The visual arts play an important part of life at Bessemer. The school is committed to ensuring the high-quality teaching of Art and Design Technology. Art and DT across the key stages, follows a rich spiral curriculum, which explores the work of artists and designers and teaches a progression of skills in a range of media.
Bessemer aims to enable children to flourish creatively, to have the skills and confidence to explore ideas using a range of medium and to have the vocabulary to discuss and give opinions about the work of others. By the time they leave Bessemer, we hope each pupil feels able to express their creativity and know the enjoyment of designing and making.
Across the key stages, children get the opportunity to practice different techniques, including drawing, painting, clay 3D modelling, and textiles, such as sewing, batik, and printing.
Often, these activities are purposefully linked to each year groups' termly topics - exploring artists and craftspeople with a historical, cultural, and global perspective. We follow our Skills Progression Grid (available below), to ensure that each area of study is explored in greater depth, and key skills are built upon as children progress through the school.
Art and Design
Each academic year begins with a themed Art Week. Previous years have included themes such as identity, portraits, nature, still life, and landscape, which are explored through the work of individual artists. The children create both an independent, and collaborative piece of art. The work is displayed around the school, which parents are invited to view at tutorial day.
Each half term, art lessons in class cover the skills and techniques outlined in the Skills and Progression Grid. In addition, the children have the opportunity to experience art workshops through our partnership with Dulwich Art Gallery, and other outside providers.
All children in Key Stage 1 and 2 begin the academic year with a sketchbook: a place to reflect, comment, and record ideas; practice techniques, and collect visual information to support their own art work. Children are given the terminology and confidence to talk about artworks and the technique used, and are encouraged to express their own opinions and preferences about them.
On Friday afternoon the children can choose art as one of their golden time activities. If they are unsure what to do they may be given ideas otherwise they are free to experiment with a range of media.
The Big Draw 2023
This year's Big Draw theme was "Drawing with Senses". In our classes, we all listened to different songs with different tempos, dynamics, pitches, melodies, rhythms, and timbre. We listened carefully and thought about what colours, shapes and movements we could hear. We then used a variety of mediums to express ourselves freely using the music as inspiration. Here are some of the pieces we produced!