Valuing Every Achievement

Art & Design


  Mrs McFarlane





Our core school intent runs through every aspect of our teaching and learning. It is our philosophy and approach in every subject area. It is how we teach and learn. Every leader commits to this. But every subject must have its own Programme of Study - its own lines of progression for the knowledge and skills we plan to teach and therefore its own rationale/intent for what we teach and learn. This is the rationale for this ‘prior, now and next’ in our subject.

We have used the Early Years Framework (2021) and the National Curriculum to design and build an Art & Design curriculum in the following ways and for the following reasons:

The vast majority of our children enter school with their fine motor skills and Expressive Arts and Design knowledge and skills below expectations at baseline. As a result, we have designed the first phase in our programme of study to cover each of the areas of the wider art curriculum but with a particular emphasis upon fine motor control running through the first three years - meaning we require regular drawing and painting opportunities to be built within the provision alongside the wider themes and focused work. Practise, exploration and experimentation is key in these initial years. We are also keen to ensure that the children are able to print, work in collage and 3-D form and link the textile coverage with the opportunities created in Design & Technology (which we maintain throughout school). We believe that leaving Year 2 with the children having a core set of knowledge around colour and how to manipulate tools for specific effects across the range of aspects within Art & Design - most notably drawing and painting - means we will be able to refine and develop these as the children move into Key Stage 2 - leaving children with the strongest baseline to drive forward. 

There is a real emphasis upon gaining experience, exploring possibilities and gathering knowledge about colour and tone, in particular, during Key Stage 1 i.e. primary and secondary colour knowledge, colour wheel and colour mixing. This core level of knowledge and exposure to it are vital aspects for our curriculum. 

Naturally, we have therefore designed drawing opportunities during each year in Key Stage 2 and equally placed importance upon painting for similar reasons and therefore these opportunities recur more frequently in this key stage. Whilst we continue to build knowledge relating to colour and tone, we have placed studies so that a consideration of form and shape in the younger years can expand into scale, perspective and composition during the older years.

Collage, 3-D form, printing and textiles have been allocated similar study periods and opportunities to each other. Ultimately they have been positioned to maximise the strongest possible opportunities within our wider themes but with a consistent emphasis upon each. Where reasonable, we have deliberately enabled opportunities for our children to compare and contrast similar themes i.e. the tile work comparisons in Year 3 and the focus upon ornate designs and patterns in jewellery and clothing during Lower Key Stage 2. 

Across school, we have placed the study of nine great artists, craft makers and designers and their work. We have identified Andy Goldsworthy, Clarice Cliff and Piet Mondrian as highly visual artists that are particularly accessible to our youngest children and then focused the majority of our studies of other artists and designers within Key Stage Two. Choosing those who span a wide period of time, offer great contrast between their work and use a range of different media have been important criteria for school when making decisions upon whose work to study. Where possible we have made sensible and reasonable links to our planned themes for each term. 

Take a look at the Coverage Overview below and our Programme of Study: Progression & Milestones document. Download them at the base of the page and then take a look at the 'Implement & Impact' section of the website to see how we bring this to life with the help of our ‘how’ Classroom Craft philosophy.



* I am currently monitoring the new curriculum and what the children are producing. Chatting with the children and studying their sketchbooks and final pieces of artwork are an important part of my work at the moment. 

* Making our art as purposeful as possible. Our new Parent Celebrations are a great opportunity for art work to exhibited. Our ABC Theatre will give all children the space and audience for their work to be appreciated at these events. 

It is a question of studying what the teams across school are producing as we continue to operate the second cycle of our new curriculum. I am interested to see which aspects of our Programme of Study are most successful and achieve our intentions and where we can tweak and refine our plans to make them more effective. This is something that our headteacher encourages as we continually look to improve and develop without ever standing still. 

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