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How we teach Art at Colburn

How we teach Art & Design at Colburn


At Colburn Primary School, we value Art and Design as an important part of the children’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. The Art and Design curriculum is designed to expose children to a range of great artists as well as enrich their artistic knowledge. The curriculum is designed to engage and inspire children through topic linked, cross-curricular learning opportunities. Many of our children arrive at Colburn from a variety of different cultures. They often come with limited life experiences and so our aim is to celebrate and provide them with Art and design challenges linked to great artists and famous pieces of art work, past and present, from around the world. Our ambition is for them to express their individual interests, thoughts and ideas using inspiration from significant artists, architects and designers in history. We want children to learn appropriate subject knowledge and skills by exploring, investigating, creating and evaluating artwork as set out in the National Curriculum in both key stages. Our children will be given many opportunities to enable them to feel empowered, to think creatively and critically and ultimately to reach their full artistic potential.




The art and design curriculum at Colburn Community Primary School is based upon the Primary National Curriculum in England, which provides a broad framework and outlines the knowledge and skills taught in each Key Stage. Art and Design is taught in termly topics throughout the year, so that children achieve depth in their learning. The key knowledge and skills that children acquire and develop throughout each topic have been mapped to ensure progression between year groups throughout the school. Teachers plan lessons for their class using Curriculum Maestro based on the half termly topics. This curriculum covers a range of styles, artists and genres: drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, textiles and 3D (sculpture). The children are given opportunities to be imaginative, explore different materials and develop their ideas, which is an important part of the Early Years Foundation Stage, mainly within the 'expressive art and design' area of learning.


Children are encouraged to practise their handling, moving and control skills (for example, by painting or using clay). Materials are accessible for children to develop and explore their ideas and to be imaginative. In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, pupils are given opportunities to use a range of materials to creatively design and make products through drawing, painting and sculpture. They explore different techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space. Children learn to improve their skills in drawing, painting and sculpture using a range of different materials. They are expected to create sketch books to record their learning and to use them to review and revisit ideas. Another important aspect of the art and design curriculum is learning about the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and similarities between different practices and disciplines, and making links to their own work. To ensure that the pupils get the benefit of a full and balanced curriculum, links are made (where appropriate) with other curriculum areas. Critical thinking is encouraged when discussing art, works of art and artists through the use of both closed and open-ended questions. Pupils are also encouraged to use and respond to similar questions in response to their own work. Children are encouraged to evaluate their own pieces of work as well as their peers.



Our art and design curriculum is high quality, well thought out, and is planned to demonstrate progression. Children are given the opportunity to explore and evaluate different creative ideas. Children develop knowledge of the styles and gain a wider vocabulary as well as learn about famous artists. Most of all, the pupils get to celebrate their work with each other. The impact of our Art curriculum is that the children in our school are able to:

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


By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the knowledge and purpose of art & design.