Art and Design

At our school, we understand the important contribution that Art and Design make to pupils in developing their creativity, freedom of expression and appreciation of artists, designers and architects.

Our curriculum is designed to ensure that all pupils achieve the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum, no matter their background or disposition. 

Elements of the curriculum ensure that pupils analyse the impact of art and design on the wealth, culture, history and creativity of our country and the world. The curriculum exposes pupils to a broad and balanced range of artists, designers and architects to reflect the multicultural society of Great Britain today. Pupils are exposed to a wide range of media on their journey through Early Years Foundation Stage to Year 6. 

Our Art and Design curriculum has been mapped carefully to ensure that pupils acquire and then build on knowledge and skills. Pupils develop an expanding knowledge of artists, tools, techniques, media and styles as they move through Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, whilst also being provided with regular opportunities to revisit and refine previously taught content.

Early Years Foundation Stage

Pupils start their learning for Art and Design in Early Years Foundation Stage, through their learning in Expressive Arts. Pupils learn to use pencils to mark make and that these marks can have meaning. Through clear modelling, they are taught how to start drawing lines and circles. This will be built up further in Reception and Key Stage One, where they begin to use a wide range of lines and shapes to create larger pieces of art work. They are taught to make representations of people, remembering to include key body parts.

Pupils are taught about paint and how we can use different simple tools, such as brushes and sponges, to apply it to a surface. They are taught about colours and provided with opportunities to mix and select colours of their choice, often giving reason for their selections. Pupils develop a knowledge of different media and explore basic properties, for example, whether something is bendy or soft. They begin to make 3D representations and simple sculptures from a variety of media, learning how materials can be joined together in a variety of ways.

Pupils are provided with opportunities to share their work and talk about what they have produced.

Key Stage 1

In Key Stage One, pupils build upon their learning from Early Years Foundation Stage to explore a wide variety of line types eg. curved, wavy, zig zag, vertical, horizontal and diagonal. Pupils draw a wider range of shapes using free hand. They compare the size of the shapes they are drawing in relation to the image that they are drawing and size of the surface they are recording on. 

Pupils are taught to draw from an expanding range of stimuli, including still life, local environment and self-portraits. Having completed finished sketches, pupils are taught to shade them using different methods, including cross hatch, smudge and stipple. When shading, children are taught to consider the direction of the light. They build upon their sculpture knowledge and skills developed in Early Years Foundation Stage, to produce a 2D tile from clay. Pupils learn about how to build layers, add detail and make depressions in their sculptures using a broad range of clay working tools such as, rolling pins, forks and wooden and plastic chisels. 

Pupils are taught to explore colour, in particular identify primary and secondary colours. Pupils mix colours to identify what other colours can be produced. Using all of their knowledge of line, shape, space and colour, pupils begin to produce a scene towards the end of Year 2. During this unit, pupils are taught to consider stylistic choices in all aspects. For example, about making decisions on colours to represent mood. Pupils are taught to talk about their work and discuss what they are pleased with and how they might improve aspects. In Key Stage One, pupils begin to review the work of artists, saying what they like and what they do not like. Pupils use this art work to explore the taught concepts of colour, line, shape, space, shade and size.

Lower Key Stage 2

In lower Key Stage Two, pupils build on learning from Key Stage One and Early Years Foundation Stage to create pencil sketches of the human form. They develop knowledge and skills for form and proportion in their drawings, as well as have time to refine previously taught pencil work. They explore how the human form can represent actions, thoughts and feelings. 

Pupils expand their knowledge of artists and thehistory of art in lower Key Stage Two, where they study pop art and they extend their knowledge of colour to complementary and contrasting colours including art produced in the Romantic Period. They carry out detailed learning on key artists, namely Edmonia Lewis, Andy Warhol and Gaudi. 

Pupils are introduced to more complex pieces of art work that that have been created through collage. They explore different materials and how artists have used these to represent different aspects in their work. Pupils are taught to evaluate the suitability of materials for their own art work, while also considering how materials can be used sustainably. 

Pupils begin to make pieces of art work on a larger scale, incorporating scenes and landscapes. In Year 3, pupils use clay to sculpt the human form, developing their knowledge for joining. They are taught to use tools to create more detailed and intricate parts for their sculptures.  

Upper Key Stage 2

When moving into upper Key Stage Two, there is a greater emphasis placed on pupils making informed decisions, of their own, about how to present their art work, considering artistic elements taught throughout school. Pupils expand their knowledge of paint types by looking at printing and pattern on textiles. Pupils learn about how patterns can be designed and then created using press print blocks. They further expand their knowledge of influential artists by looking at, and reviewing, the work of William Morris as a stimulus for their printing and textile work. Pupils further broaden their knowledge of artists by studying Yayoi Kasumi and Da Vinci. 

Pupils explore art work from Islamic civilisations, considering the influence of this on architecture in predominantly Islamic nations. Pupils develop a sound knowledge of tone, perspective and geometric patterns, building on the work in lower Key Stage Two, where they studied mosaics and Gaudi. 

Pupils are taught to further develop their knowledge and skills with sculpture, where they will create pottery. The pottery created will be hollow. This represents a significant step up from previous sculpture units. Pupils explore a wider variety of paints and make decisions on which are the best options to decorate their sculptures. Pupils are taught through explicit modelling to evaluate their work and that of others by making specific references to the artistic knowledge and skills that have been taught across their school journey. They make these evaluations considering the purpose and intent of the art work, for example the emotions or actions being represented. Pupils present their work discussing what choices they made and why.  

Related information

Art and Design: Rationale


Art and Design: Long Term Plan


Art and Design: Progression Ladder


Art and Design: Learning Journey


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