Overview of the art curriculum for students from 8 to 12 years old

Within the context of this programme, students use a broader range of subject matter and media, tools, materials, processes and techniques, to produce works of art. They grow more sophisticated in depicting movement, spatial relationships, and emotions.

The working environment is very positive and supportive of students’ efforts, because although they possess increased manual dexterity, their skills may not yet allow them to reach their own expectations in producing increasingly elaborate work. Therefore, focus is given to the growth of technical and observational skills. The idea is to help students recognize that mistakes can be turned into creative opportunities.

Students use their knowledge of the elements and principles of design to solve artistic problems and analyse works of art. They generate and develop visual ideas in response to a variety of motivations, using imagination, observation, and a study of artists’ works, and incorporate into their art ideas gained from sources such as independent reading.

Students also explore and describe how different media influence the communication and interpretation of ideas in their own and others’ work. They analyse and evaluate an artists’ intent. They also analyse and describe how art-making processes and procedures clarify meaning and intentions in their own and observe how artists tell stories and create mood in their work. Students use their growing analytical and evaluative skills to investigate the purpose and significance of objects, images, and art works in past and present cultures. They also examine the contexts in which they were or are made, viewed, and valued.

Drawing: Lines, Shapes and Space

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Students experiment with lines to indicate emotion. The work with contour lines, lines of various weight and repetition to create visual rhythm. They learn how to create depth and form using linear and curved hatching and cross-hatching. They explore shading and shadows to create the illusion of depth.

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Students are also introduced to proportion. They are taught the relationship of the size and shape of the parts of a figure to the whole figure; the scale of one object compared to its surroundings. They are initiated to gesture drawings and implied lines for movement and depth.

Students learn about perspective and the lines that direct the viewer’s attention and how lines can create the illusion of force and movement.
They use the focal point to build-up a centre of interest and one-point perspective. They observe and experiment with the changes in shapes, depending on the angle or point of view, as well as positive and negative shapes. They also experiment with the grouping of shapes and abstract shapes and forms, as well as shapes organized in a pattern showing radial symmetry or in a mosaic. Students learn about positive and negative space in art work, the diminishing perspective in various contexts and the variation in size to create the illusion of depth. They experiment with  symmetrical and asymmetrical shapes and forms in font and image, as well as with convex, concave and non-objective shapes. They arrange elements of design to create the impression of equality in weight or importance.

Colour and Painting

Students experiment with monochromatic colour schemes and colour emphasis through variations in value, contrast and intensity. They work with complementary colours, hue, intensity by dulling, neutralizing by mixing the colour with a small amount of its complementary hue. They explore gradations of value to create an illusion of depth and shading. Students further experiment with repetition and rhythm by using a variety of media to repeat colour (as well as shape) and shape in patterns (randomly, in alternation and regularly). Students use colour concepts to
creating balance and study, for instance, how “neutral” colours appear lighter in “weight” than dark or brilliant colours and how warm colours seem to expand, whereas cool colours seem to contract.


Students work on texture elaboration, for instance by embossing, piercing, pinching, pressing, scoring, scraping and experiment with texture quality (e.g., matte, sheen) and low relief.

Modeling and Construction

Students learn how to make basic 3D shapes and figures (human, animals and other organic forms) using a variety of media: clay, clay polymer, salt dough, paper, cardboard, papier mâché.

Art History & Aesthetics

In this module, students explore the art styles of ancient civilisations and modern cultures, both ethnic and Western.  Classes are divided into smaller groups and like art historians, each group investigates the art of a particular time and culture, using a world map. Subjects range from Ancient Egypt,  Ancient Greece or China, Maya, Byzantium or Aborigen to name a few.  Students choose artifacts and artworks which they think best represents the art of the culture. Pieces can be represented by student-made posters, photographs, drawings, and models of the artworks. They write a general overview giving a brief description of the culture and the major aspects of the art style they are studying.  Students are also required to explain why some forms or styles appeared when and where they did, for instance pyramids in Egyptian and Mayan civilisations. Students present their choices to the rest of the class. It is also possible for the class to organise an exhibition.