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Art and Design

Curriculum Intent

At Milnthorpe Primary School, we value Art and Design as an important part of the children’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. Art and Design provides the children with the opportunities to develop and extend skills and an opportunity to express their individual interests, thought and ideas.

Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.


The national curriculum for art and design aims to ensure that all pupils:

 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.

Curriculum Implementation

The teaching and implementation of the Art and Design Curriculum at Milnthorpe Primary School is based on the National Curriculum and linked to topics to ensure a well-structured approach to this creative subject.

 The children are taught Art as part of their termly topic work.  Areas covered include sculpture mosaics, printing based on topic work, such as world nature, Aboriginal art, WW2 propaganda posters and charcoal drawings, painting and Pop Art.  More detail can be found in our individual class curriculum overviews.

Art is taught weekly throughout the school year. The children will cover an art topic at least once a term and will also have additional opportunities to engage with art and design activities throughout the school year, including house art competition, displays and community art exhibitions (Westmoreland County Show)

 When possible, we will link art teaching to the topic for the term, or follow children’s interests, to ensure relevance and context.

We teach a spiral curriculum, which covers drawing, painting, sculpture, textiles and printing. Full details of our art curriculum can be found in our long-term plan.

 We foster enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts, by introducing pupils to a wide range of contemporary and historical artists and craftspeople.

We revisit and hone skills in a spiral curriculum, which progresses in terms of depth and challenge, to build on the children’s previous learning.

We ensure the level of learning is appropriate for differing abilities, through clear differentiation and support, active and purposeful experiences, and using a variety of art materials and teaching strategies.

We utilise a sketchbook approach, so that children feel safe to experiment and take risks, without the fear of doing something “wrong”.

We encourage each child to evaluate their art and design work and that of others, alongside peers and adults.

We celebrate effort, progress and achievement in art through displays, exhibitions and enrichment activities, such as trips out and competitions.

 The work of famous local, national and international artists are explored to enhance the children's learning.

The children's learning is further enhanced with whole schoo,l ‘ ART’ days when the children have the opportunity for collaborative working and exploring the different styles and techniques of a range of artists.

Early Years Foundation Stage

Pupils explore and use a variety of media and materials through a combination of child initiated and adult directed activities. They have opportunities to learn to:

Explore the textures, movement, feel and look of different media and materials

Respond to a range of media and materials, develop their understanding of them in order to manipulate and create different effects.

Use different media and materials to express their own ideas

Explore colour and use for a particular purpose

Develop skills to use simple tools and techniques competently and appropriately

Select appropriate media and techniques and adapt their work where necessary

Key stage 1

Pupils are taught:

 To use a range of materials creatively to design and make products

 To use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination

 To develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space

 About the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and similarities between different practices and disciplines, and making links to their own work.   

Key stage 2

Pupils are taught to develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design.

Pupils are taught:

 To create sketch books to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas

 To improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials [for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay]

 About great artists, architects and designers in history.

Curriculum Impact

Children will be confident and able to produce their own creative work using the skills and techniques learned.

All children will be offered opportunities to create using: drawing, painting, sculpture and other art and design techniques.

Skills, techniques and designs are evidenced in children’s individual sketchbooks.

Students will be able to evaluate and analyse creative works using appropriate age vocabulary.

Know about great artists and designers, and understand the cultural and historic development of art.

Ongoing assessments take place throughout the year. Teachers use this information to inform future lessons; ensuring children are supported and challenged appropriately. This data is analysed on a termly basis to inform and address any trends or gaps in attainment.

 Age related expectation levels are reported to parents at the end of the reception year.

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