At Wembley Primary we value Art and Design as an important part of children's entitlement to a broad and balance curriculum. We have therefore carefully curated our curriculum to provide our children with the opportunities to develop and extend skills as well as to be inspired, able to express their ideas and develop their interests.
Furthermore, our curriculum, which is inspired by the Chris Quigley units of work, aims to ensure knowledge and skills are committed to long term memory through a wide breath of study, developing their cultural capital and that concepts are explore in depth across a wide variety of topics. In this way, by the end of each key stage, children have long term memory of an ambitious body of procedural and semantic knowledge.
Art and Design at Wembley Primary has curriculum drivers that shape our curriculum are based upon the backgrounds of our pupils, the demographic or our school as well as our beliefs about high-quality education and our values. They are used to ensure we give our pupils appropriate yet ambitious curriculum opportunities.
One way of achieving this is through raising children's cultural capital. Developing cultural capital gives our children vital background knowledge required not only to access the curriculum, take inspiration from artists and the world around them but also to become informed and thoughtful members of our community who understand and believe in British Values.
The curriculum has been designed around the main principles that underpin all learning in art: developing ideas, mastering practical skills and taking inspiration from other artists and the world around them.
As you can see from the diagram below these are interlinked with each other, as a result we have interwoven these across all units of our curriculum. These are known as the Threshold Concepts.
Within in each unit, not only do children at Wembley Primary explore the above principles, but the develop their understanding and skills through the knowledge categories as outlined below. Each unit will have one or more of the knowledge categories, children are familiar with the language used in these and this can be seen in their art books. The knowledge categories as interwoven through the subject topics.
This final diagram demonstrates how the knowledge categories support the principles (threshold concepts) of our curriculum, and shows how children build up knowledge and skills. It is important to note that not every unit with explore every principle or knowledge categories, these are, instead, cumulative and develop across all years and key stages.
The breadth of the curriculum, as informed by our curriculum drivers, aims to be ambitious as well as provide children with the opportunity to study the best of what has been taught and said by many generations of artists, academics and scholars. Furthermore, our curriculum distinguishes between subject topics and threshold concepts.
These relate to particular artists, areas of art and design or particular periods of art. Focussing on the subject knowledge itself.
These are the concepts that tie all of the subject topics together through meaningful schema. Simply meaning that the same concepts are explored through a wide range of topics, thus allowing children to return to the same topic over time and gradually building up a deeper understanding as well as committing concepts to their long term memory.
Within the threshold concepts there are three distinct milestones, each including relevant procedural and semantic knowledge pupils develop and progress in their skills and knowledge of art and design.
The diagram below shows how the threshold units link to the subject topics and progresses across our curriculum.
Within the threshold concepts the children will complete milestones, allowing pupils to gradually progress in their procedural fluency and semantic strength through three cognitive domains: basic, advancing and deep. The goal for pupils is to display sustained mastery at the advancing stage of understanding by the end of each milestone and for the most able to have a greater depth of understanding at the deep stage. The time-scale for sustained mastery or greater depth is, therefore, two years of study. As part of our progression model we use a different pedagogical style in each of the cognitive domains of basic, advancing and deep. This is based on the research of Sweller, Kirschner and Rosenshine who argue for direct instruction in the early stages of learning and discovery-based approaches later.
The best way to support your child in their learning is through exposure. We recommend taking your child to art galleries to view art they are interested in.
You could visit any of the following:
The Tate Modern This gallery shows a range of modern art from artists all around the world. They have different installations across the year. This will particularly support learning in year 3, 4, 5 and 6
The National Gallery Here you can see artists such as Vincent Van Gogh (although there is a whole gallery dedicated to him in Amsterdam) This will support learning in years 3, 4 and 6