Art & Design

Before humans could write they drew. They drew things they had seen and that mattered to them, they may have drawn their dreams and plans. Ancient drawings made 73,000 years ago tell us what it felt like to exist in that place at that time. Creativity is an integral part of human development, history and being. Art helps us communicate big ideas and understand each other, which culture is without art?  

At Larmenier and Sacred Heart we know art matters.  We highly value the transformative power of art as both a tool for learning and for personal growth and well-being.  Pupils develop their technical expertise and learn that when it comes to our likes and dislikes there is no right and wrong.  We recognise that everyone’s creative path is different and that difference is celebrated and encouraged. We want children to develop an awareness how they learn, to harness their own creativity and to develop skills, knowledge, experiences and understanding in order to grow as artists.         

In teaching Art, we want our children to enjoy the subject and be equipped with knowledge that will be useful beyond their lives at our school. Understanding that art can be made for many different reasons and can be a career choice (contributing £10.8billion a year to the UK economy!) gives our young artists purpose. We want them to: take creative risks, be inquisitive, develop critical thinking, make mistakes and learn from them, listen to experiences and views of others even though they may not always agree with them.

Art is taught by a skilled specialist art teacher. Our Art Room is well equipped for drawing, painting, sculpture, printing, collage and making. In Key Stage 1 children explore the wealth of art materials with weekly art sessions and in Key Stage 2 pupils have extended lessons fortnightly, building skills and starting to master techniques.  Sketchbooks are introduced in Year 1 to record, research, test and explore ideas and materials, with pupils taking increasing ownership and exploring their individual creative approach.

We look at the work of a diverse range of artists, designers and craft makers exploring themes linked to their learning in other subjects.  Lessons have strong cross-curricular links, inspired by learning in other subjects or what is happening in the world, and are meaningful and relevant to pupils.  A term’s work can be inspired by ancient civilizations (like the Greeks or the Egyptians), by ‘Old Master’ or contemporary artists working today including those working locally or by a theme such as Fire or Space. 

Pupils use the elements of art; colour, texture, line, shape, tone, space form, texture and pattern to develop their knowledge of the how and why art is made. 

Schemes of work are designed with four strands; Investigating or generating ideas, making, evaluating and knowledge. These are made explicit to pupils and are revisited throughout each unit.  As pupils become familiar with this structure they can see how one idea leads to another, can refer to this process and notice how the development towards a final piece is as important as the product. Drawing runs through all strands and children build a familiarity with different drawing exercises as they are repeated.  Sometimes we will make tiny observational drawings and sometimes big collaborative imaginary artworks. Developing knowledge of artists and art techniques inspire us on our creative journey.  We are resourceful and find inventive ways to use materials, taking selfies to express our individuality, using found objects and recycled plastic for 3D work, even going outside and forage for leaves and sticks to make a sculpture or land art!  Children are encouraged to find their own interpretation and develop their own creative path rather than just copy the style of a famous artist.  

We invite artists to come and work in our school and to create work with the children holding artist led workshops.  Classes visit London’s galleries and museums to experience art in different contexts, build enjoyment and develop their cultural capital.  

The structure of the art curriculum ensures that children are able to develop their knowledge and understanding of the work of artists, craftspeople and designers from a range of times and cultures and apply this knowledge to their own work.  

Children learn to understand and apply the key principles of art: line, tone, texture, shape, form, space, pattern, colour, contrast, composition, proportion and perspective. The opportunity for children to refine and develop their techniques over time is supported by effective lesson sequencing and progression between year groups. They build knowledge of artists, designers and craft makers, from some of the everyday names in art to those working more locally and where art can be viewed and enjoyed. 

While we teach the traditional fine art skills of drawing, painting, printing, collage, textiles and sculpture our emphasis is on experimentation, discovery and embracing mistakes. The work habits learnt in Art transfer to other subjects and learning, such as observation skills, resilience, problem solving, developing connections between ideas and subjects, courage, explaining and evaluating and enjoying the awe and wonder in the world. Children are encouraged to learn about themselves and their interests by exploring and finding their own interpretations; to develop their own creative path rather than just copy the style of a famous artist.  

The school has had great success in local and national competitions including artwork being selected for exhibition in our Parish Church, in Hammersmith and Fulham, The Royal Academy Young Artists Summer Show and In 2022 a Year 1 pupil won the 5-7year old category The Fourth Plinth Schools Award 

School displays reflect the children’s sense of pride in their artwork and this is also demonstrated by creative outcomes across the wider curriculum. The school environment celebrates children’s achievements in Art and demonstrates the subject’s high status in the school, with artworks, including sculptures enhancing the outdoor, as well as indoor, environment.