art Curriculum 2020-21

Intent of study

The intention of our Art curriculum is to deliver a curriculum, which is accessible to all and designed to foster an open-ended exploration of creativity. It provides ideas, inspiration and techniques to enable children to explore a wide variety of media in drawing, sketchbooks, sculpture, painting, printmaking, and design. Basic skills are introduced and then built upon. Skills are revisited and the use of ongoing sketchbook work underpins this process.

These four key threads run through the whole school art curriculum and can been seen in every lesson.

Generating ideas

Children are actively encouraged to generating ideas in multiply ways, enabling them to build confidence in their own designs and recognise that ideas can be generated through doing as well as thinking. Through sketchbooks children explore personal creativity and as such they should be experimental, imperfect, ask questions and demonstrate inquisitive exploration. Using these ideas and the work of established Artist, children discover how inspiration can come from many rich and personal sources to feed into creative projects.

For example:

Our youngest children have opportunities to generate ideas through playful, hands-on exploration of materials in topics such as drawing by torchlight and discovering charcoal. Which is built upon as they progress through the art curriculum by using this growing knowledge of how materials and medium act, to help develop ideas in conjunction with a growing consideration of the works of a range of artists, craftspeople, architects and designer, such as the study of Quentin Blake’s drawing as inspiration, Inspired by Miro: Automatic Drawing, collage and sculpture and Exploring set design.


Through art, they will invent and discover. Children have the opportunity to explore materials in an open-ended manner and use them purposefully to achieve particular characteristics or qualities. As a result of our progressive art curriculum by year six our children will independently take action to refine technical and craft skills to improve mastery of materials and techniques and instinctively during the making process, making intelligent and confident creative choices.

For example:

Year one children explore how to turn 2d shapes into 3d sculptures


Reflect regularly upon their work, throughout the creative process, with our older children taking into account the overarching intention. All children will observe the work of others, both peers and artists, to identify how to strengthen their own work. Taking photographs and use digital media with the intention to re-see work and celebrate achievement.

Knowledge and understanding

Deepen knowledge of techniques, names of tools, materials and formal elements/processes. Using the appropriate vocabulary to talk about these.

Develop knowledge of working within safety parameters when working with artistic tools. Have a breath and depth of knowledge that different forms of creative works are made by artists, craftspeople, and designers from all cultures and times, for different purposes and recognise and describe some characteristics of each.



Art is taught as a discrete lesson every other term, which is a clear and comprehensive scheme of work in line with the National Curriculum.

Teachers are provided with support for subject leaders and Access Art professionals, to plan their curriculum. As part of this planning process, teachers need to plan the following:

  • Key treads underpin all Art lessons.
  • Follow the high level plans set out by the subject leader and use Access Art to plan for teaching and Learning that show progression across all key stages within the strands of Art.
  • Use the whole school curriculum knowledge and skills overview to ensure all children have access to key knowledge, language and meanings in order to understand and readily apply to their work in Art and across the wider curriculum.
  • Link key artists to areas of study and the development of knowledge of their work.
  • Use questioning throughout each lesson as away to assess and support the creative process.
  • Regular knowledge checks to support learners’ ability to block learning and increase space in the working memory.
  • Educational trips and visitors where applicable links to art will be made to develop the children’s learning experiences.
  • A means to display and celebrate the pupils’ artwork in their class.



Instead of prescriptive outcomes, we believe the role of our teachers is to introduce key skills, materials and ideas to the pupils in such a way that each pupil can then explore his or her own creativity. By creating a safe and nurturing environment, pupils are encouraged to take creative risks and to learn from the journey, rather than head towards a pre-defined end result.

Teachers use assessment questioning through a holistic practice, which takes place during every art lesson through conversation with pupils for example:

  • Tell me about that you are making and what inspired you
  • What might you do next?
  • Tell me about the materials and techniques you are using
  • What have you discovered?
  • How do you feel about the end result?
  • What kinds of problems did you encounter and how did you get round them?
  • Tell me about things you really liked or enjoyed
  • What would you like to explore more of?
  • What is the potential of what you have done? What could you do next?


In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • A celebration of learning for each term which demonstrates progression across the school;
  • Pupil discussions about their learning; which includes discussion of their thoughts, ideas, processing and evaluations of work.


Further information 

Intent- Reedswood Art Curriculum 20-21

High Level- Art Knowledge Overview 20-21

Art Overview 20-21

Art Vocabulary 2020-21

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