At Godolphin Junior Academy we believe that art stimulates creativity, imagination and inventiveness. We believe that art gives our pupils the skills, concepts and knowledge necessary for them to express responses to ideas and experiences. It ignites their imagination.
“Art is not just a subject to learn, but an activity that you can practise with your hands, your eyes, your whole personality.” Quentin Blake
Art enables the children to communicate what they see, feel and think. Children should experiment with their ideas, their use of colour, texture, form, pattern and different materials and processes. Self-evaluation of work is encouraged and children are taught how to be resilient to achieve their goals.
The natural environment (Amar’s Garden) is one of our biggest stimuli at Godolphin Junior Academy. The children are often taken outside to draw in the natural light, in the woods and under the trees in our wonderful grounds. We encourage them to ask questions about what they see and be explorers of the world around them.
We use sketchbooks to record experience and imagination, to help the children develop their ideas and to show progression in their artistic ability. We encourage children to work on their own and collaborate with others on projects in two and three dimensions and on small and large scales.
At Godolphin Junior Academy, high-quality Art skills and knowledge are taught in discrete Art lessons but also at any other opportunity where Art would link to our topics and the wider curriculum. This enables children to apply their art skills and talents across other subjects, to make connections across the curriculum and to use Art as a vehicle to fully immerse themselves in themes and topics. We use our special whole school curriculum days to bring in a love of art, and create whole school displays. Children also explore ideas and meanings through the work of artists and designers. We invite specialist artists in to work with the children, to inspire them and challenge their thinking and creativity. We give children the opportunities to visit museums and galleries, developing their skills of observation and evaluation.
The skills and knowledge that children will develop throughout each art topic are mapped across each year group and throughout the school to ensure progression. The emphasis on knowledge ensures that children understand the context of the artwork, as well as the artists that they are learning about and being inspired by. This enables links to other curriculum areas, including humanities, with children developing a considerable knowledge of individual artists as well as individual works and art movements. A similar focus on skills means that children are given opportunities to express their creative imagination, as well as practise and develop mastery in the key processes of art: drawing, painting, printing, textiles and sculpture.
Coordinated whole-school project work will ensure that art is given high status in the curriculum and the school takes part in the annual ‘Arts Week’ which enables further focus on children’s artistic skills and knowledge. The school’s high quality art curriculum is supported through the availability of a wide range of quality resources, which are used to support children’s confidence in the use of different media.
Assessment and Recording
Art learning is recorded in sketchbooks across the school and should typically evidence all four stages (Generating Ideas, Making, Knowledge and Evaluation). We encourage children to treat their sketchbooks like journals and their thoughts and learning are recorded in a format that they would like to use, for example, using thought bubbles. Each child is unique and each sketchbook should be unique, enabling children to develop their independence and creativity.
Teachers assess children’s knowledge, understanding and skills in Art by making observations of the children working during lessons. Feedback is regularly provided to children from adults and their peers. Children are also encouraged to self reflect and to be critical of their own work, highlighting their own next steps. Termly, Art assessment grids are completed by class teachers, showing children’s attainment in the following four areas: Generating ideas, Making, Knowledge and Evaluation. The school’s banding system is used to do this. After the assessment grids have been updated, the class teachers analyses the data and provides feedback to the Art leaders in order to inform and improve future practice.