Put more art and design into your primary curriculum

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Pablo Picasso

Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is broad and balanced. A full curriculum includes the statutory teaching of the subject ‘Art and design' although you'd be forgiven for thinking this is not true, as often the subject is squeezed to a pulp by a timetable bursting at the seems with other foundation subjects and initiatives.

Art and Design in the national curriculum

A high-quality art and design curriculum should engage, inspire and challenge children, equip them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent, imagine and create works of art, craft and design.

The Art and design national curriculum documentation also states that children should be able to, ‘think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.'

With only four objectives for KS1 and three for KS2, curriculum leaders of art and design may feel that this does little to help fight their corner when arguing the importance of curriculum time for their subject. Nevertheless, with the creative sector remaining one of the UK's leading industries, not to mention the importance of children's self-expression as a means to a healthy and happy mind, art and design remain an essential part of the primary curriculum.

Art and Design in the Cornerstones curriculum

At Cornerstones we believe that the teaching of art and design should build on a backbone of skills and offer countless opportunities for quality cross-curricular art. That's why the Cornerstones curriculum provides both an Essential skills scheme and a vast array of artistic contexts for children to develop their on-going and natural creativity.

Year 1
Children make dinosaur fossils using clay, decorate memory boxes using decoupage, make 3D models of the solar system, make prints and collages of animal skins, make carnival masks and headdresses and much, much more.
See our Year 1 Art and Design projects

Year 2
Children create sand art and castle sculptures, make food themed landscapes, use marbling inks to create multi-coloured water prints, make 3D flower forms, create giant artworks using soft sponge balls dipped in paint and much, much more.
See our Year 2 Art and Design projects

Year 3
Children explore contemporary photography and graffiti art, make clay beakers and iron-aged jewellery, sculpt busts of heroes and heroines, use watercolours to paint landscapes and much, much more.
See our Year 3 Art and Design projects

Year 4
Children weave Native American dream catchers and journey sticks, make music inspired art and Roman mosaics, embroider in the style of The Bayeux Tapestry and much, much more.
See our Year 4 Art and Design projects

Year 5
Children explore the art of the great artists, Warhol, and Dali, make hieroglyphic amulets and Egyptian headdresses, sketch Tudor portraits and fashions, design a carriage for a rollercoaster and much, much more.
See our Year 5 Art and Design projects

Year 6
Children delve into the world of gallery rebels, the expressionists, the Fauvists and the surrealists. They make Mayan carvings and Day of the Dead masks, create botanical prints in the style of the great William Morris and much, much more.
See our Year 6 Art and Design projects

Teaching ideas and coverage checking

Using a curriculum like Cornerstones not only helps those teachers who are less confident in teaching the subject by giving them ideas, contexts, skills and outcomes to focus on but helps the subject leader answer those tricky questions from SLT or Ofsted about coverage and progression. With Cornerstones curriculum they just choose which projects they want to teach and check their subject coverage using our online coverage checker. If the checker shows gaps, then these can be covered by teaching specific skills.

In an ever growing curriculum and with increasing pressures on both children and teachers, losing sight of the importance of art from the curriculum would be a travesty.

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” Albert Einstein

 

Published by

Melanie Moore

Mel is Curriculum Director and the author of the Cornerstones Curriculum. She writes, edits and oversees all curriculum materials and leads our creative team. Mel has over 20 years of primary teaching experience, including as a deputy headteacher. She has also been a teacher adviser and a local authority strategy adviser.

More posts by this author

Comments