School Plan for Visual Arts

This plan is the second revision of our school plan for Visual Arts which was first adopted in 2001. This revision was undertaken by postholder Dolores Byrne in consultation with the school staff. It was considered at a staff meeting on 9th December 2013 and was approved by the Board of Management on 28th January 2014.


The plan was reviewed before it was updated. This review was undertaken by postholder Dolores Byrne consisted of a study of the previous year’s cuntaisí oibre, interviews with the teaching staff, WSE report from November 2011 and Pupil attitude survey of December 2010. The review noted …

  • all strands were being covered as per school plan
  • increased attention to pupil responsiveness to art as recommended in WSE report of 11th november 2011
  • broad teacher satisfaction with Visual Arts in our school
  • 90% of pupils agreed or strongly agreed that they enjoyed art

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” (Albert Einstein)

We endorse the aims and objectives of the primary curriculum for VISUAL ARTS and hope to achive those aims through the implementation of this plan. Our vision for Visual Arts in Piercestown NS is …

  • that though our Visual Arts Programme the pupils would have the opportunity to express themselves (thoughts, feelings and experience) and to explore their response to the world around them;
  • that pupils would enjoy developing existing talents and learning new skills, while working with a wide variety of media, in an atmosphere of co-operation and encouragement;
  • that each pupils would be enabled to respond to each other’s work as well as to appreciate and learn from the work of other artists and crafts people;
  • that more than 90% of pupils will agree or strongly agree that they enjoy art

The curriculum objectives for each level in our school:
Junior and Senior Infants: Primary Curriculum pp 18-23
First & Second Class: Primary Curriculum pp 30-40
Third & Fourth Class: Primary Curriculum pp 48-58
Fifth & Sixth Class: Primary Curriculum pp 66-76

“The thing is to become a master and in your old age to acquire the courage to do what children did when they knew nothing.” (Henry Miller)

Strand will be covered as follows:
Junior Infants: Painting, Drawing, Clay, Construction, Printing, Fabric & Fibre
Senior Infants: Painting, Drawing, Clay, Construction, Printing, Fabric & Fibre
First Class: Painting, Drawing, Clay, Construction, Printing, Fabric & Fibre
Second Class: Painting, Drawing, Clay, Construction, Printing
Third Class: Painting, Drawing, Printing, Fabric & Fibre
Fourth Class: Painting, Clay, Construction, Fabric & Fibre
Fifth Class: Painting, Clay, Printing
Sixth Class: Painting, Drawing, Construction, Fabric & Fibre


“If you can get them to think, get them to feel, get them to see, then I’ve done about all that I can as a teacher.” (Photojournalist W. Eugene Smith)

Responding to music through art
Art themes based on English, History or Geography
Seasonal Art: Halloween, Christmas, St Patrick’s Day, Easter, Communion, Confirmation, Mather’s Day, Father’s Day
Photography, Film Studies or computer graphics for older classes

“If people knew how hard I have to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem wonderful at all.” (Michelangelo)

All pupils, boys and girls, have equal access to the Visual Arts. Schools grounds and Arboretum are used to inspire art. Natural materials such as leaves are used as art materials. No Visual Arts homework is set. Parents may be invited into class to help with “printing” days. Artistic expertise of parents may be used.

“It is the supreme task of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” (Albert Einstein)


  • Teachers will assess the progress of students by using a selection of the following methodologies:
  • professional observation of process and product
  • judging how well a student follows teacher’s directions
  • observing how well the lesson and strand objectives are achieved
  • judging the confidence and freedom of pupils in using materials and tools
  • levels of student participation
  • levels of student enjoyment
  • student self assessment (teachers will record this in Monthly Progress Record)
  • peer assessment
  • teachers will report to parents on the annual report form (NCCA)
  • teachers will devote at least one page to Visual Arts in their Assessment and Evaluation folder or records
  • pupil responsiveness to art to be included in Cuntas Oibre each month

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain artists once they grow up.” (Pablo Picasso)

Key Concepts and Skill Development

  • Awareness of …
  • line
  • form
  • colour and tone
  • texture
  • pattern
  • rhythm
  • spatial organisation

Language for use in responding to art can be found in our Art Appreciation Booklet in the VIsual Arts Folder in the Staff Room. Each teacher also has a copy.
Timetable: Two hours per week in First-Sixth Class (1 hour 45 mins in Infants)

“Artists are brave pioneers who go out not to spy on the hostile world beyond the frontier, but to mix part of their souls with what they see, and bring back an image of it that is beautiful, cleansed of fear.” (Theodore Zeldin)



  • Art Appreciation posters in Staff Room
  • Art Appreciation Booklet
  • Each teacher is responsible for purchase of art materials for class. €10 per pupil is included in the book bill to cover arts and crafts materials
  • Each children will get at least one opportunity to visit an art gallery, museum or craft centre during their time in Piercestown NS
  • Pupils in Sixth Class visit the National Gallery in Dublin each year and see five/six paintings which they have studied beforehand
  • Internet
  • Sharing of staff expertise is strongly encouraged
  • Outside expertise, visiting artists and arts schemes will be considered from time to time if finances allow and if they complement the Visual Arts curriculum in our school
  • An ANNUAL EXHIBITION of Pupil Art will be organised to all the whole school community including parents and pupils to appreciate the artistic work being produced in our school

“The only rule in art is what works.” (Lee Fleming)


  • Guided discovery with occasional direct teaching as appropriate
  • Work based on pupils’ experience, imagination, curiosity and observations
  • A balance of experience/opportunities with a structured sequence of growth, a balance of depth and breadth
  • A focus on materials and toolsSUCCESS CRITERIA
  • Work samples
  • Videos or photographs of pieces of work during the process
  • Professional judgement of teachers of the extent to which the objectives for each class are met
  • Level of pupil participation
  • Level of pupil imagination and inventiveness
  • Attainment of new skills and concepts
  • Timetable allocation for Visual Arts
  • Cuntaisí Oibre – coverage of curricular strands
  • Reference to skills learned, work created, response to work created
  • Ask the children about attitudes, confidence, skills, products, enjoyment, openness
  • Inspectors’ Reports, including WSE Report of 11th November 2011

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Class teachers will teach Visual Arts as per curriculum and school plan
  • Postholder Teresa Corrigan organises an Annual Art Exhibition of Pupil Art
  • Postholder (Dolores Byrne) will monitor and co-ordinate plan, encourage implementation and liaise with teachers
  • Principal (EB) will evaluate plan on an on-going basis

“We are not interested in the unusual, but in the usual seen unusually.” (Beaumont Newhall)

Implementation, Review, Ratification & Communication

This plan is now fully implemented. It will be reviewed approximately every three years. The next review will take place in the 2016/17 school year. The principal and one of the postholders will be responsible for co-ordinating the review. Teachers and pupils will be involved in this review. The plan has been ratified by the Board of Management. The plan will be published on the school website and hard copies will be provided upon request to teachers, Parents Committee or Board members.

Piercestown National School,
June 2001
11th December 2006
28th January 2014

Fr John O’Reilly, Chairperson, BoM
Dolores Byrne, Postholder
Eamonn Barrett, Principal

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