Introduction to Art

Children at Highfield are brimming with creative ideas and talent.  Within our department we wholeheartedly believe and agree with Picasso that every child is an artist.  Child-artists are encouraged and challenged to reach their full artistic potential and we take great pleasure as pupils' partake in a creative journey of discovery about themselves and the world around them. Our hope is to foster a lifelong love of visual art appreciation as well as to provide pupils with an understanding of creative practice in cultural, historical, social and contemporary contexts. There are four skill areas that we focus on throughout the Prep School in accordance with the National Curriculum: Generating Ideas, Making, Evaluating and Knowledge.  This framework allows for ideas to be developed and expressed through various 2D and 3D media and for experimentation to be encouraged.  Children realize the value of reflection and dialogue about their own work and those of others and develop a genuine thirst for learning about techniques, skills and practices through an exciting range of media and materials.

Themes are often linked to other areas of the curriculum which supports and reinforces your child’s learning on a greater scope.  The whole child is considered as we learn in multiple ways including visual and kinaesthetic, as well as offering challenges by problem solving in creative ways.  All pupils are introduced to a wide and varied selection of techniques, media and materials at each stage of their artistic development. Mediums available include; drawing, painting, ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, textiles, and mixed media. Within a weekly lesson, various projects are planned each term and all pupils are given a sketch book for class work, which can include drawing skills, research on artists and ideas within their personal development.

Pupils are then encouraged to produce work on a larger scale and then a final piece is discussed, planned and produced. Pupils are encouraged to work creatively, personalising their work and ideas, through discussion, experimentation and problem solving. The Art Studio is a place to develop confidence and a 'can do' growth mindset approach; we focus on the importance of making and process and not only on the final piece; 'right’ or ‘wrong' are not terms we use in the Art Studio. The studio agreements we put into practice are: Participation, Mutual Respect, Attentive Listening, and Appreciation/No Put Downs. This set of values allows for safe, enjoyable creative learning to take place.

Highfield has a rich array of extension opportunities on offer and we have enjoyed an excellent record of Art Scholarship awards. From Year 7, pupils who are recognized for their interest and enthusiasm in the Visual Arts are invited to Art Extension club. Children in this club who are exceeding the expectation for Year 7 and are showing talent are invited to the potential Art Scholars club in Year 8. Additional clubs include Pottery, Textiles and Open Studio which are offered for various year groups throughout our prep school. Extra workshops, external competitions, visits to secondary school art departments, galleries and exhibitions, visiting artists are also part of our programming.  An annual whole school exhibition at the end of the Summer term celebrates the vivid and impressive work of all of our child-artists. Further, Art Colours and the Highfield Artist Effort of the Month Award is awarded to a Highfield child on a monthly basis for outstanding effort in art.

As a flourishing school which promotes the emotional and mental health needs of our children, the Highfield Art Studio provides time and space time to be mindful; children are passionate about art and enjoy spending time in such a therapeutic and positive space, where they can relax and be themselves.

Olga Houghton is Head of Art.

Art Year Group Subject Summaries
Examples of Work

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