"Every child is an artist. The problem is to remain an artist once they grow up." Pablo Picasso
At Alsager Highfields Primary School we provide a nurturing environment where every child can believe in themselves and achieve. Art is a subject where children are encouraged to experiment and express themselves as they want; there is no right or wrong, therefore we believe every child can achieve in this area.
Our commitment to delivering a high-quality art curriculum that fulfils the requirements set out in the National Curriculum, has led us to follow Access Art. This scheme of work was devised by art specialists and ensures that the curriculum we provide at Highfields is broad, balanced and sequential. Over their time at Highfields, we strive to equip every pupil with the skills, knowledge and confidence to experiment, invent and create their own works of art. We believe every child has a creative flair within and we nurture the skills needed for every child to gain self-belief so that all have confidence in the subject. As well as covering skills and techniques, pupils will learn about artists old and new and will have the opportunity to reflect on how art and design contribute to the culture and wealth of our nation. Our ultimate intention is for every child to leave us as an artist and to remain an artist as an adult.
Each class completes three art units per year; each unit focuses on particular skills in one or more area, eg. drawing, painting, collage, 3D sculpture, simple printmaking, textiles or digital media. Each year the vocabulary builds on the previous years' language and we expect children to be able to use the language accurately and effectively to communicate their ideas, intentions, reflections and outcomes. Where art units of work link to other areas of the curriculum, links are made so that we have a 'holistic approach'. This helps children to build on their cumulative sufficiency. Each unit of work has links to relevant artists from a range of eras , cultures and ethnicities.
Pupils work in sketchbooks from year one onwards and the use of sketchbooks for recording and experimenting with ideas, is a whole-school focus. Work in sketchbooks is unique and individual and sketchbooks allow pupils to collect ideas, plan their own work as well as respond to the work of others. Sometimes final pieces of art will be produced at the end of a unit of work and these can be used for display or sent home. Teachers are encouraged to use Seesaw to photograph art work that goes home so that there is a record of work. There is no expectation that sketchbooks are marked, though teachers can write a positive comment about work completed should they wish to do so. Assessment is carried out formatively and there is an emphasis on self and peer assessment methods.
Alsager Highfields is committed to inviting visiting artists in to work with pupils and staff during 'Art Attack' week, which takes place in the summer term. Visits to art galleries are planned for where possible in order to develop cultural capital.
By the time pupils leave Alsager Highfields, we expect the vast majority to have learned, refined and embedded a range of artistic skills. They should have an awareness of a broad range of artists and craftspeople, and be able to consider and discuss the artworks they come across. We would like our pupils to be confident to explore, experiment and take risks, placing value on the process and journey they take, not just on the finished product. Most importantly, we want our pupils to have found and enjoyed a creative outlet that gives them a means of self-expression and enjoyment as well as helping mental wellbeing.