How do we teach Art at Abbeyfield?


We believe that art lessons will engage, inspire and challenge all children to think innovatively and develop creative understanding. We wish to create an Art and Design curriculum that is rich, diverse and will ignite passion for learning. Our aim is to allow children to express their individual interests, thoughts and ideas alongside building resilience, confidence and critical-thinking skills. The curriculum will be tailored to suit the needs of children to equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to experiment, invent and create their own works of art. They should also know that art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.


Within Early Years there is continuous provision of art and design opportunities: these activities make important contributions to children’s development in the areas of Expressive Arts and Design and Communication and Language. They are also important in children’s Personal, Social and Emotional development. Skills in the Foundation Stage are planned through the objectives within the EYFS curriculum. Teachers in KS1 and KS2 use the National Curriculum and the KAPOW scheme for work as a basis for planning, with a long term overview and bespoke medium terms plans to support. Pupils are taught art as part of their topic work, where cross curriculum links can be achieved, allowing pupils to develop substantive practical knowledge of: drawing, painting, sculpture and craft. All teachers plan to ensure full coverage of theoretical, practical and disciplinary skills relating to the Art and Design curriculum for their year group. Our focus specialisms in art are: drawing, painting, sculpture and printing.

The KS1 National Curriculum

Pupils should be taught:

  • to use a range of materials creatively to design and make products
  • to use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination
  • to develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space
  • 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

The KS2 National Curriculum

Pupils should be 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.

Pupils should be taught:

  • 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
  • to create sketch books to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas
  • 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]
  • about great artists, architects and designers in history

Core Concepts

We have broken up our art curriculum into the following core concepts.

Curriculum Overview

We have then used these strands to map out our curriculum overview for art and design.


We have decided as a school that our art specialisms will be in painting, drawing and sculpture.

Medium Term Plans

We have detailed medium term plans that teachers use to inform each session and the overall sequence.

We also create learning journeys to share with children and their families which breaks down the substantive knowledge for each sessions in a easy-to-read format.

Here is an example:



Children are building on their knowledge and experiences so that when they leave Abbeyfield, they have been exposed to a wide range of artwork and can fulfil their creative and artistic potential Throughout this well sequenced curriculum, children learn to critique their own and other’s artwork by asking open and closed questions. They will become reflective of their own work and discuss how to improve their artwork next time. Children will understand that art is made by a variety of people in a variety of ways. They will know that they are all artists. The children’s learning journey in art and design is assessed each term using the current assessment framework self and teacher evaluation and reported on formally to parents at the end of each academic year. The high quality of pupil’s work is represented in their art sketchbooks as experimentations and final pieces, photographs and displays around school. Utilising summative and formative assessment, engaging in pupil discussions and having photographs of the children’s learning, enables us to measure the impact of our curriculum.

Arts Week

As well as fortnightly art lessons, we also hold an ‘Arts Week’ in the Spring term. This is a week dedicated to an arts project with each year group being allocated a different artist or art movement to study.

Each child produces a final piece. These are displayed in the KS2 and KS1 halls and families are invited to view each gallery of the children’s work.