Fairmead School

Making memories


What are our intentions and why? 


Through art, we inspire, engage, and challenge our students. We foster their creativity and ignite their imagination. We deepen their understanding and their appreciation of culture and ensure they have the opportunity to explore the wider world beyond Fairmead. 


Through exposure to diverse artists and the teaching of a broad range of art skills, we enable students to uncover talents and explore possible new hobbies and interests. We aim to instil a lifelong passion for learning that extends beyond the classroom and into adulthood. 


Our art curriculum contributes to our overarching curriculum goal, ‘To prepare students for ‘aspirational, successful and independent futures’. We enrich our student's communication skills through the teaching of various medias; we develop and strengthen their relationships through collaborative working; we build their resilience through guided critique and self-exploration; and we widen their employability opportunities by teaching new skills and knowledge.  


How do we achieve this? 


In lower primary, where students are not yet engaged in formalised learning, art is taught through daily/weekly provisions linked to the class topic. Students are learning to communicate their preferences and express themselves. They are experimenting, exploring and building upon their mark making skills, recognising that they can communicate meaning to others. They are developing their understanding of movement, colour and shape, and experimenting with a wide range of media and tools (e.g. pencils, paint, sticks, chalk, water, sand, crayon, felt tips, poster paint, oil pastels, dough, fabric, sponges, rollers, stamps, scissors). 


In upper primary and key stage 3, students have weekly art lessons. Teachers follow a two-year rolling programme which exposes students to worldwide cultures and artists, whilst teaching a broad range of skills across different art medias. These include pastel, pencil, charcoal, paint, collage, printing, 3D forms and photography. Please find a link to our long-term plans below. Teachers use sketchbooks and evidence for learning to record students' achievements and establish their level of skill. In key stage 4, students have the option to continue their art studies and work towards an ASDAN Creative Arts qualification. These sessions continue to focus on cultural diversity and developing their creative skills further. 


Each half term, students study a new unit of work which exposes them to a different culture, artist and art media. These units are methodically planned to ensure students... 

  • develop an understanding of the focus culture 

  • are given opportunities to evaluate and critique the work of artists 

  • can take inspiration from existing artists’ work 

  • can explore the focus media 

  • can develop their skills within the focus media 

  • can create a piece of artwork inspired by the focus culture and artist 

  • can evaluate and self-critique their own work 

  • are provided with opportunities to display and celebrate their work.  


Teachers ensure their lessons and activities are adapted and scaffolded to ensure all students can develop the skills and confidence to become artists. Scaffolding is personalised to the learner. It could include guided step-by-step processes, shared collaborations, assisted tech or replicating the work of others. 


Art subject leads identify opportunities to nurture students’ confidence by showcasing their art within the school (for example, indoor and outdoor displays, photographs on the school website site and the annual talent show) and within the wider community (for example, the Brook Bridge Autism Awareness Week display, the Octagon theatre and the library art exhibitions). They also actively seek out opportunities to further promote a love of art through whole school events, such as Arts Week, and wider external art initiatives and competitions. 


Art subject leaders are committed to developing a team of knowledgeable teachers who deliver high-quality, engaging art lessons that are adapted and accessible to all students. Through termly monitoring of students work and teaching practices, art subject leaders ensure art provision remains dynamic, relevant, and impactful. 


What is the impact? 


Through their creative processes and their completed works of art, our students demonstrate their creative confidence and cultural awareness. They have a broad appreciation of a breadth of artists and can use their works to inspire their own creations.  


Progression of skills is evident in student workbooks and through the work that is exhibited. Work demonstrates our student’s growing ability to take risks, experiment across different medias and express themselves creatively. Our students, regardless of their background and level of skill, feel valued, supported and empowered to express themselves. Their self-esteem, motivation, growth mindset and sense of belonging within the school community are enhanced as a direct impact our art curriculum.