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At New Haw, our art and design curriculum will inspire and give pupils the skills, conceptual understanding and knowledge necessary for them to communicate ideas and experiences from the world around them in visual and tactile ways.  Through analysing works of art from different times and cultures, they will learn to appreciate, and critically engage, with the work of others, recognising different perspectives and their worth.  Along with precise teaching of the vocabulary of art, careful choice of questioning will challenge thinking and, in turn, encourage children to observe closely, allowing them to articulate ideas about process and technique, formulate opinion and question what they see.

By creating links with other subject areas, such as design and technology, computing, history and PSHE, links will be made that deepen understanding across the curriculum.

We will ensure that pupils have the experience of using a range of art media and develop technical skills with a range of equipment, techniques, and processes.  Through the practical nature of the subject, children’s control and fine motor skills will grow.  As well as developing a love of making, we will foster imagination, nurture creativity, and instil a positive sense of their place in the world.  Children will be given opportunities to be experimental and take risks, but also learn resilience.  They will become adept at evaluating and have the self-confidence and mastery of skill to refine and improve their outcomes.  

Ultimately, we will instil in our children a sense that appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts can enrich their lives.

Curriculum design

Curriculum Map

Unit Overview

Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Year 3

Stone age art



Year 4

Land art



Year 5

Still life


Islamic art

Year 6

People in action

The Jurors’ Chairs




Throughout key stage 2, children learn about the formal elements of art: line, shape, form, pattern, texture, colour and space, in an increasingly sophisticated way, returning to these concepts frequently in their studies.  Planning builds on prior learning and pupils are taught to use and apply increasingly sophisticated art processes.  They learn how to use specific techniques and materials to achieve a certain purpose.  As well as being taught explicit skills, they have the opportunity to explore the wider potential of materials and, as confidence improves, they are supported to make deliberate choices to achieve a desired effect.

Each unit in the curriculum is organised around a similar structure:

During the preparatory phase (and at appropriate points throughout units), traditional and contemporary artworks are analysed so that children can identify different ways that great artists and designers have portrayed ideas, experiences and their imagination.  The work of female and male artists is explored, chosen from a range of geographical and historical contexts, with themes that will excite and inspire.  In Year 3, for example, children learn about the earliest forms or prehistoric art and, as they progress through key stage 2, some of the great artists that have shaped art movements, for example, Da Vinci, Van Gogh and Picasso.  Alongside this, art is looked at in a wider context, making in relatable to children by making links to current affairs and popular culture.  The work and impact of practitioners such as Banksy, Warhol, Quentin Blake and Keith Haring are studied. Children’s knowledge and observation of the formal elements of art underpins discussion. 

Exploring the use or outcome of specific techniques and materials then becomes the focus of teaching.  Opportunities for children to build on their own knowledge and skills are given so that they learn to achieve desired outcomes.  Drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, digital art and printing are key areas that are revisited in sequences of topics.  Each time, teaching builds upon previous knowledge and skills, and fosters greater control and mastery of technique.  Children have the chance to explore the potential of a wide range of materials, such as pencil, chalk, pastel, clay and paint.  They learn not only what sort of effect can be gained, but when and why certain material choices might be preferable.  Largely, learning opportunities are undertaken independently but, by organising activities into some that are paired or undertaken in groups, children come to understand that, though art is mostly a personal response, collaboration can also yield creative, innovative responses.

The progression document for art and design, it states what is taught in each unit.  The success criteria for a final piece at the end of each unit is defined by the key areas of learning.  Children then plan for it, considering different concepts and compositions in their sketchbooks, so that they invent their own works of art, craft and design.  During this phase, pupils are taught to work within the cyclical process of planning, creating, reflecting and reviewing.  By reviewing their own and their peers’ work as they plan and make, they learn to adapt, develop and refine their thinking and action in response, working as artists do.  When they evaluate their final piece, children are asked to draw on what they have learnt and consider how successful their final pieces are.