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Art and Design

'Art makes the world a better place. It encourages human beings to make an 'original' contribution to our world'

– Bob and Roberta Smith RA OBE (NSEAD Patron)

Art, craft and design involves some of the highest forms of human creativity. Our curriculum: engages, inspires and challenges pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As pupils progress, they will be able to think critically and develop a more thorough understanding of art and design. They will also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.

Our school British Values Statement can be found in our Key Policies section of the website.

In Art and Design we are creators! We facilitate Art to allow the children to develop their imagination and creativity, to make connections and give them the skills to record their ideas. We nurture the children’s confidence in creating art, so that art lessons can be a place for self-exploration and freedom of expression. Our Art curriculum develops creativity, sets challenges and equips them with the knowledge and skills to experiment and create their own works of art. Our children study art in a way that ensures progression of skills, and follows a sequence to build on previous learning. Children will value their work and have high expectations in the process of their work, as well as the outcome. They will gain experience of a wide range of formal elements of art in a way that will enhance their learning opportunities; enabling them to use art across a range of subjects. Being creative and able to solve problems ensures both academic and creative progress. We want our pupils to explore a range of diverse artists and appreciate unique and individual styles. We encourage them to be proud of what they achieve and give them an appreciation of art that will last a lifetime.   

We aim for our learners to:  

  • use visual language skilfully (for example, line, shape, pattern, colour, texture, form) to express emotions, interpret observations, convey insights and accentuate their individuality;
  • communicate fluently in visual and tactile form;
  • draw confidently and adventurously from observation, memory and imagination;
  • explore and invent marks, develop and deconstruct ideas and communicate perceptively and powerfully through purposeful drawing in 2D, 3D or digital media;
  • have an impressive knowledge and understanding of other artists, craft makers and designers;
  • think and act like creative practitioners by using their knowledge and understanding to inform, inspire and interpret ideas, observations and feelings;
  • have independence, initiative and originality which they can use to develop their creativity;
  • select and use materials, processes and techniques skilfully and inventively to realise intentions and capitalise on the unexpected;
  • reflect on, analyse and critically evaluate their own work and that of others;
  • have a passion for and a commitment to the subject.

Art & Design is taught using threshold concepts, which build progressively to deepen knowledge, understanding and build schemas. These lessons are personalised and relevant to the needs of the learners. Teachers are able to seek advice and guidance from Year Group and Subject Leaders. Art & Design should be taught throughout the school year, spaced with D&T. This is because we believe this is the best way to retrieve knowledge, space learning and support the change in the long-term memory. Art & Design is mapped in accordance with the National Curriculum requirements, to ensure sufficient breadth of study. 

Threshold Concepts: 

  • Develop ideas

This concept involves understanding how ideas develop through an artistic process.

  • Master techniques

This concept involves developing a skill set so that ideas may be communicated.

  • Take inspiration from ‘The Greats’

This concept involves learning from both the artistic process and techniques of great artists and artisans throughout history.

At Bridgewater Primary School, the impact for the learners in Art & Design will be that pupil voice evidences confident learners who are able to talk about what they have learnt in Art & Design using subject specific vocabulary. They are able to develop ideas, master techniques and take inspiration from the greats.

The curriculum is spaced and ambitious and builds on the threshold concepts, the ‘big ideas’ that shape the learners’ thinking over time. Each concept is taught within the breadth of different contexts, so that it gains meaning and helps to build schemas. They are able to think critically about the subject and recall their learning over time.

Pupil voice also demonstrates that pupils are enthusiastic about Art & Design and understand how it helps them make sense of the past and the impact it has on future events.  Pupils work demonstrates that Art & Design is taught at an age appropriate standard across each year group, with opportunities planned in for pupils showing a swift understanding or working at greater depth. Work is of high quality and demonstrates pupils are acquiring knowledge, skills and vocabulary in an appropriate sequence and with an understanding of the interdisciplinary links.

Assessment Methods to Reach Summative End-of-Year Judgement

To assess Art & Design, we:

Use a template to structure lessons so all elements covered and build coverage against the Threshold concepts.

Use the information provided through Retrieval Prcatice activities.

Review progression in sketch books.

Self-review and peer-review

Post artwork on Seesaw for home learning as part of the critique process.

Collect Pupil Voice (e.g., add post-its or speech bubbles into sketchbook.)

Use the skill progression to support judgement


Equal Opportunities 

Art plays an important part in the life of our school. It is available to every child, regardless of their gender, race or disability. In Art and design at Bridgewater, each class develops a class identity, based on their class artist. These include a range of past and living artists from a variety of cultures and backgrounds.  

Our curriculum provides the opportunity to explore a range of art movements and experience artists and cultures that develop their appreciation of the richness of our diverse world. 

Children with special educational needs or disabilities will be differentiated for and supported appropriately, to ensure development of skills and equal access to the art curriculum. Parents and carers are encouraged to be involved with their pupils’ learning through looking at art and design displays, exhibitions and viewing and commenting on any artwork that has been added to our learning platform, Seesaw.