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Abbotswood Primary School

Together We Aim High, Believe and Achieve


Art and Design



At Abbotswood, we believe it is important that the children are given lots of opportunities to explore their creative side! All year groups throughout the school ensure that we teach Art and Design across the terms as part of our cross-curricular topics. We appreciate the importance of exposing children to different types of artists, craftspeople and designers and experimenting with different art styles and materials.


We make use of sketchbooks in order to show the process that goes into creating a final art piece. By providing the children with their own book reinforces the significance of the children experimenting, exploring and discovering their imaginative side. By using Art and Design as a cross curricular topic, we have resulted with beautiful outcomes with historical and geographical contexts.

What is our intention? 

At Abbotswood Primary School, we believe that the teaching of art should offer children a wide range of activities and experiences that supports them to develop their imagination, creativity and resilience and encourages them to have a voice and explore various methods of self-expression.  We strive to offer high quality teaching that engages, inspires and challenges all pupils, and enables them to explore and develop ideas, investigate and make their own masterpieces,  evaluate their work, have a good knowledge and understanding of the processes involved and to skillfully implement artistic techniques.  


How do we implement this? 

There are many forms of art that the children have opportunities to explore, such as drawing, painting, collage, printing, 3D form, textiles, drama and digital media. Where possible activities in this subject are linked to topic work.  We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum in reception and National Curriculum from Year One to Year Six.  We have a carefully planned skills ladder, demonstrating how the children should progress each year. 

Below you can see a brief outline of this progression for each Key Stage. 


Early Years 

By the end of reception, children should have been taught to: 

-Sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them.  

-Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. 

-Use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes.  

-Represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories. 


Key stage 1  

Pupils should be 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 should be 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 should be 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. 


What is the impact does the teaching of art have on children? 

Art brings many opportunities for the children to learn about themselves and about the world around them.  Children will develop an understanding of how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.   

Through exploring colour, texture, pattern, construction and different materials and processes, children will develop a range of new skills.  In our rapidly changing world, children require expertise in: design, planning, making, investigating and evaluating, as those are skills children will carry through life.  Art is a positive and child-friendly way of teaching these skills from an early age.   


Art gives children an opportunity to take risks in a safe environment, and allows their resilience to develop as they try out new ideas and new ways of working without the fear of failure.  Art also gives some children who are perhaps more reserved, a real opportunity to find their voice in their own way.  Art allows children to express themselves in many different forms, and the teachers at Abbotswood truly value the creations of each child.  


At Abbotswood we understand the importance art has on our day to day life and believe that providing a range of experiences is essential for life beyond school. 

How do we assess?


Within our school, we assess Art and Design by ensuring that it is being covered within their yearly overviews.


Fortunately, we also have the opportunity to display and celebrate the progress and imagination of our pupils by presenting our creations across all of our displays. Regularly, parents are invited to the school to observe our creative outcomes that have been a work of progress through the weeks. As a result, this is a brilliant opportunity to develop the confidence and pride our children. This enables them to present their makings to all visitors proudly in an almost ‘exhibit’ style.

What is Arts Week?


One of the most significant events that occur within the subject of Art and Design is the fun-filled, inspiring dedication to ‘Arts week’ in the school. This is a whole school-led event and is exhilarating for both pupils and teachers! Our most recent ‘Arts week’ had circulated within the time of Remembrance. As a response, our children had produced masses of beautiful creations that allowed them to develop a variety of artistic skills. The children became excited that art was more under a spotlight than usual. Ultimately, this allowed them to try and test out their understanding of the different types of colour, shape, texture and techniques.

What does the National Curriculum say?


Through the National Curriculum Art it is planned children will:

• become familiar with the properties of objects, materials, sites and scenes in and around the school and village,

• become skilled in exploring and creating through manipulation of varied materials,
• be able to use various skills and techniques, and gain in perception, imagination, awareness and sensitivity,
• be able to use their visual skills to communicate with others.



Where can I find out more?


For anyone who has any further questions regarding Art and Design at our school, please do not hesitate to contact the subject leader – Miss Mason