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Dell Primary School

Respect, Passion, Collaboration, Integrity, Ambition

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At Dell Primary School we use the national aims as a guide/foundation in art and design. Our curriculum ensures that all pupils produce creative work; become proficient in art, craft and design techniques; evaluate creative works and know about great artists, craft makers and designers. Our areas of study within art and design are designed to link with topics that are covered in class to allow for cross curricular learning to ensure depth within skills and knowledge to best ensure children receive the education they deserve in art and design.


Our curriculum ensures a high-quality art and design education that 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. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a 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. Our curriculum encompasses perception and observation; manipulation and practice; communication and drawing; knowledge and understanding; attitudes and approaches and appreciation and application.


Within our art and design curriculum, we have a broad and balanced (how do we know) curriculum for art and design that is sequential and that builds upon previous knowledge and skills. It is paramount that every lesson is enriched through lively debate, conversation and discussions to encourage children’s exploration and understanding. We ensure that children cover visual and tactile elements of the subject texture, line, tone, space, form, colour, shape and pattern. These elements are taught via an integrated approach and ensure they are built on progressively via each body/unit of work within our art and design curriculum. Our children will take part in observational drawing, imaginative drawing and other forms and these are recorded in art books that shows the journey, sequence and progress of the children’s art skills and knowledge. These allow our pupils to record how they develop their creative ideas and the processes they work through to arrive at their own vision of creativity. Art books should reflect the way our children explore different media and experiment with different ways to use them and combine them to achieve different outcomes. Children work through their own creative processes, exploring different media, skills and thinking about how they can be combined in different ways to give different effects. Children are given the opportunities to talk about their own preferences and why they make their own choices within their art. Children evaluate the work of artists, peers and their own artworks, comparing and thinking about what could be changed or done differently to improve them. We ensure our art and design curriculum is sequential and that builds upon the previous knowledge and skills. Through our curriculum we ensure that children are able to showcase their creativity in their lessons and enjoy the journey of exploring, taking risks and become submerged in the possibilities that art and design provides. We ensure children know about the opportunities available to them in the future by exposing them to a variety of artists, designers and trips/visits to actively encourage pupils’ interest in the subject.


We develop and adapt our curriculum to the needs of our leaners via a scaffolded approach to cater for all needs. We challenge our pupils through the depth of their studies and refining their skills. We ensure all children are not prevented from accessing the art and design curriculum because of need or circumstance and in this occasion we provide resources and assistance to make sure every child achieves.




We advocate flexibility within our curriculum planning so that we can address identified gaps in any pupil’s art and design knowledge and skills.


Over the year children have three art days, where they have time and space to immerse themselves in a chosen art skill, Over their time at Dell, they build, year on year on these skills, developing the key theme and learning new techniques. For example, in Early Years we encourage children to explore and become familiar with painting equipment and to freely explore colour mixing and paint application. By the time the children reach year 4 they are exploring water colour washes, honing in on the key skills needed. And by year 6 they are thinking about the different watercolor techniques and where best to use them within their composition eg washes in the background and more concentrated paint and fine brushes for detail. All skills are explicitly taught and modelled by the adult, these are looked at in the context of an artist who also uses them. Children are given time and space to practice the technique as taught and then to explore what they can achieve with it. Time is then spent thinking about what they want to then do with this skill, exploring compositional ideas, colour and evaluating, rejecting or selecting elements. At Dell we teach that there is no right or wrong in art. Just because an idea is rejected or a sketch does not turn out how we want, does not make it wrong. We encourage our children to make notes on what they dislike or do not want and to have another go. This, we explain to them is part of the process. This self-evaluation is an important part of the  sketchbook process that we encourage children to become involved in this at all levels.


Each week children take part in Do Now tasks at the start of the day. These give children time to revisit skills or artists from their art days or even to look at new artists. This is an important part of the art process, being able to revisit and practice skills. It also allows children a weekly time to think about art.


We  encourage art to be revisited, linked to our topics in a cross curricular way. For example in Year 3, in the summer, the topic is Egypt. Within the planning they will be exploring sculpture and artefacts alongside the main history teaching. These carefully planned connections allow for excellent use of time and more opportunities to honed our art skills.


Key skills, vocabulary and artists are preselected for our art days to ensure a steady progression from one year group to the next. We encourage others to be looked at, cross-curricularly or in Do Nows, to further develop children’s knowledge.


Art and design in the EYFS:

The essential building blocks of children’s art and design capability are established. There are many opportunities for carrying out A&D-related activities in all areas of learning in the EYFS. Specifically, ‘Expressive Arts and Design’ is identified as a strand that focuses on the skills and knowledge in Art and Design. Art and Design in the Early Years involves developing children’s fine motor skills, looking at how they can combine materials, exploring what works and what does not, making choice nd selections, developing preferences and beginning to explore techniques and materials while developing their language and learning some initial vocabulary.




Through our art and design curriculum children will:

  • be engaged and challenged
  • learn to think creatively and critically
  • develop their ability to think as an individual, to have their own preferences and ideas
  • be able to use the language of art to evaluate both their own art work and the artwork of others
  • work through their creative ideas in their sketchbooks, from a single starting point through to a finished creative idea
  • learn a range of skills across the different areas of art, craft and design
  • talk enthusiastically about their art lessons and speak about how they are passionate about art through discussion and feedback


Assessment and monitoring in art and design:

• Lesson observations, book monitoring and learning walks

• Gathering pupil voice (Junior Leaders)

• Moderating pupils work

• Tracking pupils’ progress

• Check for Understanding used as a formative assessment tool that informs planning and intervention

• children’s self-assessments and peer-assessments