Skip to content ↓

Art & Design

Art & Design - The Whiteoak Way

‘Every child is an artist’

Pablo Picasso

At the Whiteoak Academies, we believe that art plays a vital role in education and in helping children become like themselves instead of more like everyone else. Children are naturally creative so our art curriculum is designed to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, giving them the freedom, material and space to let their creativity blossom to its full potential. It is designed to be accessible to all abilities, enabling children to grow in confidence whilst developing their own skills and individuality as an artist.

As a school, we aim to provide the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of art by exploring various artists, sculptors and designers of both the past and present and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms and their impact on culture and history.

Art is taught both explicitly, through focused studies of artists and art techniques, as well as by being carefully laced throughout our project work, creating meaningful cross curricular links. We also encourage our children to work collaboratively on art projects, which are shown proudly around our school.

As the children progress through school, art experiences are built upon so that our children can make decisions about their approach to different challenges, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. Finally, we strive for every child to be able to express their feelings, opinions and emotions through many different forms of art with the ultimate aim that every child leaves our school family, as an imaginative, creative and inspired artist.

Our Aims for Art & Design

At the Whiteoak Academies, we have developed our own curriculum to help ensure that each and every child thrives by becoming:

  • Knowledgeable & Curious
  • Respectful & Compassionate
  • Independent & Fulfilled

In support of our curriculum vision and aims, we have crafted our own Whiteoak Way for Art & Design which is carefully and thoughtfully planned to engage, inspire and challenge pupils so that they can develop an appreciation of art in its widest forms and be inspired in their own creative development. We hope to equip them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.   

As a family of schools, we aim to ensure:

  • There are opportunities to enable children to record from first-hand experience and from imagination, and to select their own ideas to use in their work;
  • Children develop creativity and imagination through a range of complex activities;
  • Improve in the children’s ability to control materials, tools and techniques;
  • An increase in their critical awareness of the roles and purposes of art and design in different times and cultures;
  • Children develop increasing confidence in the use of visual and tactile elements and materials;
  • An enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts and a knowledge of artists, craftspeople and designers.

Our Art & Design curriculum has also been designed and developed using the National Curriculum which aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences
  • Become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques
  • Evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design
  • Know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms

Lighthouse Schools Partnership - Art & Design Intent Statement

Art & Design in the National Curriculum

British Values and SMSC in Art 

To help ensure that children leave school prepared for life in modern Britain, the DfE issued guidance to all schools on improving the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of children through the promotion of fundamental British values.

Across our family of schools, we aim to develop a climate where the British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs are deeply embedded at every level and lived through our vivid vision, core values and curriculum.

As outlined in our aims and vivid vision, we seek to encourage our children to act with integrity and respect so that they embrace and celebrate diversity and understand our rich cultural history. Furthermore, we aim to empower our children to become humble, compassionate global citizens who learn how to live successful and happy lives where they are informed, courageous advocates of the things that matter to them. Underpinning this are the key concepts of being and belonging: being hopeful, considerate human beings who know they matter and that they can shape a positive future for themselves and others, understanding how they belong to their community, modern Britain and the world, recognising they can make a difference now.

At the Whiteoak Academies, Art & Design plays a vital role in helping us to deliver our vivid vision by supporting the personal development of children and promoting fundamental British values. Our Art & Design curriculum is crafted and designed to create a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about the world around them and participating children actively in artistic and creative activities. Therefore supporting and encouraging our children to become global citizens who use imagination and creativity, to explore ideas and feelings in works of Art that have contributed to the society we live in today.

We also celebrate artists and designers from different countries, cultures and religious beliefs using art and design as a creative way to experience a variety of different festivals, traditions, celebrations and cultures around the world. It is through these global studies that children understand different people’s ideas, creative responses and understanding of different cultures and styles within art. Children are encouraged to question and explore sensitive and controversial issues, whilst maintaining tolerance and respect for the views and beliefs of others. This also implies within our classroom as children behave in a way that positively impacts the work and productivity of others. When giving feedback, children are constructive and respectful of others’ feelings and viewpoints. Children work collaboratively on projects, having respect for our peers’ views and being receptive to the advice of others.

Children develop an appreciation of the achievements of other artists both contemporary and from the past and gain a fascination, awe and wonder in the work of others. Children are encouraged to use imagination and creativity to express themselves through their own art and design activities and are given regular opportunities to make their own decisions and choices to express their individuality through various different art projects. Children also have the opportunity to work collaboratively as part of a team to build resilience and self-esteem through tasks, sharing ideas and resources, peer assessments and encouraging children to support each other.

Furthermore, as a family of schools, we recognise that Art and design is ever- evolving and vital in the modern world. At the Whiteoak Academies, values are not assumed, instead through our Art and design curriculum and whole curriculum offer, British values and SMSC are developed and formed together through exploration, debate and critical analysis and understanding. Indeed, through our Art and design curriculum, our children are given the foundations to understand and appreciate diversity, fairness and a respect for democracy and democratic processes - for example, we may take votes and hold discussions when making decisions about our work, and collaborative projects.

Our pedagogical approach to the delivery of Art and design at the Whiteoak Academies is designed to make a genuine impact on the spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding of our children; therefore, helping to promote British values and global citizenship. Through our Art and design curriculum our children are nurtured and supported to understand their rights and role within society in order to help them shape a positive future for themselves and others in an increasingly complex and dynamic world.