Welcome to the wonderfully creative subject of art and design!
Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high-quality art and design education should 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. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation and the wider world.
Leadership and intent of art and design at West Rainton
As the leader of art and design, I am committed to supporting all of our pupils, in their developing creative journey, throughout their primary school years. You can read my full pen profile for my role as art and design lead here:
How art and design supports and promotes our overarching curriculum key drivers:
We want our pupils to be inspired by our provision, and to ignite strong aspirations and high expectations of themselves and their future. Promotion of strong attendance is fundamental in this. Through the use of visits, visitors and enriching experiences, we will build knowledge and understanding of career possibilities as well as a hunger to embrace new and exciting opportunities. We will ensure we plan regular opportunities for children to develop self-belief and to see the benefits of taking risks and overcoming challenge. Our pupils will be supported to light up future pathways to fulfilling lives of employment choices, prosperity and future happiness. In art and design, this is achieved through the engaging and enriching opportunities on offer, the wide range of experiences to work with artists, venues and the community. Children in Key Stage 2 have regular opportunities to participate in Arts Award accreditation at Discover and Explore levels. Art and design units also have links to professional artists and craftspeople in order to broaden children’s knowledge of future study or career pathways.
Skills for learning and life
We want pupils to leave our school with a bank of knowledge and a skillset specific to each individual subject, whilst also making transferable connections across other areas of learning and life. Fundamental to this, is a curriculum rich in core skills of language, vocabulary, communication, literacy and numeracy. Our pupils will be taught to be inquisitive, follow a line of enquiry to reach answers, and to recall and present their learning in a vibrant range of ways. Opportunities to develop resilience, organisation, leadership, teamwork, adaptability, patience and initiative are all interwoven into our subjects and wider school life in order for our children to adjust to new learning situations. In art and design, this is promoted through the range of creative choices children are encouraged to make over time. They are nurtured to make expressive choice of their own through a range of media and techniques taught to them. Skills of perseverance, resilience, patience and adaptability are all fostered within art lessons.
Equally as important to us is the development of the whole child. Feeling safe, happy and valued is a fundamental right of all pupils. Our inclusive-rich ethos provides the backdrop to our personal development and wellbeing provision which is skilfully interwoven into all that we do. All pupils are supported to develop a strong understanding of the importance of good physical and mental health, whilst also learning a whole range of factors and influences that can have a negative impact on us. Making, nurturing and maintaining healthy relationships, both on and offline, equips children with the strength and security to recognise what they want and need in life. We believe a strong understanding of e-safety forms a crucial part of being a healthy, well-rounded 21st century global citizen. Art and design is widely recognised as a great outlet in support of positive mental wellbeing. Lessons actively encourage children to embrace the mindfulness therapy that art can bring. Because of how art is celebrated and encouraged within our school, children feel proud of their work and showcase it widely and often within community exhibits and beyond.
Knowledge of the world
When our pupils leave us at the end of Y6, we want them to feel so proud of themselves as people that they have the personal strength and self-confidence to find their place as positive global citizens. Through our carefully-planned provision, our pupils will experience a diverse and inclusive-rich experience that allows them to bank cultural capital as well as developing a secure understanding of the importance of equality. As well as a secure knowledge of British values, our pupils will have their minds and horizons broadened through diverse social, moral, spiritual and cultural experiences. Pupils will be regularly encouraged to revisit and extend their world-view, fostering tolerance, sensitivity and empathy to interact positively with others. The art and design curriculum map is carefully tailored to introduce a wide range of cultural artists, pieces and techniques over time. Often art pieces are created with a specific brief in mind with a social, moral, spiritual or cultural element.
Long term planning for this subject is carried out each academic year during discussions with individual class teachers, staff development days and through discussion with the lead governor for art. This whole school approach to planning is particularly important during years where there are mixed age classes, to ensure complete coverage of all objectives and to make sure that topics are not duplicated.
Medium term planning for this subject identifies within each unit or work; learning objectives, art and design activities, assessment opportunities, the vocabulary to be taught and used, safety issues, how information and communications technology and resources should be used.
You can see the full subject policy and curriculum mapping for art and design here:
How art and design is taught at West Rainton Primary School
Children at West Rainton Primary pupils are taught art and design for 60 minutes per week – this is alternated, on a half termly basis, with the teaching of design and technology. In addition to being taught as a discrete subject, art and design is also taught as a cross curricular subject, wherever appropriate across all key stages. All pupils have their own sketchbook in which to plan and develop their art and design activities, before completing their final piece of work.
We are incredibly proud to be an ARTSMARK PLATINUM SCHOOL!
Artsmark Award is the only creative quality standard for schools which is accredited by Arts Council England. It supports the development and commitment to our arts and cultural education within our school. This prestigious award also serves as an invaluable tool to support the monitoring and evaluation of art and design throughout the school.
As part of our provision on offer, pupils with special educational needs are planned for very carefully in school. This is an important part of the art curriculum, as we strive to ensure that all of our pupils fully understand what they are being taught. This may involve greater explanations about what they learn, and simplified tasks to ensure that pupils with SEND gain as much as they can from the learning on offer. In fact, quite often our pupils with more diverse needs enjoy the freedom and ownership of the more creative subjects. Our provision across the curriculum was highlighted when we were awarded the inclusive ‘Centre of Excellence’ award in late 2020. It is crucial for us that our pupils with SEND make progress, and move on from where they are in their learning journey. This provision may look very different to our other pupils, through differentiation and modification of the curriculum. Our decisions are made in consultation with the SENDCo, Mrs Firth, who advises and supports members of staff with their provision.
Extra Curricular Opportunities
Each year, children in years 3-6 are given the opportunity to develop their creative and communication skills through Arts Award Discover and Explore levels. This is led by the art and design lead, a qualified Arts Award assessor, and is completed both in school (during lunchtimes) and outside of school. At the end of their Arts Award journey, pupils receive a personalised certificate to mark their individual achievements within the subject.
The impact of art and design at West Rainton
Our broad and balanced art and design curriculum stimulates creativity and promotes the ongoing developing imagination and self-expression of all of our pupils. It provides a variety of sensory experiences and a special way of understanding and responding to the world. It enables children to communicate what they see, feel and think through the use of colour, texture, form, pattern and different materials and processes. They learn to make informed judgements and aesthetic and practical decisions. They explore ideas and meanings through the work of artists and designers. Through learning about the roles and functions of art, they can explore the impact it has had on contemporary life and that of different times and cultures. Our ultimate goal, in the teaching of art and design, is to nurture an appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts in order to enrich our pupils’ lives.
The use of art and design in future careers is limitless! Creativity, imagination and expression are important in every job.
Careers with a specific focus on art and design include:
floral design, graphic design, landscape design, industrial design, interior design, animation, web design, and game design