Oak updates

27 March 2024

Introducing our art and design curriculum partner

Emily Gopaul

Art and design subject lead

Emily Gopaul is the art and design subject lead at Oak. She is a London-born art educator, artist and art education consultant with extensive experience in teaching and leading art in both primary and secondary school. Emily authored the book “Teaching Primary Art and Design” in 2018, sharing her ideas for effective practices and lessons. She is deeply passionate about ensuring that art education is inclusive and for all.

Developing our new art & design curriculum

Our focus is on lowering workload and supporting teachers to increase their expertise. Over the coming year we’ll be creating a new primary and secondary art curriculum with teaching resources designed to better support your planning, in-class teaching and to help you develop your own curriculum.

Our fantastic partners reflect the diverse range of educational providers and expertise across the country. We are one of many teaching resource and curriculum suppliers, and I am delighted that we can improve this offer so that teachers have an even better choice of foundation materials to build upon in their classroom.

Curriculum partner

I am proud to announce that we will be collaborating once again with the National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD) to develop an improved offer in our primary and secondary art, craft, and design curriculum. NSEAD was our curriculum partner for the primary resources developed during the pandemic and for the diversity review of our KS3 curriculum.

NSEAD is a specialist Trade Union, subject association, and learned society with unique collective expertise in art, craft and design education. NSEAD has offered unparalleled support for art, craft and design educators since 1888, drawing on their active membership community to lead innovation and better practice.

Now, as then, they share our commitment to equity of opportunity for all pupils. NSEAD champions the power of teachers to lead and shape learning that is ambitious and relevant, and like us, they see informed curriculum design as the key to excellent education.

Our art & design curriculum principles

Our guiding principles are a rigorous guide to guarantee that our new curriculum is grown from a strong foundation of core values and key ingredients, ensuring that our curriculum is cohesive and enriching. In primary and secondary art and design, these are:

● Focus on the knowledge and skills specific to art, craft and design, including:

  • Drawing, painting and three-dimensional work - practised discretely to develop technical proficiency as part of a broad programme that includes pupil’s experiences and original thinking;
  • Cultural and contextual knowledge about artists, craftspeople and designers;
  • How art and design is studied, discussed and judged enabling pupils to develop their own appreciation and opinion of it.

● Facilitate both convergent (where pupils work towards similar outcomes) and divergent (where pupils work towards different outcomes) approaches to the way that pupils acquire knowledge and make work.

● Apply our diversity principle by exposing pupils to art and design from a diverse range of contexts

One of our curriculum principles is diversity, and this will be a focus for subject expert groups.

Our overall curriculum approach

These art and design-specific principles dovetail with our overall approach to curriculum design, and how we hope teachers can use Oak, as explained by Emma McCrea, our Head of Curriculum Design. You can also find out more about the new partners and subject experts we’re excited to be working with.

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