Plaster Sculpture

Term: 3 Year: 2014

Haileybury Brighton’s Year 8 boys explored and researched sculptural forms and styles by artist Henry Moore to develop understanding of the concept of positive and negative space. They used this knowledge to create a plaster sculpture inspired by Moore’s work.

Unit: Plaster sculpture 
Year Levels: 8 Boys
AusVELS level: 8
Duration of Unit: 4 weeks  
Term:  1
Year: 2014


Learning Focus from AusVels Level 8

Students explore and research sculptural forms and styles by artist Henry Moore to develop understanding of the concept of positive and negative space. They use iPad  technology to research the artist and to explore and expand their understanding of the materials he used and how he used positive and negative space to develop his sculptural forms. Students apply this knowledge and research, along with experimentation with water filled balloons, milk cartons or boxes and plaster to create an authentic sculptural form with positive and negative spaces. They refine their sculptural forms using rasps, and files, and can elect to maintain the white appearance or paint the sculptures with metallic gold, silver or copper paint before mounting on a timber base.  They use iPad  technology to create a photographic record of their design and creation process. 

Unit Learning Focus:

Sculptural forms and how they incorporate:

1. Positive and negative space

2. The elements of Line, Pattern, Colour and  Texture to enhance the sculptural form

3. Plaster as a sculptural Medium

Students are expected to work from a “real-world” Design Brief with a set criteria Assessment Rubric.

Students are also asked to submit a fully annotated set of design drawings, a self-evaluation exercise, and a metacognition exercise which details their process from concept to completion.

Unit Assessment Standards Level 8:

Creating and making

Students, independently and collaboratively, brainstorm and discuss the Learning Focus. They use technology to research Henry Moore and the concepts of positive and negative space. They plan and design their authentic artwork.  Using the design brief and assessment criteria as a guide, they make and present their artwork to peers and parents. They experiment with the selected art media (balloons, milk cartons, masking tape, plaster), select and use appropriate skills and  techniques to create an authentic artwork.  They generate and develop ideas that explore the concepts outlined in the learning focus. They combine and manipulate arts elements to  develop imaginative solutions to set tasks. They maintain a record of the creating and making of their arts works both on their iPads and in the Visual Art Diary.  They explain, through Metacognition and self-evaluation  their decisions about how they present arts works for the specific purposes  audiences of the Year 8 Art Expo Exhibition at Haileybury Brighton.

Exploring and responding

Students research the artist Henry Moore and the concepts of Positive and Negative space in sculptural forms. They , discus these concepts and  express and support opinions about their own and others’ use of arts elements, principles, skills, techniques, and  processes. They analyse, and interpret the content, meaning and qualities in arts works created in different social, cultural and historical contexts, offering informed responses and opinions and using appropriate arts language. They identify ways that contemporary arts works, including their own, are influenced by cultural and historical contexts. They use appropriate arts language to reflect on their own artwork and creative process, and those of their peers.

Teaching & Learning Activities

Exploring & Responding 

Exploration of ways designs for art works can be realised by combining and manipulating art elements and principles. 

Consideration of purpose and suitability of selected media, materials techniques and processes in developing art works.

Refinement of the way that two- and three-dimensional art works made collaboratively or independently are presented to communicate a particular meaning or purpose. 

Visual and annotated documentation of decision making when developing art works planned to meet specific aims and purposes.

Use of a range of two- and three-dimensional media, materials, equipment and/or technologies in completed art works that presents visual solutions to given problems.

Creating & Making

Use of appropriate art language when discussing observations and reflections on traditional and contemporary art works viewed at first hand.

Use of research to support a comparative analysis of characteristics of works in selected art forms.

Evaluation of qualities in art works based on a comparative analysis of ways the art elements and principles, and art media, materials, skills, techniques and/or processes have been used.

Assessment Tools

Assessment Rubric
Moderation of Assessment of Folio artworks


Students work at their own pace and level

Link with other domains


Students use iPad technology throughout the unit for research and record keeping


Students maintain a digital glossary of Art Terms and use art metalanguage in all discussions.


Students research an artist from a different period and look at how his artwork reflects the society and culture in which it was created.

Cross Curricular Priorities

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures

Students elect to incorporate designs and patterns from a variety of cultures.

Link with Personal, Social and Physical Domain

Students are encouraged to support and complement each other, to build trust, to appreciate similarities and difference, to reflect on motives and possibilities, in order to build a supportive social context.

Students  are expected to communicate effectively, develop positive thinking habits and coping skills, work cooperatively, have self-control, and be able to resolve conflicts thoughtfully They take responsibility for themselves and support others.

Link with Interdisciplinary Domain

This Unit has strong links with Information and Communication technology as a large part involved the use of iPads

This Unit has strong links with Thinking Processes as students problem solve through the experimentation process.