It is our intent at William Cobbett to deliver a relevant and exciting art curriculum which includes: investigating a range of male and female artists, both contemporary and historical; exploring local and global themes; developing children’s skillset in the use of a range of tools and materials; developing children’s critical and reflective abilities and encouraging exploration of their own and others’ cultural heritage.
We want our Art and Design curriculum to engage, inspire and challenge children by stimulating their imagination and enabling them to experiment, invent and create. Children will have the opportunity to practise, develop and hone a wide set of artistic skills in a range of mediums. The curriculum is designed to equip children with the skills, concepts and knowledge necessary to allow them to express their ideas through drawing, colour, texture, collage, form, printing, pattern and sculpture.
We seek to inspire and develop our children’s critical abilities and develop a broader understanding of Art and Design through studying a diverse range of artists. The children will grow to understand how art contributes to the culture, creativity and history of the world as we know it today.
Displaying children’s work is an important feature of our school. The displays help to create a lively and stimulating environment in which to work. The children also have a medium for the expression of their ideas and a definite audience. Their masterpieces and effort can be appreciated by everyone.
The National Curriculum for Art and Design states:
Art, craft 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. As pupils progress, they 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.
The Cornerstones projects set the foundation of our art curriculum and we build upon these to ensure it is relevant to our children. Artists have been added to the curriculum to introduce more balance, relevance and cultural diversity.
Early Years Foundation Stage - Reception
The children of William Cobbett first begin their A&D journey in EYFS where we create opportunities for them to use their imagination and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques during playing and exploring time (inside and outside!). They experiment with colour, design, texture, form and function. The children learn to share their creations, explaining the process they have used. We make great effort to intertwine art into other areas of the curriculum, such as mathematics, English and science.
KS1 and KS2 – Year 1 to Year 6
A&D is taught every week and delivered as a stand-alone subject, although natural links are made with other subjects to enhance and contextualise learning. The skills children develop are mapped across each year group and throughout the school to ensure progression and access to a diverse a range of materials. There are opportunities to revise and revisit so children can recall and apply skills and knowledge learnt. A focus on the key skills of drawing, colour, texture, form, sculpture, printing and pattern means children are given opportunities to express their creative imagination. Sketch books are introduced in Year 1, and used throughout the school, to provide a visual record of progression and add a sense of value to the creative process. The curriculum also provides opportunities for the progression and development of critical analysis, by comparing and exploring well known works of art and encouraging children to be able to critique and develop their own works of art.
The school’s Art curriculum is supported through the availability of a wide range of resources, used to support children’s confidence in the use of different media e.g. sculpture in Year 3 and weaving in Year 4. The children's learning is further enhanced by annual whole school or year group projects where the children have the opportunity for collaborative working and exploring the different styles and techniques of a range of artists.
We undertake art projects whenever possible to enhance and enrich the provision of arts throughout the school. The school liaises with local artists who are invited into school to share their skills directly with the children. Recently, local artist Pippa Ward, visited our Year 4 children and created an environmental 3D sculpture now proudly displayed in the playground. You will see numerous collaborative art projects dotted around our school.
Our children are able to make decisions about the techniques and materials used. They are confident with using a range of resources to create artwork and display a sense of pride over their creations. This is demonstrated throughout their sketchbooks and within corridor displays which showcase brilliant work. They are confident to self-assess their own and the work of other’s, highlighting both successes and areas to develop.
Children are given the opportunity to enter both local and regional art competitions. Excitingly, we have had two successful applicants in recent years for the Young Artists’ Royal Academy summer show. The school has come second in the Local Badshot Lea Squires Christmas tree competition for two years running. Last year, we won the Year 4 category in the Farnham Rotary Club butterfly competition.
The children’s enthusiasm and love for art extends into the local community where we currently have our artwork displayed at Farnham train station and ‘Plastic Free’ posters exhibited around Farnham town centre (a project from Farnham Rotary club & Farnham town council). Our children also designed thank you cards sent, through a local initiative, to our NHS workers. We annually create a range of Christmas and Easter cards for our local Care home, Farnham Mill nursing home and regularly take part in exhibitions at St John’s church, the most recent being the flower exhibition. We currently have a project evolving with The University of Arts to transform an outside area at William Cobbett.
Our weekly Art clubs started in 2021 and have been very popular with the children. It is here they have the space to explore with larger sized art pieces and a range of mediums.
‘Art is fun!’
‘Teachers put up our artwork and make the school really colourful.’
‘Art at William Cobbett makes more people want to come to school.’
‘Everyone is different at William Cobbett and everything we do in art is unique.’