At Allendale Primary School we value Art and Design as part of our broad and balanced curriculum. As an Artsmark school, we pride ourselves on our ability to foster and continually grow a love of the creative arts in our children. We deliver an Art and Design curriculum which is accessible to all abilities. Through careful planning of our topics and our three year cycles, we aim to engage, inspire, develop and challenge the children in order to progress and develop their skills as well as encourage them to express their own ideas and thoughts in order to become independent and creative artists. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. 

In all year groups, children observe work from different artists, and different artistic periods, learning about how subjective art can be, and understand how to use and apply this knowledge to impact positively on their own artwork. From the beginning of Year 1, each child will have their own sketchbook to design, practise and develop their skills and artworks. This will evidence a progression of techniques throughout the school years. The final objective is never to attempt to produce an exact copy of the work we are looking at but to practise details and effects from the original which the children can then begin to use in their own creative work. In this way, they can experiment with and improve their mastery of a wide range of media until they are themselves confident and independent artists while at the same time, learning about art history and making rich and powerful links to other areas of the curriculum.


The teaching and implementation of the Art and Design Curriculum at Allendale Primary School is based on the National Curriculum and ensures a structured approach to this creative subject. At the heart of our Art and Design lessons, is enjoyment and engagement using themes that interest and inspire the children. It is primarily linked to topics in both KS1 and KS2 and cross curricular links are made wherever possible. Our Art Curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. Art specialist language will be taught within art lessons across the school and modelled by teachers in all art lessons. Our Art and Design curriculum is designed to be accessible to all children. Any children who find art difficult in terms of physical disabilities or difficulties, low self-esteem or confidence will be supported either by teaching assistants, the class teacher or their peers or will be given an adapted task or alternative resources so that they can fully participate in all lessons. 

We have a plentiful supply of resources in an area that is easily accessed by all staff and an audit and full art order is completed each year. The art co-ordinator ensures that any specialist equipment is ordered ahead of specific projects being carried out to ensure that staff are not restricted in the implementation of their planned lessons. 

Early Years Foundation Stage

The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. Children are encouraged to explore and use a variety of media and materials through a combination of child initiated and adult directed activities. They have opportunities to learn to:

  • safely explore the textures, movement, feel and look of different media and materials.

  • respond to a range of media and materials, develop their understanding of them in order to manipulate and create different effects.

  • use different media and materials to express their own ideas.

  • explore colour and use for a particular purpose.

  • develop skills to use simple tools and techniques competently and appropriately.

  • select appropriate media and techniques and adapt their work where necessary.

  • share their creations, explaining the process they have used. 

Key stage 1

Children are taught:

  1. to use a range of materials creatively to design and make products.

  2. to create sketch books to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas.

  3. to use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination.

  4. to develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space.

  5. 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.

Key stage 2

Children are taught to develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design.

Children are taught:

  1. to develop the work in their sketch books to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas.

  2. to improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials (for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay).

  3. about great artists, architects and designers in history.


At Allendale Primary School our priority is to ensure our children reach their full potential and get the most out of their education. Our overall aim is to ensure essential Art skills and knowledge are embedded to aid future progression in upper year groups and for all children to become confident, independent artists helping them to develop skills and attributes they can use beyond their school years and into adulthood. All teachers observe the pupil’s ongoing progression during lesson time by asking questions and perusing their creations and subject knowledge. Ongoing assessment takes place throughout the year and teachers use this information to inform future lessons; ensuring children are supported and challenged appropriately. We also monitor achievement in the Art and Design curriculum by;

  • pupil voice and feedback

  • Governor monitoring with curriculum coordinator

  • tracking skills against pupil achievement 

  • photo evidence of pupil learning, participation and finished pieces of work

  • sketchbook scrutiny