The importance of Art and Design
Art and Design stimulates creativity and imagination and is an important part of the curriculum at Pear Tree Mead. Children have a natural love for art as it provides visual, tactile and sensory experiences and provides a unique way of understanding and responding to the world.
Pupils use colour, form, texture, pattern and different materials and processes to communicate what they see, feel and think. Through art and design activities, children learn to make judgements and decisions, becoming actively involved in shaping environments. They explore ideas and meanings in the work of artists, craftspeople and designers as well as learning about the diverse roles and functions of art, craft and design in today’s world, and in different times and cultures.
The Art and Design curriculum
During the Early Years Foundation Stage, children experience a variety of experimental activities which allows them to use a range of materials and tools to prepare them for progression into Key Stage 1.
During key stage 1, pupils develop their creativity and imagination by exploring the visual, tactile and sensory qualities of materials and processes, all of which help to develop and improve coordination, small muscle skills, and pride in their accomplishments. Children learn about the role of art, craft and design in their environment and begin to understand colour, shape and space as well as pattern and texture and using them to represent their ideas and feelings.
During key stage 2, pupils develop their creativity and imagination through more complex activities. These help to build on their skills and improve their control of materials, tools and techniques. They increase their critical awareness of the roles and purposes of art, craft and design in different times and cultures. They become more confident in using visual and tactile elements and materials and processes to communicate what they see, feel and think.
How can you help your child at home with Art and Design?
- Designate a drawer in the kitchen or living room as an art drawer, or use a bookshelf or sturdy cardboard box to provide children with a range of artistic materials, such as paints, pens, crayons, scissors, collage materials, play dough etc.
- Ensure the child knows where they can use the materials e.g. only at the kitchen table or outside.
- Encourage your child to select their materials and use them independently.
- Find places to display your child’s art e.g. refrigerator or children’s bedroom wall. By displaying your child’s art, this will build their confidence and sense of achievement. Share this artwork with other family members, friends and teachers to show your appreciation of their attempts.
- Art and design activities could also be used as an effective reward system.
- Discuss your child’s art work with them to encourage them to think about their ideas and express their feelings. For example, instead of asking ‘What have you drawn?’ say ‘Tell me about your picture?’
- Visit Art Galleries or enrol on Art and Craft clubs outside of school.
‘Art develops spiritual values and contributes a wider understanding to the experience of life, which helps to build a balanced personality’. Bridget Riley, Painter.
‘Art and Design is not just a subject to learn, but an activity that you can practise with your hands, eyes, your whole personality’. Quentin Blake, Children’s Laureate.
What we have been doing in Art and Design
Memory Garden Project
Art students at Pear Tree Mead Academy have joined the Memory Project, a charitable nonprofit organization that invites art teachers and their students to create and donate portraits to youth around the world who have faced substantial challenges, such as neglect, abuse, loss of parents, violence, and extreme poverty. Given that youth in such situations usually have few personal keepsakes, the purpose of the portraits is to provide them with meaningful mementos of their youth. The project also allows art students to practice kindness and global awareness while enhancing their portraiture skills.
Students at Pear Tree Mead Academy are participating as part of a course titled Memory Project Afghanistan. To do this, the students receive photos of children who are waiting for portraits, and then work in their art classroom to create the portraits. Once finished, the Memory Project delivers the portraits to the children. In total, the students will make portraits for 11 children in Afghanistan
The Memory Project is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. Since the project began in 2004, more than 100,000 American art students have created portraits for children in 44 countries.
Pear Tree Mead brightens up a local building site!
The children have recently been working very hard to produce a mural of artwork for a new building project situated close to their school. The children, from Reception classes upto Year 6, were each asked to produce an art design for the mural with the theme of ‘Harlow’, ensuring they included the school’s logo ‘PTM’ somewhere within their design. With over 300 designs produced, the standard of art was extremely high and a difficult decision for judges, Corinna Dunlea and Steven Munro from the Harlow Arts Trust judging the competition. Two winning designs were selected from each key stage, with eight winning designs in total. There were also 18 runner-up designs selected, all of which were displayed in the Gibberd Gallery in Harlow Town Centre.
The 8 winning art designs were enlarged onto large hoarding boards by the children who designed them along with the help of volunteers from the Princes Trust. The boards were then erected outside the new homes building project at Clifton Hatch, Harlow and were officially unveilled by the MP of Harlow, Robert Halfon. The boards are still on show today and have attracted lots of complements from local residents.