Art and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.
Pupils at Birchensale are given opportunities within their weekly art lessons to experiment with a range of styles and media, to create 2D and 3D works of art and to develop knowledge of artists and their art. Lessons are fun but challenging and methods can be adapted to suit individual strengths and weaknesses.
At Birchensale we are all passionate about art. Our displays in the classroom and around the school reflect that. We have a specialist art teacher, teaching both KS2 and KS3 art throughout the year and three further teachers enthusiastically supporting the curriculum. Our standards are high, but achievable and this is reflected in the high standard of pupils’ work exhibited and in their sketch books.
Key Stage 2
In year 5 pupils study Native American art. They learn about symbolism and try a range of drawing and painting media including pen and ink, pastels, crayons and sandpaper! Pupils work in teams to create totem poles and collaged creatures. They study the work of Kenneth Noland who is inspired by Native American art. They use IT to design beadwork.
They then follow a scheme of work entitled “Fish!” where they have opportunities to draw with cotton buds and chalk, to model in clay, to produce sketchbook pages of research and design work and to finally experiment with textiles.
Year 6 pupils’ first project is Architecture. They study the work of John Piper and Friedensreich Hundertwasser and develop techniques including collage, resist, press print, pastel work and painting. They study perspective and build a clay house.
Key Stage 3
Year 7’s first project is The Lion’s Peace poster competition, in which we have annual success! We explore the themes of peace, love and understanding around the world in creating a graphic piece of art work. Pupils then explore African art and artefacts with a focus on masks. They learn about artist Romuald Hazoume and emulate his style when they create a sculpture from junk.
Pupils then study natural forms. They sketch, print and paint from the natural world. Inspiration comes from contemporary artist Angie Lewin and Anya Brock.
In Year 8 pupils study insects ‘up close’ when they produce a bug zentangle with fine line pens. They work more freely by drawing insects with charcoal onto collaged newspaper in the style of contemporary artist Guy Denning. The project culminates with 3D bug sculptures constructed from aluminium cans, wire and tissue paper.
Students in Year 8 then learn about portraiture. They draw their own eyes on blocks of wood and achieve 3D effects with paint and pencil. They study the work of The German Expressionists and produce personal responses in sketchbooks to aid later work. Pupils use iPad apps to distort a ‘selfie’ and base their final painting on their digital self.