Art is particularly valuable for pupils with learning difficulties. Many display a depth of understanding and talent and, with encouragement, are capable of achieving a good standard of work. This sense of achievement increases their self-confidence, which may overlap into other areas of their school life.
Art and design stimulates creativity and imagination. It provides visual, tactile and sensory experiences and a unique way of understanding and responding to the world around us. The pupils will use colour, form, texture, pattern, design and different materials and processes to communicate what they see, feel and think. Pupils learn to make informed judgements and aesthetic and practical decisions, and a key part of the KS4 curriculum will be exploring ideas and meaning in the work of artists, craftspeople and designers.
In Art & Design we include opportunities for:
- enabling pupils to operate at their own level, and we offer a range of activities through which all students can reach their full potential. However, we recognise the requirement of pupils to enjoy a sense of recreation in this subject until they feel comfortable enough to be encouraged to concentrate on developing the skills needed to tackle more adventurous and challenging forms of art.
- learning about the diverse roles and functions of art, craft, design, and textiles in contemporary life, and in different times and cultures.
In Textiles, we include opportunities for:
- enabling students, through varying degrees of support and differentiation to have fun while learning and producing work they are really proud of.
- developing an understanding of fabrics, fibres, materials and components
- learning skills such as using a sewing machine, weaving, fabric dying and painting, knitting, felt making,
- communicating designs and ideas through drawings, mood-boards, discussion, and use of ICT.
Our aim is to stimulate curiosity, generate enthusiasm for knowledge, to encourage pupils to think and plan, and give them experience of sharing and co-operation.
In Key Stage 4, the school offers both OCR Entry Level and AQA GCSE syllabuses to further develop their skills, interests, and ideas in Art & Design and Textiles. The courses are designed to cater for all levels of ability, and the aim is to develop the subject areas encountered throughout their first three years in the department in much greater depth. There will be excursions to galleries and workshops led by local artists, which will help to complement the students’ studies leading up to exams and will be a valuable part of their learning experience.
Art and Textile studies include themes based on Environmental Art, Lettering, Animals, Easter Island, William Morris design, Oriental Art, and research on various Art Movements, sculptors, and 2-D artists. These units of work will include a variety of skills and processes which will be further re-enforced and built upon so as to enable pupils to have a broad range of skills knowledge and confidence in preparation for their exam.
Student’s work is continually assessed using formative assessment to give opportunity for students to improve their work and summative assessment to summarise their final achievement in projects, using exam assessment criteria. Pupils also peer and self-assess artwork to encourage critical thinking, confidence, and positive progress.
Parental support is crucial to enhance learning, especially at KS4 when pupils can become over anxious about their studies and achievement during exam periods. Parents can help by:
- reading through the exam paper with the child, discussing what they have produced so far and using the websites suggested by Edexcel to help them with their research.
- looking through their child’s book, and supporting to find areas that work well and something that may need improving.
- encouraging the child to work on their sketchbooks at home as well as in school.
- checking sketchbooks to make sure that work is completed, and encouraging children by giving positive feedback, as this will provide confidence and success.