Art & Design Curriculum

Art - Intent, Implementation and Impact

At St Gabriel’s Primary School, we value Art and Design as an important part of the children’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. Art and Design provides the children with opportunities to develop and extend key skills and to express their individual interests, thoughts and ideas.

Art and Design embodies some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high quality Art education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils whilst equipping them with knowledge and skills to experiment, explore and create their own works of Art.

As pupils progress, they will be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of artists techniques and styles.

The National Curriculum for Art and Design aims to ensure that all pupils:

  1. Produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences.
  2. Become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques.
  3. Evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design.
  4. Know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.

The teaching of Art and Design at St Gabriel’s is based on the National Curriculum, through creative weeks and links to each year groups Topics. Key skills and knowledge are explicitly taught within 3 creative weeks each year. Each creative week focuses on a different area of Art e.g. Drawing, Painting, and Printing etc. Children also have the opportunity to develop their art skills within other areas of the curriculum; History and Geography.

Children have the opportunity to learn about famous Artists, both male and female, and use their work as examples and stimuli for their own projects. Our curriculum looks to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with knowledge and skills to confidently and openly produce their own works of art and design.

Within Pre-School and Reception, it is important that children are allowed many opportunities to explore and experiment within each area of Art.

They have opportunities to:

  • Explore movement and textures through the use of a variety of tools, equipment and materials.
  • Manipulate and create different effects using a range of materials.
  • Express their own ideas using a variety of equipment and materials.
  • Explore colours and use them for a particular purpose.
  • Develop skills when using different tools e.g. stamps, rollers, paint brushes etc.
  • Begin to develop and adapt their work, where necessary.

Within Key Stage 1 children should continue to explore, experiment and express their ideas, within each area of Art.

Children will be taught to:

  • Use a variety of materials to design and create final pieces of artwork.
  • Use the key skills taught to develop and share their ideas, within each area of Art.
  • Develop a wide range of techniques to use colour, pattern, line, texture and shape to create differing pieces of Art.
  • Describe the similarities and differences between different artists and the techniques they have used.
  • Comment on their opinions of an artist’s work, this could be if they like it or not, or how does it make them feel etc.

Within Key Stage 2 children are continuing to develop their skills as artists. At the Start of KS2 they will be introduced analysing artists techniques and artwork, as well as annotating their own designs and developing ideas. The detail of annotations will increase as the children move through KS2.

Children will be taught to:

  • Create sketchbooks to record observations of their work and work of other artists.
  • Use sketchbooks to annotate, review and revisit their ideas and designs.
  • Develop their art skills and techniques using a range of materials e.g. pencils of different grades, charcoal, different types of paint, clay etc.
  • Analyse and create artwork in the style of, not only, great artists and designers in history, but modern artists also.

Our Art curriculum at St Gabriel’s is planned to demonstrate and provide clear progression throughout each creative week. Children will then have the opportunity to transfer and develop these key skills within other areas of the curriculum; History, Geography and Science.

Assessments are made at the end of each creative week and are combined at the end of the year. Children that are accessing their year groups key skills are deemed to be making Age Related Progress, those that are firmly secure in their year groups skills will be assessed as working above.

Progression of skills document

Art Cycles


For our first creative week of the year we looked at the Artist Frida Kahlo. The children spent the week focusing on each facial feature and developing their drawing skills. By the end of the week all children produced a self-portrait, many children also created colourful backgrounds that were inspired by Frida Kahlo. Here are some examples from each year group.




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