Learning together, inspiring each other

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  2. Our Curriculum


Subject Co-ordinator: Mrs Swinney 

Link Governor: Mrs J Hopkins

Check out what the children will be learning in our Art & Design curriculum, term by term:


Key Stage 1

Key Stage 2


Our five key drivers underpin our Art & Design curriculum:

Enriched vocabulary

“Sticky” knowledge

Creative and critical thinking



 Throughout the school we teach art and design to engage, inspire and challenge children enabling them to think creatively, take risks and to acquire the knowledge and skills to experiment and create their own works of art, craft and design.

It is our intention that pupils become more expert as they progress through the curriculum, accumulating and connecting substantive and disciplinary art and design knowledge.

  • Substantive knowledge- this is the subject knowledge and explicit vocabulary used to learn about the content
  • Disciplinary knowledge– is the interpretation of artistic elements, how they can be used and combined in order to create a specific and desired effect. It is also the critical evaluation of artists’ work; evaluating style and technique and having the ability to appraise a piece of work. It is through disciplinary knowledge that children gradually become more expert by thinking like an artist.

This ensures that pupils develop the knowledge, skills and understanding of artistic elements colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space with a range of art forms drawing, painting and sculpture and the established form of other / great artists, makers, architects and designers thus ensuring that they achieve/exceed the aims of the National Curriculum for Art & Design – Key Stages 1 and 2 (DfE, 2013)

Through engaging with a wide range of artist and makers’ work, children are inspired and develop their own ideas, but also have opportunities to explore different cultures and ideas, to ask questions and to develop a visual literacy, which enables the children to understand and respond to the world.

They consider how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our society.

Our aspiration is for children to complete their Primary education at Coldean as visually literate with a passion for exploring creative art and design with a range of media.

Our curriculum is sequenced in line with the EYFS Statutory Framework (2021), Development Matters (2021) and the National Curriculum for Art & Design (2013).


Art is fundamental to Coldean. The knowledge, skills and understanding of Art & Design are taught explicitly in art lessons. The key aspects are organised into two strands art skills and techniques and exploring and evaluating to ensure that pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding are built upon through successive years towards clearly identified year group learning outcomes.

Our progression map ensures carefully planned progress for from drawing, painting and printing through to collage, textiles and 3D work. Wherever possible activities are linked to termly topics to excite, engage and inspire passion through purposeful learning.

A child’s sketchbook stays with them throughout their school life, demonstrating their cumulative knowledge and skills from Year 1 through to Year 6.

If you walk into an EYFS classroom you will see the continuously changing ‘Creative area’ where children are encouraged to select their own materials to construct and create and this adapts to the child led learning that individual children are interested in. Or children may join an adult for an adult led task (such a drawing a self-portrait) where skills are modelled and supported by the adult and new skills are learnt.

In KS1 the art work is cleverly fitted into the termly topics with teachers modelling new techniques or showing other’s artist’s work which children can adapt and use to create their own works of art

KS2 children benefit lessons taught by a highly experienced and talented Art teacher. Regular INSET training and staff development ensure that her outstanding practice enhances the skills of the other teachers in the school.

Our kiln has invigorated both the staff’s and pupils’ passion for 3D art & design ceramic work through structured opportunities that build upon prior learning.

At times art work might be differentiated by outcome, for example in Year 1 a child may make a simple snake out of clay, whereas another child may make a Gruffalo complete with prickles on his back and sharp claws! Lessons offer opportunities and resources to support those who are finding the learning challenging, whilst offering additional challenges to stretch and deepen understanding for other.

We are fortunate to participate in some of our city’s vibrant arts and creative industries, from visiting our Museums and participating in Brighton Festival’s Children’s Parade. We make use of our school’s outside areas, from Forest School to regular visits to our nearby woods and park.

Staff training and INSETs have been carried out by various experts such as ‘Using sketchbooks’, with Judy Graham and ‘Printing techniques’ with Judy Graham where we explored different techniques of printing (polystyrene, lino, card and string) and, more recently ‘Clay work’ with Janette Cullen who has inspired our kiln to be up and running again.



Our Art curriculum should ensure that children leave Coldean:

  • With a passion for exploring a wide range of arts media.
  • Able to apply the key principles of art: line, tone, texture, shape, form, space, pattern, colour, contrast, composition, proportion and perspective. 
  • Able to review, modify and refine their work.
  • Able to create high-quality work for display and in learning journals that demonstrates effective lesson sequencing and progression of knowledge and skills of pupils between year groups.
  • With an understanding of the work of a diverse group of artists, craftspeople and designers.
  • Able to express their opinion of the work of others, using increasingly precise art & design vocabulary.