Art at Barnes Primary School
Art, craft and design is celebrated and interwoven across all areas of the curriculum at Barnes Primary School. As an Arts Mark Gold school for the past 12 years, the arts are deeply embedded to create meaningful links across the curriculum. We aim to inspire children and develop a lifelong love of the arts. Our Arts Week and artist in residence are just some of our highlights. Please look in our gallery at our Arts Week, Bake Off and films to see some of the work that the children have created.
Art in the curriculum
Children have the opportunity to:
- draw imaginatively and from observation
- paint with watercolours, poster paint and acrylics
- print with their hands, stamps, objects and try block and mono print
A wide range of resources and materials are used:
- oil and soft pastels are used, looking at shading and tones
- collage using printed materials, textiles and their own pattern work
- graphic design in the form of posters for projects, plays and book covers
- sculpture takes a variety of forms, especially during Arts Week where scale is often increased and group collaborative projects are realised. Pottery, papier mache, work with wood and textiles all take on 3D forms. Children work within their IT framework to create a variety of digital and multi-media art works
- Y2 create electronic books – graphics, layout and pattern
- Y3 create stop-frame films linked to their History of the Romans
- Y4 make short films using Movie Maker on iPads
- Y5 design websites and make posters for online safety
- Y6 design and create repeat patterns
Our annual Arts Week has run since 2005. This is a fabulous week where the whole school works to a theme and has the chance to explore new materials and techniques and feel part of a joyfully collaborative experience. In creating the theme, we work with Pupil Council to gather their ideas on what they would like to do and fit those around a wide range of core ideas. For example:
• 2020 What makes me, me?
• 2019 What makes a home?
• 2018 Go big, go bold
• 2017 Art + science = wonder
• 2016 British artists
• 2015 We love Barnes
• 2014 Africa
• 2013 Reduce, reuse, recycle
• 2012 London Olympics
• 2011 Art alive
We are lucky to have a wide variety of parents in school who work in the creative industries and they are put to good use during arts week, helping in class and running workshops with the children to add to the progressive and wide-reaching nature of this week.
Also as part of Arts Week we hold our annual Barnes Bake Off. This idea originated from a group of Y5 pupils who were inspired by the TV show. Children create cakes and baked goods linked to the week’s theme. A former parent was the composer of the Great British Bake Off music and for a couple of years came in to teach it to the school orchestra, BOP.
The results of Arts Week go into an exhibition held in the community, at the OSO local Arts Centre in the heart of Barnes. The children derive huge pleasure from seeing their work in a gallery setting. The exhibition and the work that is displayed around school is organised by our schools Display Coordinator. This unique role ensures that the work of the children is exhibited in the communal spaces to the highest level and celebrates all skill levels.
Every two years we sell some of the work that is produced during Arts Week at our school ball. This helps raise much needed funds and is hugely satisfying for the children as well as introducing them to the commercial side of art.
Artist in residence
Olivia Berners-Price is a secondary school arts teacher and artist who works across Years 3, 4 and 5. Teaching in small groups, she introduces the children to a variety of materials, encouraging them to experiment with different media and techniques; explores a variety of artists (both well-known and contemporary) and cultures; and develops the children’s understanding of common art-based vocabulary.
We have created three gallery areas where we celebrate the work children have created with our artist-in-residence. These displays are updated, giving high visibility to some of this fantastic work.
In year 3, the children learn about:
- The composition of pencils, pencil grading systems, and what they are used for, and practice techniques, graduation of tone, pressure and grip.
- Cool and warm colours using oil pastels, discussing how this media differs from wax crayons or chalk pastels. They use pastels to develop an understanding of graduation of colour, blending tones with smooth transition. Initially working in larger areas with extension task to develop control and working within shapes.
- They are introduced to watercolour paints, discussing and learning about the use of different papers for specific art techniques. Experimenting with and developing a knowledge of a variety of watercolour techniques.
In year 4, the children learn about:
- How to build on and develop the techniques learned in Y3 with graduation of tone with shading pencils. They look at simple optical illusions, using artists’ work as an introduction and developing more sophisticated outcomes by using shading to enhance their drawings.
- How to use a mannequin, looking at form, proportion and negative space.
- Completing fast pen drawings, learning from mistakes focusing on the process not outcome.
- Charcoal, what it is made from and exploring the use of charcoal, experimenting with surface pattern, line and visual texture.
- Developing an understanding of other cultures. Printing with references to tribes in Northern India, being inspired by the imagery and storytelling on mud huts, pupils create poly prints.
- Being able to discuss art materials and their potential uses.
- Mixed media work by experimenting with household products.
In year 5, the children learn about:
- How to build on the use of mannequins following on from Y4. Children use pen and water technique, adding tone using alternative media and enhancing the paper background to disrupt the blank paper.
- Form, proportion, negative space and understanding that this applies to all observational work.
- Large oil pastel drawings and developing the techniques learnt in Y3. Children will become more sophisticated with their use of blending by focusing on the value (light and dark) and changing the colours from the original object.
- Recognising mistakes made with form and proportion and then being able to discuss how to correct the error.
- Chalk pastels and the graduation of colour by looking at artists’ work.
- Effective use of mixed media, blocking out areas to create depth and interest in a piece of work.
- Layering media and being free to experiment but using the artist as inspiration.
- How to look at a piece of work as a whole, not individual little sections.
Creative journals are Barnes Primary School’s version of a sketch book, and children start using them from Y1 through to Y6. They are used for children to experiment with ideas and techniques and practise their art in advance of creating their final outcomes. Work with Olivia is very much based in their creative journals and these are then used as reference points for work in class, where the children can revisit previous skills and techniques learnt.
Mark making is vital and starts in the EYFS, both taught and through self-exploration, and is both an indoor and outdoor activity. The colour wheel and colour mixing starts with the basics in EYFS, where they devote a half term to colour and pattern, and gets more sophisticated as the children gain knowledge and experiment through their time at school.