Art, craft and design is a practical and creative subject. Through their active participation pupils learn to explore their imagination, generate ideas, acquire skills and apply judgement. It is also a subject in which pupils develop their knowledge and understanding as well as their skills. They learn about the materials and techniques they use and about the world of art, craft and design, recognising the achievements of artists, designers and craftspeople from many different times and cultures.
The NSEAD believes that a world class art, craft and design education provides and inspires personal expression, cultural understanding, creative and practical responses, promoting imaginative risk taking to provide solutions to our material, emotional, social and virtual worlds. A world class, art, craft and design education will engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to participate in, experiment with, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. Pupils should be able to think creatively and critically. They should investigate and evaluate a wide range of creative outcomes from the past and present to develop rigorous understanding of the many disciplines within art, craft and design and how they shape our history and future. This will enable pupils to contribute as confident citizens and future professionals to the culture, creativity, economic success, leisure, material and emotional well being of our society within both national and global contexts.
- Design at primary level might well include some of the considerations noted on the ‘Exemplifying Design within Art and Design' page’ - albeit in a lower level of depth and often with the need for adult demonstration and guidance.
- The national curriculum in England encourages primary-aged pupils’ exposure to the work of designers and architects, alongside that of artists and craftspeople.
- Sketchbooks are especially useful as a place to record design thinking and observations to inspire making. Older children can be given more responsibility and independence to pursue research activities that can contribute to the design process, such as internet research, reading and discussions which can then be usefully recorded in their sketchbooks.
- It is important to note that a ‘design and realisation’ approach can be difficult for younger children – e.g., draw your design for a sculpture, then use the drawing to make the sculpture. Instead, younger learners benefit from a more organic approach to the design process, where they can design-in-the-making, discussing the process soon after and perhaps also recording the outcome afterwards – e.g., via a sketch or photograph.
- In Scotland, art and design is a subject within the Expressive Arts area of the curriculum.
- Through art and design, learners have rich opportunities to be creative and to experience inspiration and enjoyment. They explore a wide range of two- and three-dimensional media and technologies through practical activities, and create, express, and communicate ideas. Their studies of the works of artists and designers enhance their enjoyment and deepen their knowledge and understanding.
- In the curriculum for Northern Ireland, art and design is a subject within the Arts as part of 6 areas of learning. This curriculum sets out a minimum requirement for each key stage. Design within art and design is holistically defined, but does qualify the need for teachers to reference designers, design media and practices, alongside their focus on art and craft contexts.
- The art and design curriculum suggests:
- A high-quality Art and Design curriculum should engage, inspire and challenge children to develop their understanding and abilities, equipping them with the knowledge, skills and confidence to experiment, explore and create their own pieces of art.
- As children progress through these key stages, they should develop a more comprehensive approach towards their understanding of the importance of Art and Design in the world around them.
- Teachers should provide opportunities for direct sensory experiences. These will develop children’s visual, spatial and tactile awareness and manipulative skills. Teachers should also gradually introduce children to art and design tools, materials and processes. This will enable children to express their ideas more fully through colour, line, shape, space, form, pattern and texture.
- Children need consistent experience of Art and Design to understand what artists, designers and craft workers do, and to develop their own confidence in using a wide range of media and techniques.
- Art and Design activities encourage children to:
- respond to the world around them;
- respond to their individual feelings and emotions;
- develop and use their imagination;
- express their ideas, thoughts and feelings;
- solve problems; and
- become more aesthetically aware.
In the Curriculum for wales, Art is included within the Expressive Arts and includes the experimentation and development of an almost limitless range of resources, materials, techniques and processes across all types of art, craft and design to produce a range of outcomes and to demonstrate a personal and creative response. Design thinking and design processes in science and technology complement the approach to design and investigation in the expressive arts, and also involve the exploration of different media through which design and creativity can be communicated to others.