This page contains resources and advice relating to developing National Curriculum sculpture in primary schools
- Sculpture = Making. NOT designing on paper first! Many schools teach children to work on paper to “design” a building, a textile, a model etc, without children having any kind of understanding of the properties and abilities of the materials they might use, or experience of manipulating these materials. Instead we advocate Design through Making – a simple process much more akin to the way creative adults work, in which children work with materials and techniques from the outset to make sculpture.
- That sculpture is about more than clay! Sculpture is made out of every material imaginable. Sculpture can be made through an additive process (construction) or a through taking away (carving). Sculpture can be conceptual (about ideas). making sculpture is about working with materials and processes, in space, to communicate intention.
- Use Sketchbooks as a Creative Tool. The sketchbooks should be owned by the pupils, and should be at the centre of the pupils’ creativity. Sketchbooks can be used to gather, collect, experiment and reflect. Teachers should not be afraid if sketchbooks seem chaotic – adult sketchbooks are often chaotic – they are a place to put unresolved ideas into the world, which can be assimiliated later. Sketchbooks are rarely linear. Explore all our sketchbook resources here.
- Schools should work to provide access to adequate tools and materials. In our experience many pupils would benefit from time invested in practising using tools, including scissors, glue guns, pliers, saws, hammers etc and alongside these tools have access to a wide variety of sculptural materials (wire, cardboard, paper, modroc, clay, fabric, found objects etc). See also Using Tools resources.
- That schools make full use of local and national museums and arts organisations to discover historical and contemporary sculptors. Less reliance should be made on old favourites and pupils should be encouraged to explore the work of contemporary (and female!) sculptors in addition to old favourites.