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Curriculum Lead - Sian Kirwan


The Art curriculum at Howard is designed to be and intends to be ambitious. We believe that all children deserve to have access to an ambitious curriculum which is focused on developing their knowledge and technical Art skills. We look to ensure that all pupils, of all backgrounds and needs, have access and exposure to cultural capital and the opportunity to become successful artists. This means that pupils will learn about a wide range of significant artwork and artists as well as develop their own creativity and appreciation for beauty around them. Our Art curriculum has been carefully sequenced to ensure that progression is made in their skills and knowledge over their time at Howard. Connections are made across the curriculum with cross-curricular links with other subject areas such as History and Geography, therefore extending children’s broad range of knowledge and understanding. Art is a subject which allows children to express themselves, find their strengths and for some, build resilience, and this can be fostered with our rich Art curriculum.


Our Art curriculum at Howard Junior has been designed to ensure a progression of skills and knowledge. Children arrive at our school in Year 3 without having used the PKC (Primary Knowledge Curriculum), so we have designed our Year 3 curriculum to fill in gaps in their learning which allows them to access the rest of the Key Stage 2 Art Curriculum. This ensures they have the key knowledge to access the curriculum throughout Key Stage 2 confidently as well as fill in gaps in their skills and techniques too. We have taken some units from the PKC Year 1 and Year 2 units in order to do this. We have developed a Progression of Skills document which demonstrates how children’s art skills progress over their time at Howard and includes the revisiting of skills to ensure that they are well embedded. Through effective demonstration of skills, historical and cultural context and developing a concept of art itself, teachers are able to ensure children have a well-rounded understanding of the disciplinary knowledge of Art. Through formative assessment in lessons, teachers are able to refine children’s skills as well as use effective questioning to challenge their thinking further. We will work closely with other schools to promote Art and celebrate our children’s achievements and skills. We will also work closely with secondary schools in the area to ensure that the children are developing the skills and knowledge in Art that they will need to be successful artists in Secondary School.


Art can be very subjective and therefore measuring the impact of Art can be contentious. From the way in which the curriculum is designed, children are given opportunities over their time at Howard to revisit techniques and build on previous learning. In lessons, teachers are able to measure the impact through this revisiting of key knowledge and the use of questioning and conversations. As we use the PKC curriculum for Art, teachers are guided to structure their lessons to ensure that they are revisiting previous learning and are using purposeful questioning, in order to measure the children’s knowledge and understanding. In this way, through effective and responsive teaching, misconceptions can be addressed and techniques refined ‘in the moment’ with the children. Children are given a sketchbook to use throughout their time at Howard which allows both children and teachers to reflect on the impact of the curriculum over time and witness the refining of techniques. Other methods such as multiple choice quizzes, pupil voice questionnaires, staff surveys and the use of knowledge organisers are other ways in which teachers and the subject leader can measure the impact on the children’s learning.