Art at St Peter’s
At St Peter’s we value art as a means of developing children’s self-expression, their imagination and their understanding of their own and different cultures.
We have a designated art room - ‘The Annex’ - which is well-resourced and used for our fantastic art lessons, before and after-school art clubs and even during break times. It is a purpose built art studio, which is bright and has lots of natural light. The Annex also has space to exhibit children’s work, to inspire and share with others.
We are hugely proud that St Peter’s is one of the very few Platinum Artsmark winners in the South East.
All year groups are taught by a specialist art teacher. They cover six topics a year that complement the Creative Curriculum taught by class teachers. In addition to these lessons, class teachers use art and design to enrich other curriculum areas.
Our artwork is based on the curriculum topic for each year group, and activities are often based on the work of chosen artists. Children are encouraged to respond to artwork, from a wide variety of world artists, both historical and contemporary. They make creative responses – exploring the themes or techniques that an artist uses, and also express preferences and share creative decisions.
Through each year, children are given the opportunity to develop their skills in the following techniques;
- Drawing – variety of media including pencils, charcoal, inks, paint and pens
- Painting – using different techniques such as blending, scraffito and layering
- Printmaking – mono-printing, relief printing, collagraph
- Sculpture /3D work – using found materials, clay, textiles and construction
We use sketchbooks during most art lessons. They are a record of the projects and ideas for every child, and are also a tool for exploring each child’s own artistic responses and challenges. Our children’s artwork ranges from observational work to illustrative pieces, from imagination. We value the quality of the children’s work and expectations are high. Each final piece is a result of exploring techniques, exploring work and changing it as it develops, through a process of creative critique, given by children’s peers as well as the teacher.
We celebrate children’s art by displaying it around the school and in the weekly newsletter. We also enjoy entering a wide variety of different art competitions. Our own special gallery space is at the main school entrance where our artwork is curated anew each term.
During the year, we are working with a group of visual art leaders – children from years 4-6, who will be able to lead activities for other children and represent our school at art events.
We make good use of the resurgent artistic community in Thanet, with regular visits to the Turner Contemporary as well as to galleries and events in the local area to broaden children’s experiences of the visual arts. For example, we took part in a project with Turner Prize winning Columbian artist Oscar Murillo, produced artwork for Turner Contemporary’s 10th year celebrations, and travelled to Canterbury to welcome Little Amal, the 3.5 meter high puppet of a young Syrian refugee.
Some examples of our wonderful sketchbook work:
For the ‘Predator’ topic, the children explored a variety of mark making skills with a range of materials including inks and charcoal, based on the work of artist Duncan Cameron. When exploring pattern in animal skins, they also looked at complementary colours for the first time.
David Hockney was one of the chosen artists for year 4’s ‘Misty Mountain Sierra’ topic, as he uses exciting colours and a semi-abstract approach to building landscape images. The children created collage papers by focussing on some of the textures and tonal variations in a landscape. They were then able to select a variety of paints and oil pastels to add to their landscape collages to show a sense of perspective in their work.
Year 5 have studies ‘stargazers’ and ‘Pharaohs’ as two of their topics. By year 5, our children have explored a range of art materials and techniques, and are more free to explore which they personally select for the project purpose.
The stargazers image of the sun was influenced by a text by a Indian Artist collective, entitled ‘Sun and Moon’
Year 6 explored printmaking techniques as part of a study of the work of Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes. Her work was used to inspire the older children's development of their colour mixing skills through layering. They also used repeated pattern in their final pieces to create designs that could be made into fabrics.