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Art is never finished,
only abandoned.

Leonardo Da Vinci

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.

Edgar Degas

Curriculum Rationale: Art

Powerful knowledge in Art – Why do we teach these concepts?

Art embodies some of the highest forms of human creativity. Art must engage, inspire and challenge students, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of Art. Students should know about how Art both reflects and shapes our history, and contributes to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.

  • Understanding the unique qualities of different materials, techniques and processes and being able to experiment freely and confidently.
  • To engage with artworks conceptually – in doing so, seeing beyond the initial surface and learning to analyse and interpret the ideas behind artworks.
  • Develop a visual language that builds on the formal elements, primary and secondary research to explore different ideas.
  • Make connections between Art Movements and historical/cultural events.
  • To appreciate a rich variety of styles and understand how Art has evolved over time from cave paintings to present day.
  • Explore great artists and artworks and develop skills in analysing and expressing opinions using artistic terminology and vocabulary.
  • Understanding the mindset of an artist – to pay attention to details, show great determination, resilience and problem solving.
  • Investigate creative choices to make artworks personal by responding to the work of others.

Art stimulates both sides of the brain and allows students to express themselves more clearly. If students have practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them now and in their future career. Art develops student’s fine motor skills from holding a paintbrush to sculpting with their fingertips. Confidence plays an integral role in Art, it allows students to work outside of their comfort zone and to see their own ability flourish, this allows their self-confidence to grow. Art lessons strengthen decision making, problem solving and critical thinking skills; these are essential skills to carry into adulthood.

Curriculum Features - How do we embed the learning?

Our curriculum uses a spiral structure where students are regularly re-visiting materials, techniques and processes to improve their skills and understanding further. We develop confidence in oracy while forming opinions about the work of others. Students offer artistic praise and areas to develop in each other’s work on a regular basis. The Art curriculum is critical and contextual at the core; artists and designers are used to underpin practical tasks to support, develop and allow students to question. We develop the use of visual language by seeing, questioning, understanding and practicing.

Seeing comes first; teaching students to look carefully and to explain what they are seeing is the first step with any new project or artist. Students are then encouraged to ask questions and to express their opinion with reasons to deepen their answers, this combined with expert teacher input allows students to fully access and understand the artworks, materials and concepts behind the Art. To practice effectively students are coached through drawing techniques including pencil, charcoal, chalk, pen and continuous line. Drawing from observation and the work of other artists is valued and influences the student’s ability to experiment with a variety of different materials including watercolours, acrylics, oil pastels, collage, mono printing, poly printing and sculpture. Regular questioning and Low Stakes testing is used to revisit knowledge to embed methods and techniques with each material used.

Curriculum Enrichment – How do we link with other subjects and offer experiences?

Art links with elements of History, English, MFL, Geography, Technology, Maths, Beliefs and Values. Students at KLA will experience Art from other Times and Cultures, these elements define many of our projects. We highlight the origins of artists and choose a mixture of artists from all over the world.

Educational visits to Art Galleries and Museums are extremely valuable to experience artworks first hand. All students studying GCSE Art and Design; Fine Art are offered the chance to experience a visit of this nature, to be inspired and bring new ideas back into the classroom to inform their creative ideas and develop their work further.

Art subjects encourage self-expression and creativity and can build confidence as well as a sense of individual identity. Studying arts subjects also help to develop critical thinking and the ability to interpret the world around us. 

A selection of possible careers for artists and people who love drawing could be: 

  • Animator.
  • Art teacher. 
  • Cake decorator. 
  • Fashion designer. 
  • Graphic designer. 
  • Illustrator and technical illustrator. 
  • Industrial designer. 
  • Makeup artist.