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Art – curriculum information


Art and design embodies some of the highest forms of human creativity which engages, inspires and challenges pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. By teaching Art and design, we intend to impart pupils with the knowledge, understanding, confidence, attitudes, values and skills they need in order to reach their potential as individual artists.

At Bricknell Primary School, the teaching of Art and design curriculum has been carefully considered to enable our pupils to become confident and competent artists and designers. At Bricknell, we follow the Kapow programme. Our highly skilled subject leader has carefully worked to create a progressive skills document where objectives for each year group are progressively mapped out to ensure our pupils are given the acquired skills and knowledge the further their education journey into KS3 and life beyond the classroom.

Our aim is to provide inclusive and aspirational environments and learning experiences where pupils thrive and build the cultural capital they need to make aspirational choices about their own futures, overcoming any barriers. In order to achieve this, our curriculum is underpinned by the principles highlighted in our Aspiration Curriculum.

Bricknell Aspiration Curriculum

  • Please click the image to enlarge


Within the Art and design progressive skills document, our progressive objectives identify what pupils should know by the end of each year group and link to prior learning. These enable teachers to identify and plug gaps in pupils’ knowledge and skills. Within Art and design, pupils will develop a deep understanding of key concepts and second order concepts. These key concepts have been carefully considered and identified as the core knowledge and skills required to successfully achieve in Art and design. The key concepts are revisited and developed as the pupils move through the school to ensure the knowledge and skills are firmly embedded within the long term memory. These key concepts compliment work carried out across the school in line with Aspiration Curriculum. The expectation is that, by the end of primary school, children will know and understand these key concepts and have the knowledge and skills to enter the KS3 Art and design curriculum.

In addition to first order concepts, the subject leader has identified subject specific second order concepts. These can be used across all aspects of a subject to organise the substantive knowledge and skills taught.

Key concepts: These concepts are explored through each unit of art and build progressively as pupils move through the school.

  • Knowledge of artists and designers: (factual knowledge)
  • Exploring and developing ideas: (conceptual knowledge)
  • Making skills and Formal elements: (procedural knowledge)
  • Evaluating: (metacognitive knowledge)

Second order concepts: These can used across all aspects of a subject to organize the substantive knowledge taught.

  • Chronology: (history of art and changes over time)
  • Similarity and difference: (comparing works of art, identifying common/different styles and techniques)
  • Significance: (significant artists, works of art and art movements)
  • Written, oral and creative expression: (using artistic terminology, evaluating, refining, describing, experimenting, creating, presenting)

In Art and design, by the end of EYFS children will:

  • Be able to use art to be creative and express themselves in different ways
  • Be able to create pictures of what they can see and imagine
  • Develop some control when using pencils, paint brushes and other materials

They will know that art conveys both thinking (ideas) and feeling (emotion). They will use a variety of ways to express and communicate through art. They will know that creative thinking involves original responses, not just copying or imitating existing artworks. They will use their imagination, curiosity, creativity, cognition, critical thinking and experimentation skills to allow them to improvise, collaborate, interact and engage in artistic sustained shared thinking. They will have time, space and opportunity to revisit and reflect on artistic experiences. Children in EYFS will safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. They will share their creations, explaining the process they have used. They will make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories.

By the end of Key Stage 1 children will:

  • Be able to use a range of materials in a creative way to design and make products.
  • Be able to use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination.
  • Develop their own use of colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space.
  • Know about the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describe similarities and differences between different practices and principles, and used some of their techniques in their own work.

By the end of Key Stage 2 children will:

  • Develop their techniques to create and experiment with greater control and choice of materials through the study of great artists and designers.
  • Be confident in the use of sketch books to record their observations, develop review and refine their ideas.
  • Have improved their mastery of a range of art and design techniques including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials.
  • Be aware of different kinds of art, craft and design and the techniques that are used to create them.

At Bricknell Primary School, our curriculum is carefully mapped out into a Long-Term Plan by our highly skilled subject coordinator. This enables links between subjects to be identified and carefully planned for to support pupils’ retention of knowledge and skills.

Art is taught using the Kapow scheme of work. It offers full coverage of the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 curriculum as well as incorporating SMSC development. The content is categorised into 5 areas: Making Skills, Generating Ideas, Formal Elements, Knowledge of Artists and Evaluating. Each unit contains lessons which are designed to be taught in sequential order, with the exception of the lessons in Making Skills and Formal Elements units which can be taught in any order. These 2 units feature within each of the year groups and develop the discrete skills and techniques of art, craft and design. Work is planned with reference to the National Curriculum and the Constellation Trust progressive knowledge document. The National Curriculum breaks Art down into 4 strands; Materials, Techniques, Artists and Expression and Imagination. Skills in the EYFS are planned through the objectives within the EYFS Statutory Framework and ensure progression into Key Stage 1.

Our scheme of work has been designed as a spiral curriculum with the following key principles in mind: cyclical (pupils return to the same skills again and again during their time in Bricknell Primary School), increasing depth (each time a skill is revisited it is covered with greater complexity, prior knowledge (upon returning to a skill, prior knowledge is utilised so pupils can build upon previous foundations).

Formal elements of art units are taught (with the exception of Year 6) and these lessons focus on the discrete skills of the formal elements of art: line, shape, tone, texture, pattern, colour. Each year group from Year 1 to Year 6 has a unit called Art and design skills which focusses specifically on developing pupils’ art, craft and design skills in a discrete way. The application of skills from these two recurring units are then applied throughout the rest of the scheme (eg sculpture and collage, pre historic art, etc).

At Bricknell, all Art and design lessons will follow the same teaching sequence outlined below:


A wide range of strategies are used to measure the impact of our Art and design curriculum. In EYFS, staff professional judgements are valued. Assessments are formative so that they quickly make a difference to children’s learning. They inform the provision of activities and experiences which develop children’s skills and knowledge as well as giving opportunity for further practise. We record WOW moments on Tapestry and build up a detailed picture of each child using a Child on a Page document.

Assessments are carried out at the end of each lesson using the Kapow assessment spreadsheet. During the lesson, pupils’ misconceptions or gaps in subject knowledge are addressed and opportunity is given for further practice. At Bricknell, we offer a variety of additional support for children who are working below age related expectations within Art and design.

Our Subject Leader will also monitor the effectiveness of the Art and design curriculum through carrying out regular subject 360 evaluations. These evaluations are quality assured by the Senior Leadership and Governors.

The effectiveness of Art and design is also monitored through pupil and parental voice throughout the course of the year.

Further information:

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