During the children’s time at Oaklands we would like them to experience art through four main pathways: Knowledge and understanding of a variety of artists and art movements; exploration of different techniques and mediums; methodology for proficiency in different mediums; and analysis and evaluation.
By the end of year 6, our pupils should have had a vast experience and gained a knowledge of a large range of art and artists. We want their experience of art in our school to reflect males and females in this field as well as represent as many different cultural backgrounds as possible including British artists.
The children should be able to comment on the techniques used and their interpretation of the works. They should be able to recreate art in the style of the artists/ movements studied and be able to synthesise the techniques themselves in their own work. The children’s sketchbooks will show their journey and how they have explored different techniques and mediums. Giving them all opportunities to ‘think, commit, justify and reflect’ on their work as part of their creative process.
Our intent is that all children that come through Oaklands Junior School will have the opportunities to explore their artistic ability and that of others and have enthusiasm for the subject so that they feel that they can achieve well in it. Throughout their time at Oaklands, children should improve their skills with a range of art techniques include drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials.
Due to the pandemic the children’s experience of art varied significantly. Their access to resources and different mediums depended on their individual circumstances and the confidence of the adults supporting them with this subject. An increased engagement in ‘Learn to draw’ YouTube channels were however embraced in and out of school during lockdown as a means to practice drawing skills and motivate the children. Many children have brought these drawing skills (cartoon style) into school and it is much more apparent in their work upon their return.
At Oaklands we focus on the knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum. Art is delivered mainly through subject specific teaching by both class teachers and teaching assistants. The range of artists and mediums covered is shown in termly plans (Appendix 1). Many Art topics are chosen due to their cross curricular links, for example: Year 3 study cave paintings during their Stone Age topic, Year 4 create mosaics based on the Romans, Year 5 recreate Rousseau’s Tiger in a Tropical Storm as part of their rainforest topic and Year 6 study Chinese brush art as part of their work on the Shang Dynasty.
Children’s individuality, interests and abilities are supported in lessons and children are challenged to achieve their full potential.
Sketch books are used to track progress through the school. These allow children to explore different mediums, plan their work and evaluate. This reflects our ‘think, commit, justify, reflect’ ethos.
All artwork is celebrated and displayed around the school both in classrooms and in wider areas. This encourages children to take pride in their work and aids their enthusiasm for the subject. Art enables children who are gifted in this area to thrive and build their confidence in a school environment.
Annually, children at Oaklands take part in a Christmas themed ‘Decoration Day’, where children create decorations for their classrooms. The full day is dedicated to creating artwork in a range of mediums with every year group creating different pieces. From pupil voice we know that children look forward to this day where Art takes centre stage in a joy filled environment. Parents are invited into school for this, and it is always an event which has high parental participation.
During the pandemic, a ‘brush party’ was completed virtually where children followed a live YouTube video to create a piece of artwork. The children in school were provided with a canvas and acrylic paint in order to create their piece. This had a real buzz across the school and enabled those at home to have the same experience. The step-by-step nature of this task enabled artists of all skill levels to achieve and create a piece to be proud of.
By the end of Year 6, Oaklands Junior School children:
- Use a range of mediums to create a variety of artwork
- Have developed their proficiency with a range of mediums as evidenced in their sketchbooks
- Create / recreate artwork in a particular style
- Identify a range of artists including both genders and cultures
- Show imagination and individuality in their work
- Analyse and evaluate their creative work and the work of artists
- Interpret and explain differences and similarities between art styles
Children with SEN are supported through the use of differentiated tasks and adult support when needed.
Art is assessed formatively throughout the year. As part of this, children complete a trainer sketch to assess their observational drawing skills (appendix 2). However, due to the varied approaches covered throughout the Art curriculum at Oaklands, teacher judgement also plays a role in the assessment.
The art subject leader monitors the implementation of the subject through learning and environment walks, book looks and informal discussions with staff.
Children at Oaklands show a keen attitude toward artistic ventures such as a competition to create recycled Christmas tree decorations for a local garden centre had interest from 60 children across the school.
Children take part in local art competitions including designing the front cover for the Crowthorne Carnival programme and Late Night Shopping posters, both of which were won by members of Oaklands.
As a result of feedback from pupil voice, we are planning an Art Day which will take place in the Summer term and incorporate a range of cultures.
OFSTED visit 2022
In April 2022, OFSTED undertook an inspection and confirmed that Oaklands Junior School continues to be a good school. Some quotes from the report about curriculum include:
- Leaders are refining their ambitious curriculum for pupils. The ‘Thinking Curriculum’ focuses on developing thinking skills to enable pupils to learn something in one subject and then apply that knowledge in another.
- Learning is well planned. Themes such as Egyptians in Year 3 bring together learning in physical education, art and design and technology. This helps pupils make links, and enriches their learning experience.
- The curriculum promotes topics that capture the imagination of pupils and inspire creativity. Teachers plan topics carefully so that pupils can link different areas of learning.
Develop assessment to be inclusive of all forms of artwork to be allocated staff meeting time.
Introduce the use of more diverse artists, designers and architects.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, children may have been limited with the resources they could use. Now children are back in school we want to ensure they are exposed to a range of mediums such as Modroc, which they would not previously have had access to.