Visual Arts.

#Kilmacrennan N.S. – Review of Visual Arts Plan 2017-2018

We read our Visual Arts Plan and feel some changes could be introduced:

  • A thematic approach may be introduced gradually throughout the school which allows the Visual Arts Curriculum to be integrated with other subjects ( some examples included for all classes )
  • Art activities to be more child directed where children can express themselves freely thus allowing individuality, imagination and creativity to blossom ( reduce the number of copying and templates )
  • More effort will be made regarding Community Links to:
  1. Exhibit childrens’ art publicly beginning with an Arts Exhibition in May 2018 where parents will be invited in to see and appreciate childrens art work.
  2. Invite artists, craftspeople, designers in the locality to work with the children or by bringing children to view and appreciate the revised aspect of places in the locality e.g. ruin, riverbank, galleries, churches etc..

Teachers may refer to the following when planning their yearly plan for Visual Arts

  1. Strands and Strand Units
  • Infant Classes Visual Arts Curriculum pp 13-23
  • First and Second classes V.A Curr. pp24-41
  • Third and Fourth classes V.A. pp 43-59
  • Fifth and Sixth classes V.A. pp61-77

( see also Teacher Guidelines pp14-15 and 8-11 and Curriculum p 7)

  1. Children with different needs

(refer to TG p19)

  1. Linkage and Integration

(TG p19 and Curr. p8)

  1. Assessment and record keeping

(Assessment & Record Keeping Policies in school, Curr. pp81-86, TG pp 20-22, School’s Policy on Record Keeping)

  1. Equality of participation and access (refer to school’s Equality Policy)
  2. Timetable (time allocation in the curriculum, Primary School Curriculum Introduction pp67-70)
  3. Displays (inside the school, outside the school, other ways like open day)
  4. Resources and ICT ( curr. pp134-140, TG pp130-131, Information and Communication

Technology ICT in the Primary School Curriculum: Guidelines for Teachers

  1. Health and Safety (Health and Safety Policy)
  2. Parental Involvement (Teacher Guidelines p24 and also Guidelines for Parents – your child’s learning Primary School Curr.)
  3. Community Links (TG p24)

Useful websites for Visual Arts attached

Ratification of Visual Arts Plan

The school plan for visual arts has been ratified by the Board of Management of Kilmacrennan National School. We have reviewed the plan again in January 2018. The plan will be reviewed again in 2021-2022 or as required and all teachers and staff will be responsible for informing the visual arts post holder of any amendments they think should be made.

Scoil Cholmcille, Kilmacrennan
Whole School Plan for

Visual Arts

 Title: Whole School Plan: Visual Arts

 Introductory Statement and Rationale

(a) Introductory Statement
The school plan for the visual arts was formulated by the staff, Board of Management and parent.

(b) Rationale
This policy was formulated to provide for creative and aesthetic experiences through exploring, investigating, inventing, designing and making in a range of media.
It promotes observation and ways of seeing and helps the child to acquire sensitivity to the visual, spatial and tactile world and to aesthetic experience.
We believe it channels the child’s natural curiosity for educational ends and conforms to the principles of the curriculum statements on visual arts.

 Vision and Aims

(a) Vision:
In our school we recognize the potential of each child in our care and endeavour to develop those qualities that make each child unique. We promote creativity, imagination and aesthetic understanding in line with the school’s vision statement as outlined in the curriculum statements.

(b) Aims:
• To foster senitivity towards the enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts.
• To enable the child to develop the skills necessary for expression, inventiveness and individuality.
• To enable the child to experience the excitement and fulfilment of creativity and the achievement of potential through art activities.
• To help the child develop sensitivity to the visual, spatial and tactile world and to provide for aesthetic experience.
• To help the child express ideas, feelings and experiences in visual and tactile forms.
• To enable the child to have enjoyable and purposeful experiencse of different art media and to have opportunities to explore, experiment, imagine, design , invent and communicate with different art materials.
• To promote the child’s understanding of and personal response to the creative processes involved in making art.
• To provide opportunities for the child to explore how the work of artists and craftspeople might relate to his/her own work.
• In addition to these aims as outlined in the curriculum statements we also aim to create an atmosphere of enjoyment and allow a sense of fun to permeate our visual arts classes. We aim to exploit the positive effect purposeful visual arts activities can have on the child’s learning and provide activities that promote shared exploration and discovery of the elements and aspects of visual arts education

 Content of Plan


1. Strands and Strand Units:
Teachers should familiarise themselves with the six strands (Drawing, Paint and Colour, Print, Clay, Construction, Fabric and Fibre) and ensure each strand and both strand units are given equal prominence during the visual arts programme for the year. The content objectives and sample activities for each class are included in the plan and colour coded for easy reference. All teachers can have access to same.

2. Children with Different Needs:
The visual arts programme will provide opportunities for all children to experience success. Particular support will be given to children with special needs where discovery and experimentation in visual arts can be very rewarding and may lead to the development of other skills and talents.
Children who display a particular ability in the area of the visual arts will be encouraged to develop their talents through a range of school activities. Parents will be made aware of their child’s talents at the annual parent teacher meeting. These children will be encouraged to avail of opportunities to engage with the visual arts such as entering competitions etc.

3. Linkage and Integration:
Teachers will plan for opportunities for linkage and integration of visual arts activities. A thematic approach may be taken for linking strands e.g. at Christmas construct a crib, make figures from dough/clay, use fabric and fibre to dress figures. The visual arts should be integrated with other subjects – English, Gaeilge, History, Music, Geography

4. Assessment and Record Keeping:
Assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning processes in visual arts education. Teachers observe and discuss both work in progress and completed work. The primary form of assessment in our school is teacher observation where the teacher notes the quality of imagination, inventiveness and involvement of the child. The child’s ability to use materials and tools, the child’s contribution to group activities and the quality of his/her responses to artwork will be observed . Projects, work samples and scrapbooks will also be used to look at the progression of skills development and as a record of achievement.

5. Equality of Participation and Access:
All children will have equal access to all arts activities. No child shall be excluded from the visual arts programme for failure to pay the arts and crafts contribution. Visits to galleries and exhibitions may be arranged during the year.


6. Timetables:
Time allocated to visual arts in every class will be as outlined in the Introduction to the Primary School Curriculum. Some discretionary time may also be allocated periodically to work in the visual arts, particulary in the context of integrated project work or celebration occasions. At certain time of the year teachers may block time…

7. Displays:
Childrens work is displayed in each classroom and should be regularly updated to ensure that the children are inspired by a colourful and constantly changing classroom environment. The school corridors, the entrance hall, notice board are used to display artwork completed by the children. Public display space is rotated between classes on a monthly basis to allow for the exhibition of work by all children in the school. The class teacher, using the school’s digital camera, will be encouraged to take a photograph of the finished product. The photo then will be placed in a resource folder for the visual arts.

8. Resources and ICT:
Consider these under the following headings:
Materials, publications, human resources, financial resources, environmental resources.

Each teacher will be responsible for purchasing and maintaining an adequate stock of basic materials in his/her own classroom. The post holder for visual arts will maintain a central store for materials that are not required in class on a regular basis. It will be the responsibility for individual teachers to inform the post holder when supplies of these are running low so that further stock may be purchased.

The following publications are already in use as reference for members of staff:
1. Primary Art by Dianne Sterrett Book Book A, Book B, Book C, Book D, Book E, Book F, Book G
2. A compliation of ideas for all classes covering all strand areas.
In each classroom these will be a selection of age appropriate books available to children. These will have a variety of stimuli, colour plates of art works, and some information on proceses.

Human Resources:
Artists living locally or those with talen in the visual arts in the schol community, includeing parents will be asked to sulpport the school in tis efforts to develop arts education in Kilmacrennan School. The post holder for visual arts will liaise with the Arts Centre in Letterkenny with local galleries and museums to ascertain when exhibititions and events of interest to children will take place. Every effort will be made to have children visit some of these.

Financial Resources:
An appropriate amount to money will be requested from the BOM annually to fund our visual arts programme. Money will be also be made available from school draws. Contributions may also be requested from the Parents Association.

Environmental Resources:
Every effort will be made by teachers in the school to develop environmental awareness in the children. As often as possible, stimuli will be drawn from the local environment, both on a large scale and in the detail that may be used in some work. In particular, children will be taken on frequent visits/walks to …….. and will be encouraged to work from observation on location.

9. Health and Safety:
School personnel are mindful of the health and safety issues associated with the visual arts. Every care will be taken in using glue, scissors, craft knives, clay and other materials.All art materials used should be non-toxic and safe for children to work with. The children will be encouraged to wear old clothing during practical classes to protect uniforms.
Plastic containers must be used for water. Glass jars are not permitted. Classroom should be well ventilated.

10. Individual Teachers’ Planning and Reporting:
Each teacher’s planning reflects a balanced approach to the six strands in relation to Making and Doing. A thematic approach for some aspects of the programme – the seasons, school events, cross-curricular activities, celebrations and festivities has been agreed. This thematic approach should be reflected in each teacher’s long and short-term planning.

11. Staff Development:
Teachers are supported, where possible by the BOM to develop their range of skills and expertise in the visual arts. Attendence at courses in the education centres promoted and the sharing of knowledge and skills facilitated at staff meetings or at school planning days.

12. Parental Involvement:
Parents with particular skills and interest are invited to support the visual arts programme. They may also be invited to assist in other school events such as Arts week.
Parents are encouraged to avail of any further learning opportunities for their children and can also encourage children to enter local exhibitions and community events.

13. Community Links:
The school runs art fair every few years where the children get the opportunity to display their work for parents and the local community. We also enter local competitions e.g. Credit Union, Garda art competition, local festivals, road safety, seasonal etc.

14. ICT:
Information and communication technologies will also be used to broaden and enhance children’s experience and understanding of art. Computer art will be an existing addition to the art media available to them.
 Success Criteria

The success of this plan will be measured by the following criteria:
¯ Implementation will be evident in teaching and learning in the classroom
¯ Continuity of content and methodology will be evident in teachers’ planning and monthly reports
¯ On going evaluation should demonstrate that pupils are acquiring an understanding of the artistic skills and concepts.

 Implementation

(a) Roles and Responsibilities:

Staff members will pool information on sources of support for implementing the visual arts programme. These sources of support may include :
– parents as partners in education
– parents as links with the community
– artists in residence
– museums and galleries
– craft centres
-television and video
– art reproductions
– education centres

(b) Timeframe:

 Ratification and Communication

This school plan for visual arts has been ratified by the Board of Management of Kilmacrennan National School and will be reviewed again in 2022-23 school year.

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