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Queen's Park Primary School

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Art and Design

Subject Philosophy: Art and Design


At Queen’s Park, Art and Design forms a key part of our curriculum. Learning is linked to the Humanities-driven programme, enriching and extending understanding of the topics explored. Art and Design education provides rewarding activities that inspire, inform, stimulate and challenge. We teach Art and Design with passion and excellent subject knowledge. We facilitate engaging learning experiences for our children to ensure that new skills and knowledge are acquired and applied successfully. Our aim is to create confident, independent artists who can articulate and value their own creative journeys.


We teach with:

  • A strong understanding of the Art and Design curriculum expectations in term of both knowledge and skills.
  • An awareness of our pupil’s interests.
  • An awareness of what has been taught before and what will be taught in the future.


We teach to:

  • Encourage pupils to produce creative work, explore ideas and record experiences.
  • Equip students with skills and proficiency in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques.
  • Enable students to evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design.
  • Enhance students’ knowledge of great artists, craft makers and designers, and the understanding of the historical and cultural development of their art forms in our world.
  • Encourage students to initiate and develop their own learning through investigation and in response to great artists, craft makers and designers.
  • Encourage students to complete tasks independently and confidently.


Enhance learning and develop cultural capital through purposeful trips, activities and workshops.


Our Art and Design curriculum supports and supplements the delivery of the National Curriculum. Our curriculum provides:

  • Bespoke, theme-based learning experiences linked to the Humanities curriculum;
  • Purposeful, well-planned learning ‘journeys’ that encourage independent thinking and experimentation;
  • Broad and balanced coverage of a range of subjects, skills and media;
  • Opportunities to respond to the needs and interests of our students and the local community;
  • An awareness of local, national and global issues and how artists, craft makers and designers respond to them;
  • Opportunities to develop cultural capital in our learners.


Curriculum Rationale

Art and Design learning links closely to the Humanities curriculum and the topics explored. Students develop knowledge of artistic elements, practical skills and perceptual skills through drawing, painting, printmaking, 3D sculpture, textiles, digital media and collage.


Artistic elements: Line, shape, colour, value/tone, form, pattern, texture, space.

Practical skills: Cutting, shaping, gathering, resources, safely using tools, organising, clearing away.

Perceptual skills: Observing, recording, developing language of art/craft/design, making links, communicating, expressing ideas, critically appreciating and visual literacy.


Alongside the practical skills, we also place emphasis on ‘exploring and generating ideas’ and ‘evaluating’ in the context of other artists’, craft makers’ and designers’ work. Students are encouraged to share ideas, compare and evaluate their own work and also that of others.


Key vocabulary, skills and knowledge to be taught and artists’ work to be explored are outlined in our curriculum maps. There is a clear progression of skills from the EYFS through to Upper Key Stage Two (UKS2), however, teachers are free to plan and deliver the outlined skills and knowledge in any way they see fit for their individual class.


Our Art and Design Curriculum

Our Art and Design curriculum in Key Stage 1 and 2 is arranged into 4 key areas:


  • Exploring and generating ideas
  • Making through drawing and other media and techniques (painting, printmaking, collage, textiles, 3D sculpture, digital media)
  • Evaluating
  • Knowledge of the work of artists, craft makers and designers (context) and knowledge of processes and materials


Exploring and generating ideas, evaluating and drawing form the basis of each topic. In addition to this, students have the opportunity to develop knowledge through the focus artist and the six other media and techniques explored throughout their key stage (see table below).


Each topic is closely linked to an artist, craft maker, designer or cultural/historical group of people. Each year group will study three Art and Design topics per year (three half terms) however, there may be opportunities to teach additional Art and Design during other half terms.


In KS2 students create sketchbooks to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas (please see Appendix A for further details).


Art and Design in the Early Years

Art and Design in the Early Years falls under the area of Expressive Arts and Design (EAD), one of the four specific areas of development. Selected areas of learning, including EAD, are flexible depending on individual and cohort funds of knowledge and interests, and these are frequently rooted in concepts based on children’s lived experiences.


The EAD Early Learning Goals focus on ‘exploring and using media and materials’ and ‘being imaginative’. Children are given the opportunity to independently explore and experiment with a range of media and tools through various techniques. Their skills and understanding are developed through re-visitation and the input of adult-led group activities. Children can then apply their knowledge of the media and materials to create their own artwork.


Exploring the work of great artists, craft makers and designers is in addition to this and can contribute to children developing and evaluating their own ideas. Children are also taken on local trips and visits to enhance their learning in this area.


Art and Design Principles

Our Art and Design teaching will have the following principles:


Focus artist, craft maker or designer – Each topic will have a focus artist, craft maker, designer or cultural/historical group (e.g. Stone Age cave paintings). The work of these artists will act as a starting point from which the students can observe, analyse and discuss similarities and differences. Students will develop an awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design through imagery, replicas and visits to galleries and museums.  They will be able to make links between their own work and that of other artists.


Exploration and investigation – Students will have the opportunity to explore and investigate the media or technique as well as the work of the focus artist. This will involve consideration of the artistic elements and may be through verbal discussion as well as practical activities.


Development of ideas – Students combine their knowledge of the focus artist and their initial explorations to develop their own independent and creative ideas. Students will refer to the artistic elements and expand upon their ideas through a process of review and re-visitation.


Practical skills of making – Students will be encouraged to develop their practical skills in the areas of drawing, painting, printmaking, 3D sculpture, digital media, collage and textiles. This involves developing control over processes such as joining materials and colour mixing.


Feedback - We will provide both verbal and written feedback to our children (as per the marking policy) and ensure that this happens ‘live’ during lessons as much as possible. As sketchbooks are considered a personal space for each student, any written feedback will be on post-it notes.


Evaluation – Students are encouraged to evaluate and analyse their own work and the creative work of others throughout the topic. There are also opportunities for peer assessment. Students are supported to develop the language of art, craft and design to apply when evaluating and analysing. This may take the form of verbal discussion or, for older pupils, writing in sketchbooks.


Layered Provision - We will provide a range of activities linked to an Art and Design topic through a layered provision approach. This is in addition to whole class Art and Design lessons. Layered provision has been used successfully in EYFS however children can often lose resilience and independence as they move to formal classroom teaching in Key Stage One and beyond. We continue this approach throughout the rest of the school to allow children to take charge of their own learning and interests.



Parents and Guardians

We aim to engage parents in our Art and Design curriculum in a number of ways. We strongly believe that home support can contribute to high standards of attainment and progress. We engage parents in the following ways:

  • sharing curriculum maps at the beginning of every topic, outlining what the Art and Design focus will be and the artist, craft maker or designer we will look at
  • holding termly exhibitions where children will share their learning with their parents
  • ‘stay and play’ sessions in EYFS
  • Homework Projects – see policy


Wider Community and Cultural Capital

Children at Queen’s Park regularly attend educational visits across London. Where possible, we encourage teachers to take their class on one educational visit per half term. Whilst this does not always have to be Art and Design related, London has a lot to offer for this curriculum area and we have produced a document of recommended trips for each Art and Design unit. As well as trips, the list also contains workshops and possible visitors to the school.


Topics and learning journeys are planned to give our children an understanding of their local community and the wider world whilst also developing their cultural capital. Teachers plan units of work which raise awareness of local and global issues and children are encouraged to write and create for real purposes.


The school also takes part in The Big Draw each year which promotes the universal language of drawing as a tool for learning, expression and invention. Visiting artists, craft makers and designers lead workshops for students exploring the theme of that year. Recent examples include Drawn to Life in 2019 where art was used as a tool to contribute to good mental health and wellbeing. Art and Wellbeing Days will become a regular part of the curriculum in 2020.