Subject Vision Statement – Art and Design

The Vision

At the British Section all children have a right to an excellent and rigorous art education. ​

​We adopt very high expectations of what pupils (of all ages) can achieve in the visual arts.

We encourage experimentation and innovation – we do not allow preconceptions of what certain art forms might be to stifle creativity.

We should focus on the creative process and not (necessarily) on the outcomes. We should work to create confident, independent artists who can articulate and value their own creative narrative.

Content and Structural Rationale

The teaching of art & design at Key Stage 1 and 2 is as a distinct subject.​

Art is taught in a skills-based manner because this nurtures clearer progression and supports more rigorous teaching and learning

There is a clear and unequivocal focus on balance, experiences, exploration, and collaboration within the art and design curriculum.

Balance: traditional skills should be balanced with experimental work; small scale work should be balanced with large scale work; quiet reflective study should be balanced with active, dynamic work; individual work should be balanced with group work; two-dimensional work should be balanced with three-dimensional work; and the study of historical “great” artists should be balanced with contemporary artists.

Experiences: how it feels to take creative risks as opposed to playing it safe; that chaos and mess can be productive; and a curriculum which gives an explicit and supported voice to creative role models from across history, cultures, race and genders (including visits from artists/visits to galleries/artists studios).

Exploration: to support an ongoing exploration of materials that will provide an accessible and effective starting point for all children; to nurture exploration of these materials to inspire children to grow in confidence and understanding and to promote self-directed learning; and to develop the understanding that manipulating materials helps children (and adults) to explore processes, and that these in turn can be applied to concepts.

Collaboration: pupils or teachers sharing areas of expertise with other classes to build knowledge and confidence within the school; whole school activities, such as charcoal exploration; and teachers should not be afraid to be seen to be learning alongside the children – in fact this can be a very positive role model for children.

Pedagogical Intent: the importance of sketch books

Sketchbooks should be owned by the pupils, and should placed at the centre of pupils’ creativity. As such sketchbooks should develop personalities (a class of 30 sketchbooks should not look alike).

Sketchbooks should be used to gather, collect, experiment and reflect. Sketchbooks should be a place of discovery.

Teachers should not be afraid if sketchbooks seem chaotic – adult sketchbooks are often chaotic. Sketchbooks are a place to put unresolved ideas into the world, which can be assimilated later. Sketchbooks are rarely linear.

Sketchbook content should be treated with respect. Teachers should not mark directly in the book. Teachers should use one to one or small group discussion to help articulate sketchbook content.​

Sketchbooks should equate to momentum. Pupils should be discouraged from working in a single sketchbook which lasts a year or even longer. Instead sketchbooks should be filled with momentum and enthusiasm.

Below you can find the Curriculum Overview for this topic.

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British Section, SHAPE International School, SHAPE, BFPO 26

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