Systematic planning by the teacher for the development of concepts, skills and attitudes, and their assessment within units of work, will be crucial for the success of the visual arts programme. In planning a unit of work for his/her class, the teacher will be aware of the progress the children have made, as well as the special needs of some children. In selecting content, a balance will be maintained between work in two and three-dimensional media and between opportunities for making art and for looking at and responding to art.
The exemplars that follow demonstrate ways of realising some of the content objectives of the curriculum. The first four exemplars incorporate a range of activities in making art, and in looking at and responding to art. The concepts and skills that underpin the activities are summarised in the sections dealing with approaches to teaching, and assessment. The fifth exemplar is more specific and includes a specific set of objectives for the activities outlined. The sixth examplar is a model for integrating with other curricular areas, a theme which may have been explored earlier through a variety of visual arts media.
The first set of four exemplars shows how a theme that is initially explored through drawing may be developedthrough a number of strands. It comprises:
- a unit of work for infant classes that develops the theme 'I can help' through drawing, paint and colour, clay and construction
- a unit of work for first and second classes that develops the theme of 'playing' through drawing, paint and colour, clay and construction
- a unit of work for third and fourth classes that develops the theme of 'weather' through drawing, paint and colour, construction and fabric and fibre
- a unit of work for fifth and sixth classes that develops the theme of 'the street' through drawing, paint and colour, print and construction.
Exemplar 5 shows how a concept such as colour awareness could be developed. The sixth exemplar shows how the theme of 'playing', which is developed for first and second classes in Exemplar 2, can be further developed through integration with other curricular areas.
The children's experience and level of development in art may suggest planning units of work at a higher or lower level than that given for their class level.
EXEMPLAR 1 - A unit of work for infant classes
EXEMPLAR 2 - A unit of work for first and second classes
EXEMPLAR 3 - A unit of work for third and fourth classes
EXEMPLAR 4 - A unit of work for fifth and sixth classes
EXEMPLAR 5 - Exploring colour with infant to sixth classes
EXEMPLAR 6 - Integrated theme for first and second classes