Initial Teacher Training - Trainers Pack and Programme


Organisation and Management


Good practice in the organisation and management of art and design activities in a primary classroom is a crucial factor in developing trainee's confidence and ability to deliver the art curriculum in a purposeful and accessible learning environment. Setting up and maintaining a calm and controlled atmosphere, in which children can work imaginatively and express their ideas freely, can be a cause of anxiety for many non specialist teachers. It is, therefore, essential that trainers address these concerns regularly, and at appropriate moments, throughout their Art and Design sessions.

Many issues related to class management and methodologies will be included in the more general pedagogy and professional practice sessions that take place within the ITT programme. There are, however, subject specific concerns that are important to mention.

  • Health and safety - safe practice.

Trainees identify areas of risk within the activity of, for example clay.
(Ref: see Subject Leaders Handbook, page 62, John Bowden, 2006, NSEAD
also: A Guide to Safe Practice in Art and Design)

  • How to plan for practical activities:

Trainees are encouraged to reflect on their experiences in schools and discuss examples of good and poor practice.
(Ref: Teaching Art 4 - 7 by Nigel Meager, 2012, HarperCollins Publishers, and Teaching Art 7 - 11;
also: Meager,N. 2013, HarperCollins Publishers Creativity and Culture: Art Projects for Primary Schools. 2006 NSEAD

  • Storage organisation and delivery of media/equipment during lessons.

Trainers demonstrate, during a practical session, systems for effective paint mixing, or clay retrieval.
(Ref: See various sections in Subject Leaders Handbook, where advice is given relating to individual processes.)

  • Maximising and making the most effective use of available space

Illustrate effective use of outdoor area and/or re-arranging furniture for practical activities; trainees, in pairs, debate the merits and cost of developing a specialist area for art and design activity.
(Ref: START magazine article in Issue No.4 - The Art of Making Space', Caroline Corker, Also,

  • Group work and/or whole-class teaching

Trainees analyse the effectiveness of methods of organising delivery of the subject as seen in placement schools - should the subject be taught intermittently as a 'class lesson' or be an ongoing group activity? This discussion might also include a debate on the effective deployment of other adults, such as teaching assistants, parent helpers etc.
(Ref: Rob Barnes, Teaching Art to Young Children, page 70, 2003)

  • Differentiation

Trainees research into alternative levels of challenge in an observational drawing task.
(Ref: see

  • Making the best use of available time

Best practice model by trainer through well paced practical art activities.
(Ref: Rob Barnes, Teaching Art to Young Children, page 77, 2003)

  • Display and presentation-the classroom environment

Trainees present a set of pupils work together with its stimulus, processes and written work, using guidelines prepared by the trainer - group evaluation.
(Ref: The Creative Climate, Subject Leaders Handbook.)

  • Alternative teaching styles/individualised/paired/group/problem solving activities

Ensure a wide range of teaching styles are utilised and demonstrated during delivery of the course.
(Ref: National Curriculum Art and Design KS1 and 2, Breadth of Study)

  • Sketchbooks/making connections between lessons-avoiding the one-off lesson/the process of visual enquiry

Trainees gather and record resource material in home-made sketchbooks in preparation for the practical activity.
(Ref: Power Drawing Notebooks, Adams and Baynes, Campaign for Drawing, 2003. and type in 'Power Drawing' in the search box)

In addition the The Primary Art and Design Subject Leaders' Handbook provides valuable information to help successfully establish and develop the subject in schools. It is a must for every primary coordinator and useful for teacher trainers in addressing the issues with their trainees.