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Thornhill Primary School

Thornhill Primary School

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Thornhill’s key principles for the teaching of Art:

Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. At Thornhill, art inspires pupils to think innovatively, applying their creative understanding, imagination and skills to express themselves in new ways. We aim to develop our pupil’s critical thinking, resilience and innovative ideas through our art lessons. We equip our pupils with the knowledge and skills required to experiment, invent and create their own unique works of art, using a wide range of materials. Art is taught both explicitly and cross-curricula to ensure children have in depth knowledge of the role of art in both shaping and reflecting the history and culture of humanity.


History: Pupils study great artists and learn how different art forms were used to reflect and shape historical and cultural development. They are given the opportunity to express their own views and opinions on cultural events through art.


Media: Pupils have the opportunity to explore a variety of different media throughout each year at Thornhill. This includes drawing, painting, printing, texture, collage, 3D work and digital art. The progressive curriculum at Thornhill ensures pupils are first taught the basic skills and context of the media they are working with and then through revisiting the same media, they are able to further develop, critique and create unique and innovative works of art reflecting their own personal style.


Skills: During their time at Thornhill, pupils are taught a wide variety of artistic skills. They begin with exploring different media and material and learning specific skills, before experimenting with their new skills and finally developing their own unique styles. Throughout they learn to critique and develop their own and others work. They also learn how to take inspiration from each other, from great artists and from art around the world.

The effective teaching of Art at Thornhill.


Planning: At Thornhill we provide a progressive art curriculum that ensures skills are continuously developed. The principle aim is to develop knowledge, skills and understanding. Teachers ensure that pupils have the opportunity to explore, investigate and develop ideas as well as evaluating, revisiting and making improvements on their own work.


Assessment: At Thornhill, a preliminary assessment of children’s skills and ability are used to inform teaching. The preliminary assessment is gathered through discussion and practical application where suitable. Pupils use sketch books to explore and develop their skills throughout the unit. Teachers use both formative and summative assessment throughout each lesson and the entire topic. Pupils are also given the opportunity to self-assess and peer assess their work where appropriate.


Cross Curricula Links: Art is very effective as a cross-curricular link, adding to children’s experiences and depth of understanding in other areas of their learning, from creating their own artwork and artefacts to the experience of museum and gallery trips and learning about the role of art in history.


Art Week: At Thornhill we use Art Week to provide a more in-depth focus on art. Children have 4-5 art lessons during the week, during which they complete an initial piece, used to assess their current skills and spend the week developing these skills to produce a final piece which is celebrated through the Thornhill Art gallery, open to all parents and pupils.


Inclusion and Collaboration: Inclusive practice is an essential part of Thornhill, and we ensure that all pupils are able to achieve their best possible standard, irrespective of gender, ethnic, social or cultural background, home language or any other aspect that could affect their participation in, or progress in their learning. Pupils are encouraged to share and contribute their own ideas, support one another and work together on some projects, developing their skills in collaboration, communication and teamwork.


Health and Safety: Pupils are expected to use a variety of tools and techniques as they develop their artistic skills. We ensure children are taught how to handle and care for equipment and media safely and with respect. When being taught how to work with materials, media or in an environment that is new, pupils are taught the following:


  • About hazards, risks and risk control.
  • To recognize hazards, assess consequent risks and take steps to control the risks to themselves and others.
  • To use information to assess the immediate and cumulative risks.
  • To manage their environment to ensure the health and safety of themselves and others.
  • To explain the steps they take to control risk.
  • Thornhill Primary School,
  • Thornhill Road,
  • London,
  • N1 1HX