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Art at St Finian's-intent implementation impact

At St. Finian’s we see art and design as an exciting subject feeding our ‘head, heart and soul’. It has many benefits; teaching children to be observant, to be expressive and to build creative talents that are transferable across the wider curriculum and beyond. Art, by its nature is accessible to all and can be embraced, enjoyed and celebrated by every child at school.

Art and design equips our children with the knowledge and skills they need to experiment with different materials and forms of art and to confidently create their own work. As part of our nurture work at St.Finian's, we encourage ­­children to express themselves through art (clay, painting, drawing etc.) thereby supporting emotional well-being. We find this is particularly beneficial for our SEND children and those struggling with high levels of anxiety.   

Our outdoor learning environment at St. Finian’s, creates a wonderful stimulus for art, encouraging us to explore and appreciate God’s wonderful world. It builds a sense of awe and wonder; a desire to protect and to share the beauty of God’s creation with others. We use the natural materials found around us in our woodland setting (leaves, sticks, earth) to experiment with 3D designs, exploring natural colours and textures. We also make regular visits to our neighbouring farm (Broadview). Here we use its beautiful valley landscape as a stimulus for art and for specific creative projects e.g. recreating giant art forms influenced by famous artists in history.

During the year, we invite artists from the community into school to share their skills and to teach specific art skills e.g. landscape painting using water colours; silk screen painting. Children visit art galleries and exhibitions as part of their curriculum, to build an appreciation of a wide range of works. They are taught to understand how art has shaped our history and how it is reflected in many aspects of our culture today.

Throughout the year, we showcase and celebrate children’s art work; including our annual art exhibition in the summer term. We submit entries to the annual Thatcham schools art competition, including pieces from KS1 and KS2 under different categories: portraits, black and white, sculpture and natural materials.

It is important to us that all our staff are confident teachers of art and so we regularly share good practice and discuss new ideas and techniques, ensuring that everyone is fully equipped to inspire our children and can make learning accessible to all. 

Throughout their time at primary school, children gain important knowledge and skills including:

  • Experimenting with and recording ideas in their own individual sketch books
  • Building proficiency in specific techniques: drawing, painting and sculpture
  • Using the language of art, craft and design to confidently voice opinions and to evaluate artwork
  • Gaining knowledge of great artists, craft makers and designers and understanding their influences in society
  • Learning how art can tell stories and uncover the history of communities e.g. cave paintings 

We believe that by enabling children to enjoy learning about art and through art they will be:

  • inspired by the art work they encounter and driven to want to know more
  • encouraged and empowered to be creative and inspired to try many forms of art, building life-long skills
  • able to use art to openly express their ideas and feelings, reducing stress and building resilience
  • confident enough, never to put up barriers or limit their own progress
  • appreciative of their own artistic skills and those of others, sharing their views with peers
  • empowered to know that art is a personal form of expression and that we are all artists
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