How we build champion Artists
At Blackhorse, we aim to build champion artists, who can compare and evaluate a range of contemporary, traditional and modern artists (see the Art Learning Journey below). They develop a range of drawing, painting and sculpting skills, building on these key areas every year.
Our 'learning ingredients' in Art:
Extensive Opportunities: Although Art is taught discretely, where useful, our art teaching draws upon concepts taught in other subjects. This allows children to build their art skills upon existing background knowledge. For example, children draw on their knowledge of the Tudors when learning about still life painting; they draw upon their understanding of the scientific drawings made by Darwin when developing their sketching skills; they visit the art gallery in Bristol Museum to see Georgian watercolours of Bristol docks. They also study both new and established artists from around the world, evaluating the techniques which they used and the inspiration for their work.
Expert Tuition: As most of our teachers are not art specialists, the art curriculum has been sequenced and planned by the Art Subject Leader. The progression document (below) breaks down the development of drawing, painting and sculpture into specific learning steps. Each of these foci is taught across the school in the same term: painting in Term 2, drawing in Term 4 and sculpting in Term 6, allowing our subject leader to support staff.
Purposeful Practice: All art units of work begin with children studying and evaluating the work of an artist. They are then taught discrete skills which they practice and master in isolation, over a number of weeks, before attempting to combine them to create their own original work. They finish each unit be evaluating how successful they have been in using these newly-acquired techniques effectively.
Personal Effort: We believe that every child can become a successful artist by learning key artistic techniques over time. We challenge the view that artistic ability is 'a gift'; instead explaining that it is the result of effort and practice.