“Art and design isn’t just a subject to learn, but an activity you can practise: with your hands, your eyes, your whole personality”  Quentin Blake

‘Art, craft, and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge 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 should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.’

  • National Curriculum, 2013

The National Curriculum for Art and Design aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • 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
  • National Curriculum, 2013


Our curriculum for art and design covers all areas of the national curriculum and has been written so that children can be creative and independent, as well as have freedom of expression and interpretation of what their own artwork is. We want all our children to enjoy art and experience success, understanding that there is no ‘wrong’ way to create art. Through art, we want out children to celebrate their differences as well as their individuality.  

Learning in art and design starts in our EYFS, and all year groups cover three units of art per year: drawing, painting, and sculpture. In EYFS, painting includes printing, and sculpture includes naturalist art, collage and weaving, as forms of 3D art and craft.  

The focus of each art and design unit is on developing the artistic knowledge and skills which can be applied to artwork creations. A simple breakdown of the key knowledge taught during each unit can be found in our long-term plan.


Each unit of our art curriculum systematically builds on knowledge and skills previously taught. Key vocabulary has been carefully considered and highlighted throughout our sequence of learning documents, which teachers use to plan their art and design lessons.


Key artists have also been chosen to feature in our art and design curriculum. These have been carefully selected due to the appropriateness of their artworks in supporting learning knowledge around a concept, e.g. weaving. Artists have also been included from different art periods and from all around the world in order to expose children to many different styles of art, and to enable them to develop an understanding of cultural influence on art.

DSJ Art Long Term Plan

An example of our sequence of learning for art and design can be found below:


In each of the art units taught each year, there should be evidence of:

  • exploring and developing ideas
  • investigating and making
  • evaluating and developing work

Knowledge and understanding should also inform this process.


1.Exploring and developing ideas

  • Record from first hand experience and imagination, and explore ideas.
  • Ask and answer questions about the starting points for their work and develop their ideas.
  • Collect visual and other information (e.g., images, materials) to help them develop their ideas using a sketchbook (sketchbooks are a requirement from KS2).


  1. Investigating and making art, craft and design ideas.
    • Investigate the possibilities of a range of materials and processes.
    • Develop their control of tools and techniques and apply these to materials and apply these to materials and processes, including drawing.
    • Representing observations, ideas and feelings and to design and make images and artefacts.


  1. Evaluating and developing work.
  • Compare ideas, methods, and approaches in their own and other’s work and say what they think or feel about them.
  • Adapt their work according to their views and describe how they may develop it further.


  1. Knowledge and understanding

        The children should be taught about:                                                                                                                                                          

  • Visual and tactile elements, including colour, pattern, texture, line and tone, shape form and space.
  • Materials and processes used in art,craft and design.
  • Differences and similarities in the work of artists and crafts people working in different times and cultures. (sculptors, photographers, architects and textile designers)



Useful Links and Websites

National Curriculum for Art and Design – National Curriculum – Art and design key stages 1 to 2 (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Ofsted Research Review for Art and Design – Research review series: art and design – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Our Art and Design Ambassador is Mrs Hepworth. If you have any questions about our art and design curriculum or art and design in school, please email n.hepworth@smat.org.uk.