Art, Music and Design Technology
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso
Our intent is to build an art curriculum which develops children as artists and results in the progressive acquisition of knowledge and skills. Through a process of investigating, creating and reflecting, we intend to develop children’s ability to articulate the skills they have acquired, the choices they have made and the meaning in their creations and those of significant artists. Children learn the skills of drawing, painting, printing, collage, textiles, 3D work and digital art and are given the opportunity to explore and evaluate different creative ideas.
Our school utilises the National Curriculum in England 2014 Framework for Art & Design as the starting point for planning. Throughout their time at Kippax Ash Tree, a clear progression of skills ensures that children grow as artists as they refine their skills and build upon experiences gained. Skills taught are linked meaningfully to half-termly topics and allow children to express what they have learned creatively. A cross- curricular approach is used to teach art across both key stages. For example, art can be explored through Maths or topic work. As well as this, children learn about a range of artists from many historical times and from all over the world and are encouraged to discuss the work and express their opinions.
We aim for all children to succeed as artists. Class teachers use formative assessment in-lesson to determine children’s strengths, weaknesses and next steps to plan for future lessons. Children are taught to articulate the skills they have used and to praise elements of their own work and that of others. Children document their art learning through use of individual sketch books, class project books and by sharing it with their families on Class Dojo.
The Nation Curriculum for music states that, “A high- quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.”
Teaching music is an ideal way to enhance our ‘Voices and Choices’ curriculum because children who learn to listen with, “Discrimination and a critical ear,” are more able to make their own appropriate choices and children whose confidence, creativity and sense of achievement have been enhanced are more able to use their own voices appropriately.
At Kippax Ash Tree, teachers plan using the National Curriculum and a skills continuum to ensure there is coherent progression throughout each year and across year groups. Music is taught both discreetly and as part of cross-curricular topics where it is taught alongside and to enhance the children’s understanding of other subjects. Children are taught to use their voices, to play tuned and untuned instruments, they are taught to listen to detail and recall sound with increasing accuracy, they develop an understanding of musical history and to listen critically to and appreciate a wide range of music from different traditions and composers. All these skills are essential to children who, in line with our ‘Voices & Choices’ curriculum, are learning to make their own justifiable choices and confidently use their own, individual voices.
At Ash Tree we teach music to promote a lifelong enjoyment of listening to and creating music in its many and varied guises. We hope that every child leaves Ash Tree with a confidence and sense that they can and a will to continue participating in music long after they leave us. The dedication and perseverance it takes to work towards a performance and the guts it takes to perform are all transferable skills that will provide a great foundation for our children’s futures. Working towards a goal, such as a performance also reinforces our Ash Tree values of Accountability, Successful, Honesty, Tolerance, Rights Respecting, Equality and Empathy.
Children’s learning will be documented through big class books and videos to record their development towards a final performance. This will also allow the children to analyse and assess their own work as they work towards a final performance as well as allowing others, including parents, to view their final performances. The children’s acquisition of skills is tracked using the National Curriculum on Otrack. This allows the teachers to succinctly view where the children have got to and what skills they need to develop next.
Design and Technology is a practical subject that can inspire the minds of many. At Ash Tree, children are encouraged to individually exhibit their creativity and imagination through the process of designing and making products that solve real and relevant problems in a variety of contexts, taking into consideration their own and others’ needs, wants and values. As a school, whenever possible, we aim to make our work cross-curricular, creating links to maths, science, computing, art and many more.
Understanding, knowledge and skills are all taught through a range of creative and practical activities that are carefully chosen in order to engage our amazing Ash Tree students in the interactive process of designing and making.
Working in a range of relevant contexts (such as home, school, leisure etc.), when designing and making, children are taught to design, make (work with tools) and evaluate.
• Drawing detailed diagrams
• Getting to grips with subject specific vocabulary
• Plan, do, review – test and change e.g. ingredients within food, materials used to create something etc.
• Talking, drawing, mock ups, ICT, prototypes etc.
• Explore and use mechanical structures
• Select appropriate tools knowing the correct name for them and their purpose
• Learn and understand different methods. For example in textiles – sew, knit, stitch etc.
• Make modifications as you go using your judgement as a guide.
• Build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger
• Evaluate their own ideas against design criteria
• Understand how key events and individuals in technology have shaped the world.
• Analyse a range of already existing products to compare them with our own creations.
Food plays an important role within the Design and Technology curriculum. Children are taught to identify where food comes from, how seasons affect produce availability and are encouraged to grow their own fruit and vegetables. We look forward to being able to take advantage of our amazing school garden, where we will plant and produce our own goods.
Children learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens, developed upon who they naturally are. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation and more specifically, our Ash Tree children.