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Art and Design

The national curriculum for art and design aims to ensure that all pupils by the end of year 6:

  • produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences;
  • become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques;
  • evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design;
  • know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.



Our program offers a comprehensive, progressive curriculum in which we cover all the necessary skills required to meet the aims of the national curriculum. Our aim is to help students produce imaginative and creative work by providing them with ample opportunities to explore their ideas and record their experiences. We encourage students to explore the works of other artists and evaluate different creative ideas. We include lessons that cover a variety of techniques such as drawing, painting, sculpting, as well as other craft skills like collage, printing, weaving, and patterns. We also focus on developing students’ knowledge of famous artists, designers, and craft makers. Our lessons offer a progression in skills and knowledge, encouraging children to demonstrate their skills in various ways while also asking questions and exploring their curiosity about art and design. Pupils get the opportunity to develop their emotional expression through art, which enhances their personal, social, and emotional development.



Each thematic unit contains an overview, continuous formative assessment, and additional resources, providing the necessary tools to instill confidence in the progression of skills and knowledge, while ensuring the desired learning outcomes are met. To maintain the children’s interest in the subject and facilitate knowledge acquisition, each key stage focuses on different themes. The component sessions aim to enhance artistic techniques, including control and use of materials, through creativity, experimentation, and an increasing awareness of different forms of art, craft, and design.


We believe children should understand how art and design reflect and shape our history, contributing to the culture, creativity, and wealth of our nation. While we have suggested a structured and coherent series of lessons for each year group, they are by no means exclusive with substantive knowledge and skills been built through a coherent sequence of work.



Teachers and children will show a passion for art and design. Teachers set high expectations for their students and encourage them to present their work in various formats, leading to high-quality evidence. Children are taught to use technical vocabulary accurately, and they are expected to understand and apply the skills and processes as specified in the curriculum. Art and design education helps children develop their inquiry skills and curiosity about the world around them, and how they can impact it through their creative work. Students also become more confident in analyzing their own work and giving their opinions on works of art, promoting competences such as resilience and perseverance as children continually evaluate and improve their work. By the end of Year 6, all children are expected to speak confidently about their art and design work and their skills.

Art and Design in the Mantle of the Expert

We ensure that the knowledge that we cover in Art and Design lessons is driven by the National Curriculum. Each session forms part of a sequence of learning, to build up composite knowledge as the pupil moves through school. Each phase is tied into the child’s current Mantle of the Expert Commission and includes links to famous artists and the important vocabulary associated with each technique or subject.

Art and design are vast areas which offer a valuable opportunity for vital metacognitive skills, creativity and critical evaluation. These elements are established for the different facets of Art and Design using the model illustrated below:


Teaching sequence


Teacher elicits understanding of the topic

Activating Prior knowledge

Discussion of strategies and knowledge learnt in previous sessions

Reference to and critical evaluation of the work of established artists

Instruction and modelling of strategy: I do

Teacher instructs on organisation and planning

Review of recent learning

Experiment and investigation of techniques and media

Memorisation and guided practice: we do

Discussion regarding approach and modelling of worked example

Pupil applies new techniques, skills and media to produce artwork

Independent practice: I do

Pupil completes task

Evaluation and improvement

Reflection: recap of knowledge and skills that have been understood

Structured reflection

Learners reflect on model applied, how it was used and how they might use it in the future

On a longer timescale, this teaching sequence fits into composite knowledge for each strand of art. If we take ‘colour’ as an example, we break that down into its smaller component parts:

We start with primary colours; naming, recognising and mixing primary colours. Pupils would then move on to the secondary colours; mixing of primary colours. Then, children would move on to families of colour, ‘hot’ and ‘cool’ colours, analogous colours, complementary and contrasting colours which builds on both primary and secondary colour theory. Subsequently, children learn about tints, tones and shades of colour which draws on their understanding of colour families, the colour wheel and associated subjects encountered in Key Stage 1. In Key Stage 2, children experiment with the complex application of colour theory by looking at things like perspective and painting using colour; the creation of mood and atmosphere using colour and the use of expression using colour.

This process is repeated for each aspect of Art and Design, permitting children to build knowledge and improve skills as they work within the Mantle of the Expert.

Art and Design curriculum planning

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