Florence Melly Community Primary School
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Art and Design at Florence Melly

Should you require any more information, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Doyle, our Art and Design Subject Lead:  julie@fmp.liverpool.sch.uk

Art and Design Curriculum Rationale

At Florence Melly we are artists! We want our children to love art and design. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be illustrators, graphic designers, curators or printmakers! We want them to embody our core values. We all believe that: “if you can DREAM it, you can do it”. The art and design curriculum has been carefully crafted so that our children develop their artistic capital. We want our children to remember their art and design lessons in our school, to cherish these memories and embrace the opportunities they are presented with! We have a more-able art club which takes place weekly and the children have produced some innovative pieces which are displayed proudly around our school. Members of this art club have enjoyed enrichment trips to galleries to help provide inspiration for their own artwork. They also receive weekly specialist art lessons using the facilities at a local secondary school. Bringing art and design alive is important at Florence Melly Community Primary School. 

Curriculum Intent

The art and design curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient – like all curriculum areas. 

We want to equip them with not only the minimum statutory requirements of the art and design National Curriculum but to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. For example, the pupils who attend our art club visited the Walker Art Gallery to see some of the sketches made by Renaissance Master, Leonardo Da Vinci. Liverpool was one of twelve lucky cities to be chosen to hold special exhibitions of some of his best drawings. The exhibitions were held to commemorate 500 years since Da Vinci’s death. Whilst at the gallery, our children did their own sketches, using some of Da Vinci’s techniques, receiving several compliments from staff and other visitors. What an absolute treat and a very unique experience indeed! We are committed to putting art and design on the map here at Florence Melly Community Primary.

We want our children to use the vibrancy of our great city to learn from other cultures, respect diversity, co-operate with one another and appreciate what they have. We achieve this by providing a strong SMSC curriculum, with British Values and our core values placed at the heart of everything we do. This often feeds into the art and design curriculum. For example, earlier this year we organised an extra special visit for some of our Year 3 pupils to the Tate Liverpool. The children explored the displays of the national collection of modern and contemporary art, utilised the learning resources and received an expert gallery talk. The children had the opportunity to experience, first hand, the magnificent work of instrumental artists such as Roy Lichtenstein (one the most important figures of the pop art movement). The trip was organised in line with our whole-school curriculum themes and pupils had been exploring the work of another famous artist, Jackson Pollock on the anniversary of his birth. 

We enrich their time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities which are normally out of reach – this piques their interests and passions. For example, recently a group of pupils visited the Lowry Art Gallery in Salford, Manchester. The children were given the opportunity to peruse some of the fantastic artwork of L.S.Lowry, learn about why ‘he painted matchstick men and matchstick cats and dogs’ and then have a go at creating their own masterpieces. The children spent their lunchtime enjoying the sun and the lovely views around the Salford Quays. After that it was back into the gallery for more sketching. All of the children had a fantastic time and produced some brilliant artwork. We firmly believe that it is not just about what happens in the classroom, it is about the added value we offer to really inspire our children.

Curriculum Implementation

In January 2019, a complete audit of the art and design curriculum was conducted. On the back of the findings from this audit, the art and design curriculum has been carefully built and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each year group crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills. Staff also received specialist INSET training on 25th February 2019 to help support their understanding and develop their skills. The way art and design is taught at our school has been revamped and now follows a specific and consistent structure. Initially, pupils take inspiration from artists throughout history to help generate ideas for their work. They explore and practice the practical skills and techniques involved in the topic and use their sketch books to record their observations and to review and revisit ideas before producing a final piece. This sequence is taken for every art and design topic. The way each discipline is taught in our school has also been adapted so that the disciplines are revisited in each phase, at a progressively deeper level. For example, drawing, painting, sculpture and digital media are taught in Year 1 then repeated in Year 3 and Year 5. Whilst collage, print and textiles are taught in Year 2 and then again in Year 4 and Year 6. 

Art and design subject specific characteristics, which we expect the children to demonstrate, have been developed and shared with all stakeholders. These characteristics underpin all work in art and design and form a focal point for display areas and provide a common subject specific vocabulary for staff and pupils. These characteristics are:

  • The ability to use visual language skilfully and convincingly (for example, line, shape, pattern, colour, texture, form) to express emotions, interpret observations, convey insights and accentuate their individuality.
  • The ability to communicate fluently in visual and tactile form.
  • The ability to draw confidently and adventurously from observation, memory and imagination.
  • The ability to explore and invent marks, develop and deconstruct ideas and communicate perceptively and powerfully through purposeful drawing in 2D, 3D or digital media. An impressive knowledge and understanding of other artists, craft makers and designers.
  • The ability to think and act like creative practitioners by using their knowledge and understanding to inform, inspire and interpret ideas, observations and feelings. Independence, initiative and originality which they can use to develop their creativity.
  • The ability to select and use materials, processes and techniques skilfully and inventively to realise intentions and capitalise on the unexpected. The ability to reflect on, analyse and critically evaluate their own work and that of others.
  • A passion for and a commitment to the subject.

We empower our staff to organise their own year group curriculums under the guidance of our subject leaders. Teachers are best placed to make these judgements. Staff develop year group specific long-term curriculum maps which identify when the different subjects and topics will be taught across the academic year. The vast majority of subjects are taught discretely but staff make meaningful links across subjects. They link prior knowledge to new learning to deepen children’s learning. For example, in Year 2 the children explore Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh as inspiration for their collage topic and also tackle; ‘Earth and Space – is the moon made of cheese?’ In science, Neil Armstrong in history and use the text ‘Whose footprints are on the moon?’ by Simon Bartram in English. Our children are taught the right, connected knowledge.

Our short-term plans are produced on a weekly and daily basis. We use these to set out the learning objectives for each lesson, identifying engaging activities and resources which will be used to achieve them.

We encourage staff to teach a weekly art and design lesson. This was a notable change after the art and design audit. This helps to ensure sufficient time is allocated to art and design and that the subject matter can be revisited frequently. We believe that by crafting our curriculum this way, we improve the potential for our children to retain what they have been taught, to alter their long-term memory and thus improve the rates of progress they make. 

Curriculum Impact

We use both formative and summative assessment information in every art and design lesson. Staff use this information to inform their short-term planning and short-term interventions. This helps us provide the best possible support for all of our pupils, including the more able. The assessment milestones for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down for each year group. This means that skills in art and design are progressive and build year on year. 

Our staff use art and design formative assessment grids to systematically assess what the children know as the topic progresses and inform their future planning. These formative assessment grids then inform summative assessment judgements for each topic.

Assessment information is collected frequently and analysed as part of our monitoring cycle. This process provides an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education in art and design. A comprehensive monitoring cycle is developed at the beginning of each academic year. This identifies when monitoring is undertaken. Monitoring in art and design includes: sketch book scrutinies, lesson observations and/or learning walks, pupil/parent and/or staff voice.

All of this information is gathered and reviewed. It is used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.

At Florence Melly Community Primary School, we are ARTISTS AND DESIGNERS!

Key Documentation

Please use the links below to access more information about how we set out the vibrant Art and Design curriculum on offer to our pupils.

Art & Design Curriculum Map

Characteristics of an Artist

Art & Design Curriculum Milestones

The National Curriculum – Art and Design

To access more information about what the Department for Education set out as the National Curriculum for Art and Design, please click the following link: Art and Design National Curriculum Programmes of Study