Teaching in Art and Design Assessment

I have just had my teaching in art and design assessment. I went first so it was nerve-wracking as I didn’t really know what to expect when asked questions or if I was talking about relevant stuff.

I had an issue with my wi-fi on my laptop so connecting to the internet was a problem. I couldn’t connect to my learning journal which had every little detail and the things I wanted to talk about. I could access the first 3 posts of my learning journal but then I lost internet access all together. I had prepared a presentation anyway which is linked to my blog, however, I had to use plan B and actually use this presentation as my assessment talking point. I almost regret not planning on doing this anyway. It would have been much better as it’s much more neat and the slides go through the process instead of reading through masses of text on my learning journal. I only had just over 5 minutes to talk about everything so I think a Powerpoint presentation would have been much more efficient.

I think the assessment went well. I regret not doing the A1 posters on Photoshop for the assessment, however, I didn’t feel confident with the outcome.

I talked about pretty much everything I had covered on my blog, however, looking back and listening to everyone’s presentations after mine I wished I had mentioned a few things. Such as the behaviour, the background of the school, and more detail could have been said about the lessons I had prepared. I don’t think I went on too long and the lecturers seemed engaged, it was just such a shame I couldn’t get my learning journal to work.

If I were to go back and have my assessment again, I would have talked more about the points talked about in paragraph 4. I would have also prepared a much more detailed presentation and used this as my talking point. Also, I think it would have been good to prepare a script to prompt my memory of what I was trying to say next, as I can struggle quite a lot with talking about my work and ramble about things that aren’t really relevant.


Teaching in Art and Design Evaluation

27605389_10204391326178842_1159231405_oThe module, Teaching in Art and Design has been such an amazing experience to have taken part in. I feel grateful that I was able to go to a school and get a feel for teaching. It was definitely an eye-opening experience. Within the first week I had realised the job was not just a simple art teaching job. There is so much literacy that needs to be included in the lessons, more than the practical art, there is the behaviour that needs to be dealt with, a form class, assembly, pupils who have problems at home, the teachers described themselves as an art teacher, but also an english teacher, a nurse, a social worker, and a friend. There is so much work that goes into teaching. I think the job would be very rewarding but challenging too.

I was placed in Cyfarthfa High School. This school is about 30 minutes drive from my home, so it was easy to travel to. It is placed in Merthyr Tydfil and is a mixed site for 11-16 year olds. There was approximately 1200 pupils in the school. The school has had a brand new extension, however, the rest of the school is very aged and traditional. The area is quite deprived and society isn’t good. Some of the pupils family lives were really awful. It normally effected their behaviour.

My time observing the lessons was useful as I picked up techniques of how to control the class. I also saw examples of how to get the pupils focused by counting down, or by simply waiting.

The opportunity to observe year 8 pupils came up. I couldn’t believe the difference in the pupils. In art they were very disruptive and loud. They were challenging the teacher and a few of the boys were put down for break time detention. Math’s was completely different, the pupils were silent as soon as they sat down. They didn’t challenge the teacher once, the maths teacher didn’t really have a different teaching approach, he was quite blunt but still had an informal relationship with the children. I think this change in behaviour was because maths is a very academic subject, art isn’t. I also think maybe it’s because the maths teacher was a male.

I planned lessons for year 8 to year 10. I didn’t really get much time with year 7 which was disappointing as I found the younger pupils were the more responsive pupils. Year 7 were looking at pirates which was the topic running through out English, Art and Drama.

Year 8 were looking at pop art food. They were in the middle of painting a cupcake with water-colour paints. I am a painter and use a lot of acrylic paint in my work, I decided to plan a lesson to teach a small group of pupils how to use acrylic paint. I prepared resources for the lesson, outlines of food for the pupils to paint. There was a broad range of abilities that I taught, each time I gave the lesson, I gained confidence and had a positive response from the pupils.

Year 9 are eventually going to be making snow/ surf/ skate boards. They were looking at tattoo designs and graffiti to start thinking up some designs. There was a lot of literacy in year 9 Art, the pupils were constantly analysing artists work or correcting spellings. I planned to screen print with the year 9s as it could be used to create the designs on their boards. I cut out tribal design stencils, however, I only got to demonstrate screen printing once. The pupils seemed excited that the work was made for them by simply dragging ink down the screen. I then got to demonstrate how to use stencils to create a similar print. The pupils cut out their own stencils, the stencils were grouped as easy, medium and hard. The pupils had a choice of what difficulty to go for, the ones who chose to cut out a hard stencil also had the challenge of learning how to use a craft knife. Stencilling was successful, I got the chance to demonstrate and teach the whole class which I am glad of. It also made me much more confident.

I decided to teach year 10 how to screen print too. They are choosing their themes for the next year, natural or man-made. When looking through their books I found that there wasn’t much experimentation. Their books were perfectly set out, with hardly any mistakes or materials. I wanted to try to break them into learning that its ok to make mistakes and leave their comfort zone. I found year 10 very difficult to engage with. They would not give their all in the task and were simply not bothered about creating work. This frustrated me as I had cut out all of the stencils, and prepared the paint. They only had to pull the squeegee over the screen to create an image. I think most year 10s had taken art as a GCSE to mess around.

I got on well with most pupils and most pupils reacted positively to me. I got to the point where I felt confident enough to tell pupils off or to talk to large groups of pupils. I think if I could improve, I would go back and attempt to be more confident and prepared to teach screen printing. I would also have liked to teach more pupils as I taught small groups and only a full class twice.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, we had to participate in a chat to talk about our teaching experiences and problems we had occurred. This was useful when I had a problem or an enquiry.

I learnt about ‘Bloom’s Taxonomy’, this was useful when I had to plan out my lessons. I  also learnt a new word, Pedagogy. Pedagogy means the method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept.

I attended every Pedagogy and Teaching seminars on Mondays at Cyncoed. These seminars were useful as I had the chance to listen to PGCE students talk about their time in their placements at Primary schools. This has given me an insight into what Primary school teaching is like, and made me interested in teaching at a Primary school.

Overall, I have enjoyed my time at Cyfarthfa High School. It was an eye-opening experience, and definitely one that I needed. I must take into consideration where the school was, as the pupils were much more challenging and the society wasnt good. I think I’d definitely like to try out teaching at a secondary school again, just to see if the behaviour is any different else where. I am thinking maybe going into Primary school teaching isnt such a bad idea as I found most of the younger ones were the most enagaged. They wanted to get involved more and I think this is what Primary school teaching would be like. If I don’t think Primary school teaching is for me, maybe College teaching. The pupils who choose art will be more interested in it than those who chose it for GCSE. I think this was the problem I found at my allocated secondary school, the pupils didn’t like art, they wasn’t excited about it.

I think this module has given me an amazing insight into teaching and the university should definitely run this module next year as it gives students who want a taste of teaching exactly that. My experience has been positive in my allocated school.



School Placement Thursday Week 4

Today is my last day at my school placement. I am hoping that I can follow a class around for a small amount of time as I have not been on a pupil trail yet.

Year 8 Lesson 1

I was in with year 8 for lesson 1, they were gluing sheets into their books for the whole lesson. It took them an hour to stick 5 sheets into their books, there was so much fuss and disruption. I was not able to take the pupils to acrylic paint today, it was frustrating to see how much the pupils were acting up.

I then followed the pupils to their next lesson, maths.

Year 8 Maths

It was so interesting to see how the pupils reacted differently to a different teacher. They went from being uncontrollable to being silent. The pupils sat in the correct seating arrangements with no hassle and they were eager to learn. The lesson subject was fractions, they wanted to answer the questions, always hands up if they wanted to answer. I couldn’t believe the difference in the pupils, they did not speak throughout the whole lesson.

The maths teacher was quite blunt, but he joked around a lot with the children. He tried to make their maths lesson fun by being informal, the pupils really responded well and respected the teacher. He didn’t raise his voice once, he wasn’t strict, however, I think if the pupils acted up he wouldn’t allow it.

I think this huge switch in behaviour was because maths is an academic subject, which ‘they need to get anywhere after school’. I also think maths is a much more structured lesson, it may even be because the teacher was male. Maybe the pupils are more intimidated because of this, more intimidated than if a female teacher were to teach them.

observation maths yr 8

Year 9 Lesson 3

Lesson 3 was spent with year 9. Every day the pupils have 20 minutes of reading and so it landed on this lesson. I think making the pupils having to read for almost half of a lesson makes the lesson planning difficult especially if you want to do practical work with the pupils. When their reading was finally finished they were gluing sheets in and some began to stencil. I demonstrated to the class how to demonstrate, using the same lesson plan as Tuesday. They were quite rowdy, so I had to control them. The lesson went very fast because of the reading at the beginning.

Lesson 4 was a free lesson. I used this time to fill in my observation sheets.

Year 7 Lesson 5

This was my last lesson. I didn’t plan anything as the teacher had work that they needed to catch up on. They were completing artist analysis in their books, with images such as the ones below.

Once they had finished analysing, looking at every detail in the photo, the colours and the textures, they could move onto sketching things they could see in the image, a starfish for example. If they had completed all of these tasks, they could then move on to finish any other tasks uncompleted in their books. This lesson had a mixture of ability, some pupils were really playing up with their friends but some of the pupils were so well-behaved.

The year 7s have sheets like this to recap. They also have games like snakes and ladders, if they answered the question correctly, they could move forward. The empty blocks are for the pupils to answer the questions. 28081041_10204448395085529_1234229733_o


School Placement Tuesday Week 4

Year 10 Lesson 1

Lesson Plan year 10

Year 10’s were choosing their theme of natural or man-made. I screen printed with four pupils who had decided what they were going to choose. I went through the same Powerpoint, and demonstrated the technique. They were more talkative and seemed more animated at the idea of screen print, unlike some of the year 10s I had taught.

The 4 pupils chose their stencils and had a go at screen printing. Some pupils even screen printed more than once which was surprising as the previous year 10s didn’t even want to try out screen printing. 27535855_10204391325658829_1110467660_o

If I were to teach this lesson again I would take more photographs of the pupils work as its so fast paced that I didn’t stop to take a photo. I would also try to ask more questions about screen printing as it didn’t really have much relevance to them I thought.

Year 9 Lesson 2

I planned to demonstrate stencilling in this lesson.

The teacher introduced the lesson and gave the introduction. I then demonstrated how to stencil using paint and a sponge, and how to create a two-tone and a one tone stencil.

I have never done stencilling before so I was a little unsure when giving the instructions. I think I explained ok, however, it could have gone better. I was quite nervous as it was my first time controlling a full class.

I then walked around the classroom helping the pupils cut out stencils and create a stencil print by adding paint. I enjoy walking around the class helping the pupils with their work, I don’t feel entirely confident at the moment to control the class, however I think confidence will be built up slowly.

There were some really lovely designs being created.

Year 9 Lesson 3

Lesson Plan yr 9 

I did exactly the same lesson plan, the teacher took lead of the lesson and I demonstrated and helped out the class. This time the pupils were slightly less ability than the class I had taught previously. They took a little more time to demonstrate and get their attention. The teacher basically left the class to me, I felt much more confident doing it a second time. The pupils began to play up and I was left to control them, even though this was out of my comfort zone this was needed to give me that boost.

Above are examples of my demonstration. I cut out an ‘easy’ stencil to demonstrate. The stencils go up in 3 tiers, easy, medium and hard. The pupils enjoy the fact that the stencil creates their image without much effort, it is such a quick yet effective technique.

I think the pupils responded positively to me and every pupil achieved something, even if it was only learning to use a craft knife.

The rest of the school day was spent planning lessons. I think today has gone really well, I feel like I’ve been taken out my comfort zone, but the results were positive.


Cyncoed Teaching Seminars 5/02

Today in Cyncoed, the group each discussed their experiences at school. It was interesting to hear how everyone’s placement was going, some experiences were better than others.

The lecturer then told us what was expected of us at the assessment. Two A1 posters created on Photoshop and a script/ presentation to go with it. The poster is the part I really struggled with at first. As a painter, I don’t really use Photoshop so I had no idea what I was doing. I found it difficult to find my way around the tools and couldn’t even put a photograph on the screen at first. I slowly became more comfortable with it, I had used it at college but also asked for help as I couldn’t figure it out.

I spent about 3 hours on the same poster, I based the poster on year 8s as I have worked with them the most. I added all of my photographs I had taken over the past 3 weeks at the school, text was also added.

I’m quite impressed with this poster as I really wasn’t confident to begin with.


It shows the transition from watercolour paint to acrylic paint. I added a small amount of text as I didn’t want it to be too busy. I did not want to use this poster to present to the class about my experience in the schools as it could be so much better.

In the future, I think it would be really helpful to learn how to use Photoshop as it is a skill that is becoming more and more required. To follow on from this project, I am going to challenge myself to learn how to use Photoshop, even if I only learn very basic skills.


School Placement Thursday Week 3

Year 8

Lesson 1

As I had year 8 again, I decided to use the same lesson plan as Tuesday, using the same sheets with the outline of food.

Lesson Plan year 8

This group of year 8’s were a lower ability class than I taught on Tuesday. I had to take that into mind and help them more. I planned to just paint the food as I didn’t think they would get to writing a small paragraph about acrylic paint.

I started off by giving them a brief talk about acrylic paint, unfortunately I didn’t have my laptop today as it had to go in to be repaired. This meant I had to use a sheet for references instead of having it on my laptop.

The year 8’s began to paint and I showed them the references I had, they seemed to like the paint and responded well when I asked them about acrylic paint and the differences from watercolour paint.

The girls understood the task right away, however, the boys not so much. The theme is pop art food, which I should have reiterated.

The painting on the left was by one of the boys. It’s not really like Pop Art at all, more like Surrealist art as there’s a cloud with a lightening bolt that turns into the drip of the ice cream, cleverly thought out, however, not what we was looking for in this lesson. The painting on the right was created by one of the girls. The colours are bold and she uses tone. The background is neat and frames the strawberry, she added the lines herself and the colours, it’s a shame she did not finish it in the hour.

As you can see, the year 8’s today did not get onto the task of writing about the use of acrylic paint.

To improve from this lesson, I should ensure the pupils have references as they can’t stray off and paint something different from what the aim is. I also should have picked up the boys with their paintings and showed the references or made an example of the girls work to help them understand what I was looking for.

Year 8 Lesson 5

Lesson 5 is always difficult I find as the pupils have just had lunch so it is difficult to wind them back down to teach, however, they know they are going home after the lesson.

The same lesson was taught, I used acrylic paint with a small group. I tried to take on board areas that needed improvement from lesson 1.

I used the same reference sheet from the morning lesson, but made it accessible for all the pupils to look at. They were a nice group of pupils to work with, with the same ability as lesson 1. I think they liked the fact they were chosen to paint with acrylic which made them want to do the work. 27711625_10204410341454212_1237129795_o

They all added backgrounds, and looked especially at the dots used in Pop art. They were really clever and came up with using the handle end of the paint brush to add dots to their paintings. The hour was not long enough for them to complete their work which is a shame as they really got stuck into it.

Some pupils used the acrylics like a wash, like water-colour paints.

To improve, I think I should have asked more questions to provoke a conversation amongst the group about acrylic paint.

I enjoyed teaching this group as they were interested in the task, but also intrigued about what I was doing at their school and why I wanted to be a teacher.

Year 9

I was in with year 9 for lesson 3. I had planned to teach a small group how to screen print, however, the teacher decided to go ahead with her lesson as she had missed a lot of lessons due to absence, meaning the year 9s had suffered with their work. I helped the year 9s with the task, they had to create backgrounds with tissue, wallpaper and foil.

I set up a small printing area and demonstrated screen printing to the class, a small group at a time. They were intrigued by this and seemed to be happy that the screen print had basically just made an image for them, instead of having to take the effort to paint it.

They didn’t get to print with me as they had to complete their work, however, next lesson I am planning on demonstrating how to use stencilling to create work.

This is an example of what I will be showing them, this is a higher tier students’ sketch book.27744205_10204410341134204_827539159_o.jpg

I am going to research how to use stencilling in work before the lesson so I can familiarise myself with what to do and what instructions to give.


School Placement Tuesday Week 3

Year 10

Today was the first time I taught pupils. I started with some year 10’s, I decided to teach them the skill of screen printing. The school does not have an exposure machine so I had to teach myself the technique of using stencils before hand. I had planned this lesson on Thursday of week 2, so I cut stencils out before hand.

Lesson Plan year 10

I cut the stencils out for year 10 so we could just get on with the printing instead of fussing over a stencil cutting.

I did a mixture of natural and man-made stencils as some pupils in the class have chosen the theme of nature and some have chosen man made.

I showed the small group a power point with some brief information about screen printing, available in the link below, and then demonstrated the technique.


They then had a go themselves. The reactions I got was that they were not excited to try this technique, and they didn’t really say much.

I demonstrated to another small group of year 10’s who were being covered by a supply. This lesson instantly felt different as the children were playing up for the supply and the supply wasn’t very supportive of me.

Above is an example of the eye print. I think the stencils could have been better but I did them by hand and it was only to allow the pupils to have a go at screen printing to get some experimentation into their books, which they are lacking.
27711005_10204391325858834_409993256_o A few pupils wanted to go further with these prints so I showed them how to use tone in their prints by using 2 colours.

To improve this lesson, I think I should have allowed them to be in more control of the tools to create the prints, I feel I took too much control. However, part of me feels this was needed as they were so unresponsive.


Year 8

In the afternoon I had year 8’s. I planned to use acrylic paint with them as they are using watercolour paint at the moment.

Lesson Plan year 8

They are focusing on food, especially within the pop art movement. The four pupils who did this task with me were lovely. They were so much more excited about the task than the year 10’s were earlier in the day. I started by giving them the choice of food that they would then paint using acrylic paint. I had a mixture of healthy foods and unhealthy, examples are shown below.

I had a Powerpoint, in the link below, with some painted food references and tips of how to use acrylic paint.


The pupils got into the task straight away, and responded well when I asked them questions such as, “what are the immediate differences you can spot between watercolour and acrylic paint?”, “do you prefer acrylic paint or watercolour paint?”, “would you use acrylic paint again?”. They seemed to talk amongst themselves about these questions and watched what each other did to pick up on different techniques when using acrylic paint. 27605389_10204391326178842_1159231405_o

I mentioned using tone as this is a big focus in their watercolour paintings, which they understood and added tone to their work. I think they really enjoyed using acrylic paint as they sat and painted straight away.

The pupils also added a background like the references I had for them, without me telling them about the backgrounds they could look at. As they were flying through the task I decided to get them to write a small paragraph of writing on their work about acrylic paint, such as if they liked it, what differences there was, as I didn’t want them to get bored, the year 8’s in this lesson had more ability. Before the lesson started, I wished I had made some task sheets with questions to include literacy.

I really enjoyed teaching these pupils as they were so excited about learning something new, they were also really focused on the task and wanted to complete something for their books.

To improve, I think I should have printed out the reference sheets so they didn’t all have to keep looking at my laptop screen. Also, I could improve by creating a sheet with questions for them to answer about acrylic paint.