As of 01/04/23, Rainbow Preschool is under the leadership of Great and Little Shelford CE (A) Primary School. Existing policies for each respective establishment remain in place.

Art and Design

The whole experience of Art at Shelford School is in line with our vision. This is evident in our annual Art Day where the children get the opportunity to work with an Artist in residence in the school, the way Art within our community is celebrated and shared around the school through displays, and the way we are striving to improve standards through upskilling teaching staff and learning alongside the children.

The 'Big Ideas' are:

Generating Ideas - Recognise that ideas can be expressed through art. Experimenting with an open mind.

Making - Explore materials in a playful and open-ended manner. Try out a range of materials & processes and Recognise they have different qualities

Evaluation - Show interest in and describe what they think about the work of others Take pleasure in the work they have created and see that it gives other people pleasure

Knowledge and Understanding - Know how to recognise and describe some simple characteristics of different kinds of art, craft and design. Discover that art is subjective. Feel confident to express preferences.

Artists and Craftspeople - Know that different forms of creative works are made by artists, craftspeople, and designers from all cultures and times, for different purposes

Children from across the school recently joined Mrs Unwin to share their opinions on art at Shelford. First, they brainstormed what art means to them. A discussion then followed (see below).

Why do people make art? To express their thoughts and feelings. It’s a form of communication. It’s enjoyable and relaxing. People like to be creative.

Why do we have art lessons? It’s important if you want to become an artist or craftsperson. It teaches you different skills you might not learn at home. To develop your creativity and imagination. It’s good for your mental health (doodling, mindfulness drawing).

How do you feel in art lessons? Happy, enthusiastic, excited to find out what we’ll be doing, time to do what I like, I can relax from other learning in my day.

What do you learn in art? Lots of different skills, techniques and processes. Different artists and styles. Children confidently identified art work they have been working on this term and they were very aware of how the art was topic based. They enjoyed this.

How do you know when you have made progress in art? When there is more detail. You’ve achieved targets / learning objective. It’s good to have something to work towards.

Who knows the most about your progression / work in art? You know your own progress in your art work better than anyone else.

 Which areas do you want to improve on in art? Children recognised areas they would like to develop, e.g. ‘I’m better at painting than drawing’, but knew that they more proficient in some areas than others.

How do you improve in art? Learn from experimenting and seeing what works well. Looking at other art.

What do you do if you are stuck in art? Everyone’s good at art in their own way. They can be better or worse at different styles or techniques. Maybe they’re good at talking or writing about art but not so talented!

Do you think teachers should write in your sketchbooks? No. Sketchbooks should just be for us because they are expressive and just about us. Older children realise that art is subjective: You can’t really ‘mark’ art because you might like something that someone else doesn’t. There’s no right or wrong way of doing it.

What makes you feel most proud in art? When I try my hardest. When you finish a big project and you know you’ve made a lot of effort. When you’re pleased with the outcome – you like how it looks.

How are art lessons different / the same as other lessons? We have massive books! Links to different topic areas. Doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong, you just have a best try.

** Art Day 2023 **

Pupils enjoyed a terrific couple of days exploring Indian visual and performing arts. Reception and KS1 took part in fantastic Indian dance workshops with Miss Louise. Meanwhile, KS2 explored using acrylic paint to produce magnificent canvas boards with Indian symbols, e.g. lotus flower, Bhindi teardrop, Taj Mahal. We were delighted to welcome back visiting artist, Heidi Street-Ward, who worked with us back in 2018 on some felt-making. After the dance workshops were complete, the whole school was invited to watch performances together in the hall. The children performed with lots of energy and enthusiasm, impressing the entire audience with their concentration and focus. The paintings produced by KS2 were an absolute delight to see – such an array of vibrant colours and vivid imagery. We hope to have these on display in school soon!

“The music was good. I can remember the actions!” Rupert, Reception Class.

“It was really fun and I liked the dancing!” Nina, Reception Class.

“I really enjoyed the art workshops. I like being creative and I have learned some good tips!” Daya, Year 3.

“The painting was fun and I really liked decorating my painting with some gems to give it extra detail.” Henry, Year 3.

Both Miss Louise (Primary Workshops for Schools) and Heidi (Artists in Schools) commented on how enthusiastic and well behaved our pupils were throughout their workshops. We thank them for spending time with us and also thank all of the wonderful volunteer helpers over the course of the two days.

Art and design is the freedom of the individual, the freedom of expression and the freedom to fail without retort.
Simon Waterfall, Creative Director, Deepend
Art develops spiritual values and contributes a wider understanding to the experience of life which helps to build a balanced personality.
Bridget Riley, Painter
Art and design is not just a subject to learn, but an activity that you can practice: with your hands, your eyes, your whole personality.
Quentin Blake
Awareness and interaction with design is part of the contemporary professional environment. Design issues enter our life every day.
Peter Saville, Art Director and Designer
Art Day 2020
This year our theme has been animals. Key Stage 1 took part in some exciting African Drumming workshops in the hall. This led on to Reception Class and Year 1 making African animal masks. Year 2 linked their art work to their topic on China, making collages of pandas.
In Key Stage 2, we were joined by artist Sandie Sutton. Sandie has an interest in art inspired by the natural world and in re-using plastics to create innovative sculptures. Sandie led Year 3 in a workshop sculpting animals from Snowdonia to link in with Year 3's Mighty Mountains topic. The children used newspaper, plastic bottles, clothes pegs and parcel tape to make sculptures of pine martens, red squirrels, otters, choughs, osprey and beetles.
In Years 4, 5 and 6, Sandie led the children in making individual letters to spell out key phrases from our mission statement. We have been collecting small pieces of waste plastic for the past three months and now the purpose was made clear. Children spent time carefully selecting their plastic based on colour and shape and then experimenting with positioning on the wooden letters.
Elsewhere during the two days, classes looked at the tigers of Henri Rousseau, making string collagraph printing blocks of British animals,
Year 3 entered the Fitzwilliam Museum's Inspire 2020 project. We looked at the painting Cupid and Psyche by Jacopo del Sellaio. We looked at the story of Cupid and Psyche and wrote diary entries describing how Psyche felt while staying at Cupid's palace. This also provided an opportunity to investigate a little into what life might have been like living in comfort in Roman times.
We also used Cupid as our inspiration for dressing the mannequin in our Great Shelford phone box installation. The class imagined what Cupid would say to Psyche if he telephoned her.
The dialogue that the class constructed was included in the final exhibition of work from schools across the county in the Octagon Gallery at the Fitzwilliam Museum. 
Art Day 2019.
Once again we were very fortunate that the PTA generously funded workshops for both Key Stage 1 and 2. 
In Key Stage 2, all the children were delighted to be taught the process of making batik by local artist and teacher Sarah Hutchinson. The inspiration for the batik was the paisley pattern and the children very much enjoyed learning how to use the tjanting to drip the hot wax onto the cloth.
In the classrooms, Year 3 looked at the work of Georges Seurat and Andre Derain. Year 4 looked at how colours can be warm or cold. Year 5 looked at the work of Joaquin Torres Garcia and Year 6 at the portraits of Frida Kahlo.
In Key Stage 1, all three classes took part in a dragon dance workshop. We looked at how people celebrate Chinese New Year and danced with the dragon costume and parasols and fans. At the end of the day, children from Year 1 and 2 performed their dances to the rest of the school.
This is some of the feedback we received from pupils:
"I liked it when we did the parade and walked around the hall waving the dragon up and down" William Year 2
"i liked holding the dragon head in the parade. Also the music made me want to listen to it. I liked the instruments but I didn't know what they were." Joshua Year 2
"I found it weird how you can draw with wax" Elliot Year 6
" I liked the batik because when you put the ink on, I liked watching it spread and then it stopped when it hit the wax." Bea Year 3
"I really liked how we used the wax. As it dried it became solid." Calleb Year 3
Photographs of Art in classes Reception to Year 6 taken during an Art Learning Walk, Spring 2018.
Art Day 2018!
Our second Art Day took place in February.The theme for the day was 'pattern' and classes enjoyed a varied carousel of activities. Children were able to explore pattern in the natural world, look at the work of artists Beatriz Milhazes and Wassily Kandinsky, create tessellated patterns with printing tiles, create paisley patterns, create patterns printing with matchboxes and to investigate the patterns in the Fibonacci sequence.


We were also able to welcome an Artist in residence- Heidi Street Ward who helped years 2-5 create some beautiful felt banners which will be hung in the library. Thank you to all the parent helpers who very kindly gave up their time to help Heidi and the children with the carding, rubbing and rolling of the wool.


This is some of the feedback we received from pupils:

"I really enjoyed making felt, mixing the colours together because you got to use the wool brushes"

"I really enjoyed making the paisley patterns because it is very nice to try something you haven't learnt about before."

"I enjoyed the printing because the neoprene was nice to cut and it was really fun placing the printing tile in different positions."

Art Day 2017!
We had a fantastic day experimenting with different media from clay to paint and printing inks. KS1 and KS2 had a carousel of different activities, moving from room to room.
We were also delighted to welcome the sculptor John Doubleday who gave a presentation in assembly and then worked in the year 5 classroom inspiring the classes who were sculpting mushrooms.
Here is what some of our pupils had to say about Art in Great Shelford:
"It's good. We learn about other subjects through Art like Maths and History." Year 6 pupil
"I like the fact that teachers give an introduction and then you have a choice. You don't have to follow certain rules." Year 6 pupil
"As well as doing the Art, I like to learn about the artists. Each lesson is different and fun. You learn something new about an artist quite a lot." Year 4 pupil
"I'm trying to draw exactly the same as the pineapple. I'm using brown as there's brown on the top and yellow at the bottom." Reception child
"I like painting because you can mix colours to make different colours." Year 2 child
"i like it because it's not too hard. If you've got something wrong you don't need to worry." Year 1 child
"We made puppets. My one is purple with lighter purple string. We sewed around the edge of the two pieces.." Year 1 child