Art & Design


This information outlines the knowledge, language and concepts that should be taught in Art and Design. It includes:

  • A summary of the Art and Design knowledge and principles that underpin our approach
  • Long Term Sequence (curriculum map) for Art and Design
  • Progression of Art and Design including alignment with the National Curriculum, substantive concepts, big ideas and questions as well as Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary



We have deliberately built our Art and Design curriculum around the principles of evidence-led practice. This is to ensure that pupils are equipped to successfully think, work and communicate like an artist. Unapologetically ambitious, our art curriculum focuses on excellence in this subject through a myriad of media and incredible artists. Our intention is unmissable; exceptional teacher instruction inspires pupils to acquire knowledge, as an artist, and enable them to skilfully attempt and apply their understanding.  It is our intention that through studying Art and Design, pupils become more expert as they progress through the curriculum, accumulating, connecting and making sense of the rich substantive and disciplinary knowledge:

1. Substantive knowledge - this is the core subject knowledge and vocabulary used about the creative artistic process in 2D and 3D and the contribution of artists from a range of genres, times and cultural traditions.  We explore these through the lenses of substantive concepts which are taught through explicit vocabulary instruction as well as through the direct content and context of the study.  The substantive concepts that we develop through our Art and Design curriculum are:

Drawing               Painting               Printmaking             Textiles                Sculpture                               Collage

2. Disciplinary knowledge – In addition to the core knowledge required to be successful within each of these elements, our curriculum outlines key aspects of how we intend to develop working artistically. We organise our curriculum so that it focuses on developing different aspects of these competencies at different points. The features of working artistically in our Art and Design Curriculum are:

Shape                   Line                       Colour                  Value                    Form                     Texture                Space

We define and regularly explore these through questioning during pupils’ study:

  • Shape is a flat (2D) area surrounded by an outline or edge: How are shapes used or combined? How does the combination of shapes make things look 3D?
  • Lines are used to show movement and mood. Is the use of line static or dynamic? How do they determine motion and direction in a piece?
  • Colour is used to convey atmosphere and mood. How has colour been combined and varied to create mood and reaction in the viewer?
  • Value is the intensity of colour and depends on the amount of white added.
  • Artists use form when they create sculptures or the effect of flat objects being 3D. How has the artist made flat parts of an image appear 3D e.g. shading?
  • Texture is the look and feel of a surface. How is the feel of a piece related to the materials it is made from?
  • Space in artwork makes a flat image look like it has form. How has the empty area around shapes been used?


Progression Overview

Early Years

In the EYFS, children have regular opportunities to engage with and learn about art. They learn how to create purposeful marks and use line to create form. They use paint, pencils, brushes and other media to create, communicating their ideas of what they see as well as what is in their imaginations. Children develop their own ideas through selecting and using materials and working on processes that interest them. Through their explorations, they find out and make decisions about how media and materials can be combined and changed.  


Key Stage 1

All children from Years 1-6 will use a sketchbook to record ideas and observations.

In drawing, children begin by exploring the work of Albert Durer, and are introduced to a range of drawing tools, such as charcoal, pencil, chalk and pastel.  They are taught to make basic marks and about how changing the pressure and orientation of these marks can create different textures. They progress to the work of Beth Krommes (Waves) where they use a range of marks to represent mood and movement. They start to explore shape and texture through expressive mark making in response to a piece of music and descriptive language.  When painting, pupils begin by studying the work of Piet Mondrian, making thick and thin paint marks on a range of surfaces They use primary colours and the dip, dip dab method of painting. They progress to work by Kandinsky, responding to music as they explore line, colour and space. They use traditional painting tools as well as making their own to manipulate the paint they work with.  Pupils explore the marks that can be made by printing with a range of objects. They are taught the techniques of stencilling and relief printing. They combine these printing techniques to create a final piece, inspired by the work of the contemporary artist Karen Lederer.  Pupils build on their acquired printing skills to make prints using natural objects. They learn how to make a collagraph printing block before combining printing techniques to create repeated patterns, inspired by the work of William Morris. In their exploration of textiles, pupils draw inspiration from Anne Kelley, before being given the opportunity to explore a range of materials, including fabric, oil crayons, chalk and paint, to create pieces of art. They use natural and man-made fibres, combining colours and textures.  Pupils then study work by Katie Vernon to help them create abstract collage and textile images using a range of materials.  They also make reconstructed pictures using selected images from magazines and prepared papers.  Pupils learn how to smooth a form out of clay, explore a range of materials to understand the importance of weight and balance in construction and they use recycled materials to create their own sculpture inspired by The Enchanted Owl by Kenojuak Ashevak. They also take inspiration from the art of the indigenous people of Australia, creating three dimensional forms decorated with dot patterns.  Pupils learn about using collage techniques to create a layered surface for their artwork, looking at Castle and Sun by Paul Klee. They also use muted colours to soften an image, and use lines as well as pattern to suggest something is there.  Finally, pupils have the opportunity to reflect on the processes they have learnt throughout KS1.  In particular, they will look at drawing and collage techniques and skills from prior learning, refine and improve their skills, then choose and apply techniques to create work that will form part of a whole school collaborative piece.


Lower Key Stage 2

In Key Stage 2 the children will learn to improve their mastery of art and design techniques by learning specific drawing, painting, printing and sculpture techniques. They experience using a wider range of materials. Children use technology to produce images, patterns and decorative pieces of work. They record their observations and ideas and use them to review and evaluate improvements.  They also learn about great artists, architects and designers in history. Pupils refine their drawing skills, focusing on lines and detail, selecting drawing materials based on their understanding of the marks that can be made.  They use a viewfinder to select focal points. Children extend the variety of painting techniques, including tonking and sgraffito, exploring how to combine these to create texture and shape. They create negative space using paint and explore the contrast between foreground and background. They move on to develop the techniques of overpainting and wet on wet, as well as how to make tertiary colours in response to the work of artists. Finally, they use their knowledge of how to make tints and tones to create ombre effects. Children create their own printing blocks and experiment printing on different surfaces and to create repeat geometric patterns. When studying textiles, pupils explore colour, texture and pattern by combining textiles and collage. They look at the work of artist Faith Ringgold to create a collaborative story quilt. They use shape and colour to create the illusion of movement. Pupils combine form and texture to build relief images and then create 3D insect sculptures, taking inspiration from Louise Bourgeois. They explore proportion and scale by creating images of the human form.


Upper Key Stage 2

Children learn new techniques including subtractive drawing. They will look at the work of Hundertwasser, using organic lines and spirals, along with bright colours and overlaying, to create abstract landscapes. Using knowledge of techniques to draw in detail, pupils use scale and proportion to modify their artwork and produce portraits that combine elements of surrealism in the background.  They also learn to create perspective drawings. When painting, pupils explore a range of effects which can be achieved using watercolours. They create the illusion of depth and represent the translucent qualities of water. Techniques are expanded as pupils learn how to use reduction printing to create landscape scenes.  Pupils develop this further to create negative and positive spaces byrepeating the same image. Pupils take inspiration from natural objects to create textile art, and combine collage and appliqué techniques to create work that depicts textured surfaces. They use specialist tools and resist processes such as batik to create colourful works of art. Sculpture is explored by looking at the shape and form of 3 D objects. Pupils use papier mâché as well as developing skills to manipulate clay.  They create biomorphic forms using stiffening agents and applying their knowledge of complementary and analogous colours. Referring to the work of Dale Chihuly, they construct mixed media sculptures.



We implement our intent using CUSP Art and Design.   A guiding principle of CUSP Art and Design is that each study draws upon prior learning. For example, in the EYFS, pupils may learn to create 2D artwork using collage materials and fabric. This is revisited and positioned so that new and potentially abstract content in Year 1, such as form and texture is related to what children already know. This makes it easier to cognitively process. This helps to accelerate new learning as children integrate prior understanding.


Learning Sequences

We organise intended learning into modules. These group the knowledge, skills and understanding that we want children to remember, do and use.  

Each module aims to activate and build upon prior learning, including from the early years, to ensure better cognition and retention.  It includes contextual reference materials, vocabulary modules focusing on language of emotion, explanatory videos and annotated exemplifications. Teacher videos complement the content in each module and provide clear instruction about art techniques and methods. The exemplifications can be used to support assessment of pupil outcomes and to support teachers in developing their own subject knowledge. Teachers are also provided with a list of materials and resources that they will need to teach each module. 

Central to the learning modules are activities designed to develop pupils’ oracy and vocabulary skills to enable them to use artistic language meaningfully when talking about their work and the work of others. Along with this, connections to other subject areas are listed as are the links that are made, in the lesson sequences, to works of literature. Specific books and illustrators are recommended and are used as a stimulus for artwork and provide examples of artistic techniques and styles.   Background information is provided about the specific artists studied in the block.  This information gives teachers an insight into where the artist sits in art history and their influences.

An overview of the core content provides information about the skills covered across the term in each year group. This enables teachers to see the progression of skills covered within each aspect of art.


Lesson Structure

Lessons typically are split into six phases:

  • CONNECT This provides an opportunity to connect the lesson to prior learning from a previous module or lesson. Teachers return children’s attention to the previous lesson’s knowledge note/the big idea for the learning module, including key vocabulary. Examples of thinking harder routines include Flick Back 5, Recap questions, Quizzing. Retrieval practice allows all pupils to take time to remember things and activate their memories. Quizzing allows questions to be asked and allows pupils to carry out retrieval practice. Cumulative quizzing, allows for a few questions to be asked each lesson, which are built upon the previous lesson.
  • EXPLAIN This is the explicit teaching that needs to take place. Teachers should ensure they are clear what they want children to know and remember. They plan for and explicitly address common misconceptions so they can address these in lessons as they arise. They should be clear about the substantive knowledge and the vocabulary that they want children to understand in the session.  This can be developed using key information, facts, and images so that explanations are precise.
  • EXAMPLE Providing pupils with high-quality examples is essential for learning. Pupils need to see worked examples. My turn, our turn, your turn is a technique that can be used to explicitly teach vocabulary and new concepts.  Prepared examples should be carefully planned and need to be evident in teaching. An example in geography could be demonstrating how to label a map, before labelling a map together.
  • ATTEMPT Guiding pupil practice allows pupils to rehearse, rephrase and elaborate their learning. Children need the chance to attempt and verbalise their understanding. Children’s own attempts are what help them to secure their understanding. Children need to have time to struggle and understand for themselves. This is not necessarily something that is recorded in books. This phase provides opportunities for teachers to check in with pupils to see who may need more challenge/support/scaffolds and if any misconceptions have arisen that need to be addressed. Extending the previous geography example, pupils could practice labelling a map.
  • APPLY This is where pupils would typically begin to record in books. The number of scaffolds may vary.
  • CHALLENGE Teachers get the children to interrogate their learning - summarise, explain, compare and contrast. Tools are built into routines to reduce overload and allow for hard thinking. These can be adapted for children based on their individual needs.


Long Term Sequence

Year Group Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Year 1

Materials and tools for making


Primary colour blocks


Stenciling and relief printing


Combining materials to create colourful and textual effects


Plaster casts from clay impressions


Layer paper to build an image


Year 2

Representing mood and movement


Using lines and colour to express feeling


Using natural objects and collagraphs


Abstract images and reconstructed pictures

Textiles & Collage

Sculptures in the style of indigenous Australian art


Combining drawing and collage to add detail and interest

Creative Response – Drawing & Collage
Year 3

Marks and techniques, including tonking and sgraffito

Drawing & Painting

Relief prints and monoprints


Printing and painting onto fabric

Textiles & Collage

Using relief, gresso and pregeting to create an installation


Backgrounds for effect


Combining techniques

Creative Response – Painting & Printmaking
Year 4

Contour drawings based on still life and natural forms


Overpainting and tertiary colours


Kente cloths and symbolic colours

Printmaking & Textiles

Wire and fabric human sculptures

Sculpture & Collage

Tints and tones to create an ombre effect with paint


Refining drawing and sewing techniques

Creative Response – Drawing & Textiles

Year 5

Subtractive drawing and organic lines to create landscapes

Drawing & Painting

Reduction printing, stenciling and monoprint


Combining collage and appliqué to depict texture

Textiles & Collage

Clay modelling using armatures


Watercolour techniques


Embellishing fabric

Creative Response – Printmaking & Textiles
Year 6

Surrealism and self-portraits


Still-life and cubism

Painting & Collage

Perspective, colour reduction & batik

Printmaking & Textiles

Mixed-media sculptures


Creating the illusions of light and water


Combine drawing and batik to add detail

Creative Response – Drawing & Textiles




In order to identify the impact our curriculum is having on our pupils, we check the extent to which learning has become permanently embedded in children’s long-term memory in addition to looking for excellence in their outcomes. We use four main tools to quality assure the implementation and impact of our curriculum:

  • Learning observations help to evaluate subject knowledge, explanations, expectations, opportunities to learn, pupil responses, participation and relationships.
  • Professional growth models help to improve staff subject knowledge and evidence informed practice such as retrieval and spaced practice, interleaving and explicit instruction techniques.
  • Assessment and achievement articulate the outcomes from tasks and tests, how well the content is understood and what the strengths and limitations are; it informs what to do next.
  • Pupil Book Studies help to evaluate curriculum structures, teaching methods, pupil participation and response through a dialogic model.

When undertaking these we ask the following key questions:

  • How well do pupils remember the content that they have been taught?
  • Do books and pupil discussions radiate excellence?
  • Does learning ‘travel’ with pupils and can they deliberately reuse it in more sophisticated contexts?

Teachers employ a range of strategies both at and after the point of teaching to check the impact of their teaching on the permanence of pupils’ learning. These include: retrieval practice, vocabulary use and application, deliberate practice and rephrasing of taught content, cumulative quizzing within the learning sequence, summarising and explaining the learning question from the sequence, tests and quizzes.   The assessment of pupils is formative based on pupil outcomes and questioning from each lesson. The following can be used to assess pupils’ knowledge and application of artistic techniques and their understanding and use of artistic vocabulary:

  • Expectations for each block are made explicit on slide one, e.g. At the end of this block pupils will know marks can be made using a variety of drawing tools and will be able to select appropriate tools and make a range of marks.
  • The Point of Reflection section specifies the expected outcome for each lesson.
  • The Questions for Assessment section in each block provide specific questions to be used with pupils to elicit their level of understanding of tools, techniques and effects, e.g. What happens if you change the size of the mark?
  • The Oracy and Vocabulary tasks on slide five provide ample opportunities for teachers to evaluate pupils’ ability to:
    • use artistic language effectively;
    • explain artistic techniques and processes;
    • evaluate their own and others’ work.
  • The vocabulary quiz on slide six provides an opportunity for teachers to assess pupils’ deeper understanding and application of artistic and technical vocabulary covered in the block.
  • The exemplifications demonstrate the expected standard against which teachers can assess pupils’ work.

The best form of assessment in art is in-action, while pupils are working. This helps us to understand pupils’ development as artists, rather than their ability to produce a prescribed end outcome. By encouraging pupils to articulate their thinking and reflections, we can understand which aspects of artistic development they may require additional teaching in and reshape teaching to support this.

We use summative assessment is ‘to provide an accurate shared meaning without becoming the model for every classroom activity’ (Christodolou, 2017). If our curriculum is effective, it will lead to improvements in summative assessments over time. Teacher assessment judgements are against an agreed assessment model (the curriculum). We make summative judgements annually. Teachers record summative judgements on OTrack.

Pupil book study is used as a method to quality assure our curriculum by talking to the children and looking in pupils’ books. We do this after content has been taught to see the extent to which pupils are knowing more, remembering more and able to do more.  In preparation, we review the planned content, knowledge and vocabulary, so that conversations with pupils are meaningful and focused on what has been taught. When looking at books, we look at the content and knowledge, teaching sequence and vocabulary. We also consider pupils’ participation and consider the explanations and models used, the tasks the pupils are asked to do, the ability to answer carefully selected questions and retrieve information and the impact of written feedback.  We ask careful questions that probe their knowledge, understanding and skills.

The Subject Leader undertakes a range of activities to understand what the curriculum looks like across the school and how well pupils know more, remember more and can do more as a result. In addition to the above tools, they use learning walks, planning reviews and book looks.  They use their findings to support teachers to improve how they implement subjects and to make recommendations about the suitability of the intent for their subject.  The Subject Leader formally reports on impact of the curriculum termly to the Curriculum Leader, Principal and Governors.