A Summer of Art at Toftwood Infant School
This term there has been lots of art happening at Toftwood!
Reception have been continuing to explore art through their play. They have been practising their drawing, painting, making, joining different materials and continuing to explore paint mixing.
In Year One the children have been busy exploring different mediums of art to create artwork, including splatter painting and ocean art, and they worked collaboratively in their classes to create one piece of artwork together. They had a large image cut into sections and with a partner had to recreate their section on a larger scale. When all the sections were put together they had created a enlarged version of one picture as a whole class.
The Year Two children have been busy in the Summer term exploring new skills in art. They practised their observational and life drawing skills but sketching interesting artefacts, taking time to practise their shading. Year 2 children have also explored different styles of art including pop art and watercolour and completed pieces using these skills themselves.
Expressive Art and Design is an area of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, and Art and Design continues to be a foundation subject within the National Curriculum for Key Stage One and Two (Year 1 to Year 6).
Within our federation we aim to stimulate the children’s creativity and imagination through high quality art and creative experiences and art is promoted through all areas of the curriculum where appropriate. Children at Toftwood Infant School are introduced to a wide range of art, including works by various artists and from different cultures, times, genres and styles. At Toftwood Junior School art is often taught alongside topic work, which helps to bring topic learning to life.
Children are given the freedom to express their own ideas and feelings, record observations, develop a range of techniques and use a variety of materials and we aim to give children the opportunity to work creatively indoors and outdoors both individually and in groups. Within the federation we aim to enable children to take part in relevant events and competitions, such as our Toftwood Tate art exhibition and other competitions that are organised by outside companies, such as this year’s Christmas card competition.
In Key Stage 2, children at Toftwood Junior School regularly use their personal sketch books. These are used to record their observations, for working out plans, ideas and designs and for developing techniques through practice and experimentation. They also provide the opportunity to review and revisit ideas.
We aim to provide an exciting and challenging art curriculum. Children are encouraged to discuss and express their own opinions through their art works and our art curriculum aims to engage, inspire and challenge pupils and equip them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art. We endeavour to enable and assist the children in the development of their skills and mastery of art and design experiences and techniques during the primary phase of their education.
The first week back after the final half term saw the children taking part in a special week of activities. These activities were part of a SAW project which incorporates Science, Art and Writing. The theme of the week was The Ocean. Each year group created artwork around this theme. Take a look at our Amazing Art Display to see what each year group got up to! In Year 3, our writing focused on bioluminescent plankton and the beautiful glow it creates. The children wrote their own shape poems including various techniques such as alliteration, simile and metaphor to create some wonderful imagery. These poems were then added to our watercolour paintings of plankton blooms, creating our own sea of plankton. In Year 4, we challenged the children to create a collage of the ocean using plastic. We began by thinking about all the diverse and interesting things that could be found in the sea by creating an ocean alphabet. The children were then shown images of sea creatures made out of plastic to give them some inspiration for their own artwork. In their sketchbooks, the children were given the opportunity to sketch some designs that could be included in their art. To create the background, some children used paint to create a wash while others used oil pastels to create a similar effect. The final part of the project was to use pieces of plastic to create the final collage. It is great to see such a wide variety of ocean scenes that contain a wide array of plants and animals. Year 5 have been very busy! We’ve been making a year group mural to go down the Y4/5 corridor along the theme of ‘Layers of the Ocean.’ The children have researched and found out about the names of five Ocean layers and the plants and animals that live there. In pairs, they stuck five pieces of A4 paper together along the long side and measured out each layer, from sea level, to scale right down to the deepest part of the Ocean which is roughly 11,000m (the Mariana trench off of the coast of Japan). Using their pieces of paper and knowledge of what lives at each layer, the children then worked in pairs to draw, colour and paint on the animals and plants and added details like rocks, submarines and even things in the sky above the Ocean! Finally, we have stuck our artwork up along the corridor to create one giant mural. Year 6 enjoyed creating some collages to depict the different layers of the ocean and produced some pictures of sea creatures in an aboriginal style.
This half term we have studied the author and artist Jeannie Baker and her unique collage representations of landscapes. We particularly focussed on her book, ‘The Window’ as we have spent so much time looking out of our windows at home and then the children created their own collage view ‘from their own window at home’. We discussed rural landscapes and cityscapes and how colour was affected by the change in these areas.
While the majority of the school were working remotely, Year 4 children worked on a project to create an African sunset picture. The first task was to follow step-by-step instructions to sketch a range of African animals. Next, the children created an African sunset using a medium of their choice. On top of this sunset, the children painted or drew on to black paper the outline of animals they had learnt to sketch. The results were spectacular!
Once the children had returned to school, we began our second project of the Spring term which linked to studying Islam in R.E. After researching Islamic geometric patterns and Arabic writing, the children designed and made a print tile using card and string. Once dry, the children applied paint to their paint tile to create a whole page of prints. Take a look below!
This half term we have introduced a new collage topic, which we linked to our history studies of the Mayans. We started by making a mood board after looking at various Mayan landscape scenes.
We thought about mood, emotions and textures represented in these scenes. Next, we made a sketch of the scene we wanted to create and added vocabulary to describe what we wanted our collage to look like. Then we carefully selected papers, card, fabric etc to complete our scenes which are now proudly on display in the corridor.
The children in Year 6 have enjoyed sketching illustrations for their ‘Tyger’ poems. They have also successfully finished off their ‘Amazing Americas’ geography topic by looking at some American artists. We started by learning about Ansel Adams, considered one of the greatest American photographers. We looked at his black and white photos, including the Yosemite National Park in California and were inspired to create our own black and white collages using a range of landscape images.
We have also studied a painting by Albert Bierstadt, a German Artist who moved to New York when he was 2 years old. Using the painting ‘Wind River Country’ (in the Rocky Mountains) we have considered form, process and mood.
The children developed their sketching skills to create perspective using lines and overlapping shapes to create their own Rocky Mountain sketches.
Although we have all been learning at home, there has still been lots of Art happening to celebrate!
This term we have been getting busy throughout the year groups! Reception have been looking at the themes fantasy and animals and been getting creative exploring these. They have explored their creative freedom and practised their painting and drawing skills.
In year 1 the children have explored different ways of creating pieces of artwork at home. They have looked at creating self-portraits, improving their observational drawing skills and using art to express themselves and share what they like!
In year 2, the children have been creating artwork ready inspired by other artists. They have studied the work of Picasso and used the collage and drawing technique to create their own faces, recreated artwork of a water location inspired by the artist Monet, and enhanced their observational techniques by practising self-portraits.
In reception the children have been exploring creating different textures, combining media to create new effects and constructing all through experimenting with colour and mixed materials to create lots of beautiful artwork.
Year 1 have been learning about animals and chose their favourite animal to paint. They researched the different parts of the body of animals and used their drawing skills to try to recreate an image of their favourite animal that they then painted.
In year 2, The children studied the artist Van gogh to inspire their work and looked carefully at the piece ‘Starry night’. They sketched their picture before painting thinking about making shades of colour and including dark and light tones. They have also looked at making watercolour painting and learning this new skill.
The children at Toftwood Junior School have made a great start again with their Art.
Year 3 have been studying the artist Antoni Gaudi. The children have looked at lots of examples of his artwork and have created their own artwork in the style of Gaudi by making repeated patterns. The children then learnt how to draw on a polystyrene tile using various tools. Finally, they painted the tile to create a repeating pattern. The finished designs look delightful!
Year 4 combined Art and Design Technology for their first project. After looking at lots of images of Roman mosaics and learning all about them, the children began working on their designs. The children then selected their final design and added labels describing how they could adapt and improve their idea. They then started the huge task of creating their design out of tiny pieces of paper called tesserae, which the children had to cut, remembering to leave small gaps in between. The finished mosaics look amazing Year 4. These mosaics have been added to the top of a cake stand, which the children have made as part of D.T.
Year 5 started the new term by using a range of pencil grades to demonstrate basic drawing techniques. This then progressed to drawing cubes and spheres and experimenting with lighter and darker shading techniques, first with pencils and then oil pastels. The final stage was for the children to create a sunset using watercolours to make a background before a collage of Stonehenge was added. The results look amazing, the contrast between the stones and the sunset are brilliant. Well done Year 5.
Year 6 have started the new school year by designing Greek mythical creatures. Their designs included detailed labels that explained how they would create the features out of clay. As you can see from the photographs, their finished clay creatures look fantastic.
Amazing Art Display
During the first week after half term, children across the Federation took part in a busy and exciting Arts Enrichment Week. The week focused on the arts and was an opportunity for children to immerse themselves in the arts and experiences lots of new things. You can read all about this week on the Special Events section of the website.
Teachers selected a range of art created in their classes during the week to display on the Amazing Art display board.
Each year group had an artist to study during the week, as well as having visitors and open events where parents, carers and other family members were able to come and join in with our learning.
Focus artists for each year group can be found below:
- Reception – Jackson Pollock
- Year 1 – The Beatles
- Year 2 – William Shakespeare
- Year 3 – Guiseppe Arcimboldo
- Year 4 – The Beetles
- Year 5 – Vincent Van Gogh
- Year 6 – William Shakespeare
All year groups also created artwork and sculptures inspired by the artist Andy Goldsworthy.
A stunning variety of artwork was produced during the week; children who have had their artwork chosen will receive a certificate in a Celebration assembly. Well done to everyone for their hard work and enthusiasm!
Artsmark Gold Award!
We have received some very exciting news to let us know that here at Toftwood Infant School we have been awarded the Artsmark Gold award! We have received this from the Arts Council England and everyone should be proud of the hard work that all the grownups and children have put in to show how valued and enjoyed the arts is in our school. Arts Council England were impressed with how our school provides external opportunities that enhance arts teaching (music, drama, dance and art) that benefit the children and how proud the children are of all the achievements in these areas they are able to make.
“Your children are offered equal opportunity to plan, experience, participate in, and evaluate a broad range of high-quality arts and cultural activities, and your children have an opportunity to further develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of arts and culture through experiences provided.” – Arts Council England.
A huge thank you to all the staff and children at school who have worked so hard over the last two years to achieve this award. It is fantastic to see the children enjoying the arts so much and we all look forward to seeing what excitement is next! Below are a few pictures of some of the exciting arts projects we’ve had in the run up to achieving our Gold award. Well done everyone!