Art is taught throughout the school, and there is a busy purpose-built studio above the Design/Technology workshop. Children are able to benefit from regular lessons within the curriculum, from after school clubs and some even pursue their Art to scholarship level.
Mrs Helen Allen encourages her young artists with an “Artist of the Week” award, and the work of famous artists and paintings in different styles is used to inspire creative work from children at all levels. The school has many examples of the children’s work on display as testament to their imagination and skill. Below find Mrs Allen’s description of the school’s approach to the teaching of Art at Prestfelde:
Inspiring, colourful, creative and displayed everywhere, Art is very much an integral part of school life at Prestfelde, with many opportunities to celebrate our pupils’ achievements. There is a huge variety of work produced in the Art room over the year, encompassing a very wide range of processes, skills and experiences, both 2D and 3D.
It is fantastic to see students making links between their own work and that of other artists, whilst developing the ability to reflect and refine their ideas further.
In Years 3, 4 and 5 children spend time exploring, investigating and developing their art skills, using a wide range of materials. Creative links are made with each class teacher to ensure that cross-curricular work is extended outside of their normal working environment. This enables children to be able to make stronger links with what they are learning in the classroom. The aim during these important years is to foster creativity, encourage an environment where it is good to make mistakes and learn from them and to take pride in the art that they produce.
Every child is creative and it is in these years that they can explore for themselves which areas of Art are their strengths as well as the skills and techniques that they need to develop further.
Year 6 spend time being introduced to a variety of artists over the year, including
Gaudi, Giacometti, Hundertwasser and Quentin Blake. At the start of the year they are inspired by artist
Cezanne to explore tone, colour and composition in their final pieces.
Year 7 start the year by getting inspired by the work of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, creating Pop Art
self-portraits. They go on to explore the theme of architecture, designing their own Eco-homes using Google SketchUp, looking at the rules of perspective drawing and continuing to develop their use of technical drawing. They finish by looking at the theme of Mythical Creatures to create their own clay pieces and dragon drawings.
The standard of work produced across the school continues to be excellent, and I thoroughly enjoy seeing Year 8 take on new challenges, make informed value judgements and practical decisions in every Art lesson. The work produced in the Autumn term is inspired by Rousseau’s jungles, resulting in creative and dynamic final pieces that reflect each individual’s personality as they take more responsibility in their choice and use of materials. They go on to create their own websites based on the work of a chosen artist and finish the year by studying Native American culture, creating their own clay totem poles and animal zentangles that are always quite spectacular.