The Visual Arts Curriculum at St Thomas'
At St Thomas’, we deliver an ambitious art curriculum that aims to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.
High expectations are set for our children and this is demonstrated through the artwork they produce. Our teachers provide the children with opportunities to demonstrate their skills and creativity and support this with high quality modelling. Our planning sequences provide teachers with the necessary subject knowledge for each lesson including key vocabulary to be able to provide children with the skills and knowledge to make excellent progress.
Experiences and Life Skills
Visual Arts enrich children’s learning and enables them to communicate their thoughts, ideas and observations in a practical and expressive way. In talking about art and evaluating their own and others’ work, children are encouraged to develop their visual language, ideas and feelings. Through experience of a variety of materials, tools and techniques, children have the opportunity to creatively record the world around them.
Children will learn about influential artists, craftspeople, designers and architects and are taught how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the cultural richness and diversity. Our curriculum is carefully planned and sequenced to ensure that children learn about artists and art styles from a range of backgrounds. Children will think about different art styles and how it is inclusive. Our inclusive curriculum allows all children to flourish during art lessons.
At St Thomas’, our Christian Values are shown in our Art lessons as children are encouraged to use Art as a platform to show thankfulness and think about the awe and wonder of the world around them. Children show respect to one another and influential artists/architects that we study. We show friendship and compassion when supporting others within our lessons and offering feedback about artwork. The children have a responsibility to take care of the resources that they use within lessons and share with others when required.
Reading and Vocabulary
Reading and vocabulary are key elements of our Visual Arts lessons. Every lesson has an element of reading where children will be exposed to high-quality texts. Star words will also be incorporated and used alongside actions, where appropriate, to support the children in retaining the new vocabulary. This is referred to throughout the lesson and in subsequent lessons to check understanding.
Knowledge Rich and Academic
As pupils progress throughout St. Thomas’, they will develop an in-depth understanding of the visual elements of art: colour, line, texture, shape, pattern, form and space, so they can apply these effectively through their own creative ideas (this is given greater important and therefore prioritised throughout the younger year groups). Basic skills are introduced and then built upon, including drawing, printmaking, sketchbooks, painting and making. Skills are revisited and the use of ongoing sketchbook work underpins this process. Drawing is a fundamental aspect of art and design and is included within every unit of study.
Art is planned and sequenced thoughtfully to consider the skills and knowledge to build on prior learning. Units are planned with a focus on the following three areas: artists/art styles (these are used to model concepts and inspire children’s ideas), concepts (the key knowledge and ideas children will learn e.g. primary and secondary colours) and skills (these are the artistic techniques children will apply e.g. colour mixing).