriculum is:
- ambitiously broad in scope (meeting, and often exceeding, the demands of the National Curriculum; for example, ensuring children have knowledge of the 7 elements and principles of art, together with an overview of known artists/designers and craftspeople, their style and period of art);
- meticulous in rigour (responsive to up-to-date scholarship and findings; for example, the extensive work surrounding art movements, cultural and political influences throughout art history are presented with due regard for what scholars can be certain about and what remains informed conjecture and imaginative reconstruction from the artworks that the past leaves behind);
- highly coherent (intricate links have been built within and across subjects so that nothing sits in isolation, but rather is supported and enriched both horizontally and vertically; for example, pupils will be able to relate artworks to each other within different cultures and periods of history, understanding common features of artworks that reflect and shape themes and ideas);
- carefully sequenced (so that pupils’ ability will have been served by the repeated and explicit focus on key knowledge).
Knowledge is highly ‘sticky’. The cumulative effect of being secure in the rich and diverse voice within artworks is that pupils’ curiosity is on fire. Their hunger for yet more knowledge, as relationships, connections and relationships multiply, soon grows very naturally.
Every time pupils are reminded how artists and designers tell a vibrant story, challenge our view of the world or champion the voices of the disadvantaged, oppressed or marginalised, both teachers and pupils are inspired and spurred to new curiosity for unearthing hidden voices.
The disciplinary aspect of the subject directly fosters the critical and creative aspects of learning, and these are strengthened by the distinctive demands of the subject.
Disciplinary knowledge in art is the interpretation of the elements: how they can be used and combined in order to create a specific and desired effect. It is also the critical evaluation of artists’ work; evaluating style and technique and having the ability to appraise a piece of work.