GSO Test

'Success for all, in all we do'

Art & Design 

Intent: What do we want our children to learn?

Through the teaching of Art and Design, we aim to build children’s skills, knowledge, creativity and confidence, as well as the ability to critically evaluate and appraise the work of other artists, designers and craft-makers.  

To develop children’s artistic skills and knowledge we:

  • Provide a broad and balanced art curriculum, with a clear progression from EYFS to Year 6, in which skills are revisited and built upon.
  • Provide children with a range of artistic experiences, including creating art independently, collaborating with others and working at different scales, in order to help them gain confidence in their own creativity.
  • Ensure children experience working with a broad range of artistic media across the traditions of: drawing, printing, painting, collage and sculpture.
  • Encourage and support children to evaluate their own work and that of their peers. 

To develop children’s knowledge of how Art & Design has contributed to our culture, and understanding of our history and the world, we: 

  • Have carefully selected a variety of artists, designers, architects, illustrators and craft-makers to focus upon, and provide children with opportunities to take inspiration from their work.
  • Include opportunities for children to engage with art during gallery visits, participation in local and national art projects and events, and to meet and talk to artists, designers, architects, illustrators and craft-makers from the local community.

Implementation: What does art look like at Fircroft?

Early Years

The children follow the EYFS framework which addresses the art and design curriculum through many of the learning areas but most particularly through ‘Expressive Arts’. 

Our Early Years children engage with art across the year, through six areas of exploration:

  • How Can We Explore Colour?
  • How Can We Build Worlds?
  • How Can We Explore Materials & Marks?
  • How Can We Explore 3D Materials?
  • How Can We Use Our Bodies to Make Art?
  • How Can We Use Our Imaginations?

Key Stage 1 & 2

From Year 1 onwards, the six EYs areas are condensed into the three following focus areas which ensure full coverage of the national Curriculum:

  • Drawing & Sketchbooks
  • Surface Colour
  • Working in 3-dimensions 

Art at a glance 2023-2024

Each year group, in Key Stage 1 & 2, cover the three areas with a learning sequence of a half-term’s duration and each unit has a sequence of 6 lessons. The lesson sequence takes children through 4 phases:

  • Introduction to the theme & focus artist
  • Exploration of theme
  • Response to the theme
  • Evaluation & celebration


For Year 1-6 children, sketchbooks are used throughout the learning sequence to:

  • Experiment with media and techniques
  • Develop ideas for an artwork
  • Record thoughts and evaluations

We encourage children to have confidence when experimenting and to avoid crossing or rubbing out, as all stages of experimentation and idea-development are valuable.

Take One Picture:

Every year, to further boost the profile of art in the school, all children from Nursery to Year 6 take part in a special week of art learning based upon the National Gallery’s Take One Picture initiative. The week ends with a school-wide art exhibition for families. 

Artwork inspired by Henri Rousseu's painting, 'Surprised'

This year, our artwork was inspired by Henri Rousseu's painting, 'Surprised'.

Impact: How do we support children to retain their knowledge and check that they have?

Our carefully planned Art curriculum is designed to support children’s skills and knowledge acquisition. We check that children have acquired knowledge and skills through:

  • Weekly knowledge recaps based on focus artists of the art unit
  • End of unit ‘crit’ lessons (Evaluation & celebration phase) where pupils reflect and evaluate their own work and the work of their peers
  • Pupil voice
  • Book looks
  • Learning walks
  • Lesson observations