Our vision for Art at Woodlea
Art has been made by humans since at least 39,000 BC. The fact that it is still made today tells us that it is of evolutionary importance. As a human activity, it serves many purposes: it can bring people together, make sense of our lives, allow us to share our stories and explore the human condition. Additionally, it develops our ability to think ‘outside of the box’ and is also the foundation of many of the items that we take for granted.
‘It seems so obvious, but a lot of people simply don’t understand that, at the beginning and end of all the things that are essential to a civilised world is a creative human being. That the cars that they drive in, and the suits that they’re wearing, these items all started off with work by a creative person. That if it wasn’t for artists and designers, you would have had to walk out without your clothes on.’ Lubaina Himid RA, CBE
It is therefore an important part of every child’s education, or as artist Bob and Roberta Smith would say:
‘Art is your human right’ and ‘All schools should be art schools’
At Woodlea, we aim to create children who are confident in working creatively. From the minute that they join us in year 3 they are encouraged to see the importance of art to humans from its earliest origins. By the time they leave in year 6, children have experienced a range of artistic techniques and materials and have a good understanding of how humans have used art through the ages for self expression and making sense of their lives. We encourage our children to see art making as a process of experimentation and development and recognise that creative thinking can help us in other areas of our lives.
How we implement our curriculum
At Woodlea, we explore the three main techniques of painting, printmaking and sculpture. Alongside this we are continuously developing our drawing skills and techniques.
We learn about artists throughout history; from our prehistoric ancestors up to artists living and working today. Through looking at these artists, we aim to learn their techniques and use them to produce our own artworks. The artists that we study are drawn from a wide and diverse range such as: Lubaina Himid, Yinka Shonibare, Andrea Buttner, Bernini, Hans Holbein, Kiki Smith, Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Barbara Kruger, David Hockney, Tony Bevan, Albrecht Durer, Utagawa Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai.
We are also developing links with local artists so that the children can begin to develop their aspirations towards a creative career.
The impact of art in our school
Art has become something that our children love to do and take a great deal of pride in. They can see how their learning in previous years is developed and skills built upon. Our children enjoy the variety of materials and techniques that they use and apply the knowledge that they gained, from looking at the work of other artists, to their own work. Art lessons have inspired some children to explore their interest further at home. For instance: many of our year 6 children have asked their parents to buy them Lino-printing kits after learning the skill at school.