The Perse School

Art and Design Technology

We cultivate visual communication and an ability to think creatively

Our aim

We cultivate an appreciation of the arts and of the wider visual world, developing visual communication skills and the ability to think creatively in an environment where all pupils feel inspired and excited to explore art and develop a range of skills.

Our projects give pupils the chance to work with a range of different materials including charcoal, oil pastels, watercolour and poster paint and are designed to encourage independence. Pupils work on both 2D and 3D projects: 3D art is explored through a range of media, including clay, plaster, papier-mâché, card, wood and wire.

Pupils explore historical and contemporary art and diverse styles, from Alexander Calder sculptures to the ceramics of Bernard Palissy, and from the paintings of Alexander Caufield to James Dyson’s vacuum cleaner!

We make cross-curricular links with other subjects to deepen pupils’ learning – particularly with history – for example, in Year 3 pupils create their own cave style pictures, in Year 4 they make an item of  Egyptian jewellery and in Year 5 they study Tudor artists, in particular Hans Holbein. Science, music, history and human emotion are all areas which we address when looking at different examples of artists’ work.

Learning journey

Pupils begin by developing an understanding of the qualities needed to make a simple drawing and of the wide range of different painting and printing styles and methods in art. They also learn about using colour and discover how to shape and mould clay.

Looking at the work of different artists is an important part of each art project; we encourage pupils to make observations and discuss qualities in the artists’ work.

We use a wide range of materials and techniques to ensure all pupils can enjoy their respective qualities and excel in a medium of their choice.

By the time they leave us, pupils have developed the skill to create a sense of depth and space using line and tone in drawing and to make an intuitive response to the materials used and the marks they make.

Beyond the classroom

Each year pupils put on an art exhibition using techniques such as ceramics, painting, pastel drawings, sculpture, collage and drawing. Recent themes have included ‘structure’ and ‘colour’.

The Art Department arranges visits to the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Anthropology Museum for pupils in Years 5 and 6. Artists in residence also visit the School and work with pupils on specific projects.

Our programme of clubs and societies includes the after-school Art Club where children make, paint and draw and model or sculpt using papier mache and clay, and the drop-in Origami Club where pupils make structures during their lunch break. Pupils are also welcome to use the Art Department facilities during some lunchtimes (under supervision).


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