This week’s message (Friday 17 November 2023)

Friday 17 November 2023

This week, we marked Anti-Bullying Week. Make sure your child knows our definition of bullying (Several Times On Purpose) and the solution (Start Telling Other People).

Near the start of each half-term, Mr Wilks writes the weekly message to tell you more about the current topic in school…

What do we mean by topics?

Topics are the way we deliver much of the learning in the foundation subjects (eg history, art, geography, DT). Each half-termly topic has a driving subject – the main focus for teaching pupils the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life. The driver changes with each topic to ensure a broad and balanced curriculum.

Although the learning in each topic is provided by the driving subject, there are opportunities for enrichment through other subjects. For example, learning in an art topic may be enriched by geography learning about where an artist was born and lived.

What is this half-term’s topic?

This half-term, we’re artists: we’re developing our art knowledge and skills. The learning this half-term has two aspects to it. In art history and appreciation lessons, children learn about some specific artists and their work. In art process lessons, children practise and develop skills by creating art.

Each phase has age-related specific knowledge, skills and vocabulary that they’ll learn, use and apply across the topic. Follow this link to the Curriculum Guide to find out more.

Years 1 and 2

Children have two featured artists: Leonardo Da Vinci and Paul Klee. They’ll compare their art, talking about similarities and differences. They’ll discuss what they like and dislike about the art and how it makes them feel. They’ll also learn about the artists’ lives and where in the world they lived.

In practical art lessons, children will hone their artistic skills and knowledge by sketching objects using pencil, learning about and mixing colour and then they’ll be learning how to print by creating relief prints inspired by the artwork they’ve studied.

Part way through the half-term, they’ll visit the Hepworth Gallery for a printmaking workshop to complement the learning in school.

Years 3 and 4

Children will learn about the work of Wassily Kandinsky and Martha McDonald Napaltjarri. They’ll compare and contrast the artworks by these artists and also learn about their lives and the places they lived. In particular, children will learn about abstract and figurative art (see the vocabulary for definitions of these words).

In practical art sessions, children will develop observational drawing skills and their understanding of colour by learning about warm, cold and complementary colours. They’ll then apply what they’ve learnt by creating sculptures inspired by the artists they’ve studied.

Years 5 and 6

Children in Years 5 and 6 are learning about sculpture in their art lessons and will focus on three artists: Thomas J Price, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.

The children have already been on their school trip to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park this week. They’ve seen and learned about sculptures by these artists. In art history and appreciation lessons, they’ll learn about the lives of these artists and how their localities have influenced their art. They’ll learn about classical and modern art in relation to their featured artists and in art movements more generally. They’ll also learn when and why the modern art movement happened.

In practical art lessons, children will continue to develop their observational skills and will create maquettes (see the vocabulary list) inspired by the work of Barbara Hepworth.

How can you help?

Talk to your child about what they’ve been learning in class. The class news page of the school website is a good place to go to find out more about what the children are doing.

Familiarise yourself with the artists and the artwork that your child is learning about. Look in books or on the internet for pieces by the artists and talk about them. Find art by other artists that you like and compare it to the featured artists. If you feel confident, you can go into more depth using the vocabulary. However, if not, leave that to the teachers and just enjoy looking at the pieces and asking general questions:

The Tate Gallery has a good children’s website with games and activities which children can explore.

If you’re in Leeds, the Leeds Art Gallery and Henry Moore Institute are both free to enter.

Finally, thanks for any donations you made to Children in Need today.

Have a good weekend.