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Art & Design

Art & Design Intent

We aim to give our children the opportunity to enjoy and understand the visual arts by increasing their awareness of great artists, architects and designers in history. By following the arts process, all children will develop the skills and techniques necessary to independently create visual works. Children will be capable of expressing their personal, environmental, social or political messages through the visual arts.

Curriculum Narrative

The art and design projects are well sequenced to provide a coherent subject scheme that develops children’s skills and knowledge of visual elements, art forms, artists and art movements.


Projects are placed alongside other subject projects where there are opportunities for making meaningful connections. For example, Beautiful Botanicals has been placed in the same teaching sequence as the science project Plants Nutrition and Reproduction.

Where possible, projects with similar materials are spaced out to have as little strain on resources.


Seasons are also a consideration for the placement of art and design projects. For example, if children are required to work outdoors, these projects have been placed in either the latter part of the spring or summer term.


Little Acorns 
In Cycle A, children are introduced to primary colours and colour mixing. They explore painting by mixing tints and shades and by using a range of tools. Over the year, they develop their primary colour mixing skills to explore secondary colours. Children explore seasonal environmental art and continue to develop painting techniques around flowers and gardens and are introduced to works of art by significant artists, such as Claude Monet, Wassily Kandinsky and Emile Nolde. They use their drawing and mark making skills to explore line and shape and develop their drawing skills to represent the human face from observation and memory. Children explore how to cut, tear, fold and stick paper and fabric to create collage artwork. They also develop their printing skills as they use natural objects to print and create artwork. 


In Cycle B, children learn to draw the human form from observation or memory. They build on their knowledge of the human form and draw and paint portraits of themselves and their families. Children develop their printing skills, printing brick patterns, buildings and their features. They are introduced to painting techniques and develop their understanding of colouring mixing using primary colours. They make tints and shades by adding white and black to coloured paint. Children develop their drawing skills and explore line, including zig-zags, spirals, straight lines and curvy lines. They look carefully at animals and their features to make observational drawings. They revisit printing techniques to create animal pattern inspired prints and develop their use of collage, exploring The Snail by Henri Matisse. They create artwork in response to images of the sea and explore further works of art by the artist Henri Matisse. 


Class 1
In Class 1, each autumn term begins with the colour project Mix It. The teaching of this project in Years 1 and 2 enables children to be introduced to and then revisit colour theory and provides plentiful opportunities for children to explore primary and secondary colours.

Cycle A begins by exploring themes directly related to the children themselves, such as their facial features, the surrounding natural world and their local community. In Cycle B, the projects expand children’s artistic horizons to study a more comprehensive range of artists, artistic movements and creative techniques.


Class 2
In Class 2, each autumn term begins with the colour project Contrast and Complement. In Years 3 and 4, the teaching of this project enables children to build on their previous understanding of colour and further develop their expertise by studying theory.

In Cycle A, children expand their experiences to study a broader range of art forms, artists and genres. They also begin to study art from specific and diverse periods of history, including prehistoric pottery. Other genres studied in Cycle A build on previous techniques learned in Class 1 and include more complex techniques in printmaking, drawing, painting and textiles.


In Cycle B, children develop more specialised techniques in drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture. They explore ways in which ancient cultures have influenced art and crafts by studying, for example, mediaeval weaving techniques, Roman mosaics and the religious significance of Islamic art.


Class 3
In Class 3, each autumn term begins with the colour project Tints, Tones and Shades. Teaching these projects in Years 5 and 6 enables children to build on their previous understanding of colour theory and develop further expertise with colour by studying tonal variations and more complex colour charts.


In Cycle A, children develop and combine more complex artistic techniques in a range of genres, including drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture. Children continue to build on their understanding of other historical periods and cultures by studying the ancient Chinese art form of taotie and the significance of the Expressionist movement.


In Cycle B, children are encouraged to work more independently in projects like Environmental Artists and Distortion and Abstraction. Such projects require them to consider more conceptual representations of personal, environmental, social or political messaging. Children explore diversity in art by studying the projects Inuit and Trailblazers, Barrier Breakers.


Throughout the art and design scheme, there is complete coverage of all national curriculum programmes of study.