Art is a highly valued area of learning within Widcombe Infant school and in 2012 we were again awarded the Artsmark Gold Award for creative arts within the school. This followed an initial Artsmark Silver Award and two Artsmark Gold awards in 2005 and 2008. We believe that Art and Design experiences will develop pupil’s creativity, visual perception and imagination, and enables children to develop ideas and feelings that can be communicated in visual and tactile form.
We provide a wide range of opportunities for the children to create their own work using drawing materials, paint, clay, textiles, collage and 3D materials. They are taught a range of skills and techniques, and are encouraged to use creativity in a range of styles, using their imaginations and observations, and to broaden their understanding of a variety of art forms. In addition to our classroom based art lessons we use every opportunity available to use the outside environment by using natural objects to create art, sketching and large scale art. Our Art scheme of work ensures that the children are taught about and exposed to a range of different artist’s work from a range of cultures.
We encourage the children to feel proud about their art work and give them the opportunity to show off their work in our Art Gallery. Each class has specific frames as well as the opportunity to exhibit children’s art work in other areas around the school. Recently we held an exhibition of all the children’s art for their parents run by a company called ‘Images’. The children were able to see their work professionally presented and their parents were also able to purchase their mounted and framed piece of art. Our Art co-ordinator is also currently arranging an exhibition at the Holburne Gallery for the local Infant schools following a previous exhibition the school staged at the museum. This will enable children from all over the local authority to exhibit their work in a real art gallery for the weekend.
Annually we hold an Arts Week where the children are given the opportunity to learn from professionals and participate in specialised activities. Our recent themes have been the Roald Dahl, the Olympics and Famous People. This is a favourite time of year for both staff and children: “I love Arts Week because we get to do lots of art and lots of activities with other people.” Zac aged 6.
We believe that displays around the school have an extremely positive impact upon the children’s learning and their sense of achievement. School displays are regularly changed to ensure interest and excitement is sustained, and to provide coverage of the curriculum. Each class creates a display in the hall which is linked to a particular theme, for example, Music, Bridges or Art.
In Year 2 the children are given the opportunity to attend an after school Art club run by members of staff and previous Art Co-ordinator who has now retired. Additionally we have a good relationship with a local member of the community who runs after school art classes for a number of our children.