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Art and Design

Aims of our Art and Design programme:

At Gillingstool we are committed to ensuring every child has access to a broad and balanced curriculum.  Art and Design provides children with the opportunities to look at the world through the eyes of an artist and gives the children the chance to express their individual interests, thoughts and ideas.

Art and Design embodies 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 reflects and shapes our history, and contributes to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.

Knowledge and Skills:

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.


What Art and Design looks like at Gillingstool

We have produced a unit of work that is followed on a two year cycle from Reception to Year 6.  Each class will be taught three Art and Design topics each year.  These topics ensure coverage of a wide range of arts and crafts skills, including drawing, painting, textiles and 3D work.  Over each two year cycle all of these skills are visited at least once, and this allows for continuity and progression of skills. The scheme very clearly outlines the learning outcomes for each topic.  Every topic works through the same stages of: Exploring the work of a famous artist/s or crafts person / people; experimenting with a specified skill, such as drawing or colour mixing; building up skills to produce a final piece of work; evaluation of the final product.  Each topic has a balance of individual, partner and group activities which allows for collaboration and extension of ideas. 

Children’s work is recorded through annotated floor books with examples of work and photos of the children at work.  All children have their own sketchbook which is kept to keep individual sketches, investigative work and ideas for a piece of artwork.

We now store all Art and Design resources centrally, which enable the Art and Design lead to easily audit and purchase resources to ensure high quality resources are made available to teach the curriculum to a high standard.  The Art and Design lead has put web links and photos into the scheme of work to support staff with the teaching of specific or high level skills.

At Gillingstool we have a display policy to ensure all children’s work is regularly displayed and valued, and the profile of Art and Design work is raised throughout the school. 

We will hold an Arts week every other year, also with the purpose of raising the profile of the subject throughout the school.  This is an opportunity for the children to meet a living, contemporary artist and to take inspiration from them to produce work of their own.  There are opportunities to work on topics outside of the planned curriculum to further foster a love of Art and Design with opportunities to work in further depth and on a larger scale then would normally be possible within weekly lessons.  This week will result in each child / class displaying their work in a ‘pop-up gallery’ to be show cased to the whole school community.


Art Outcomes at Gillingstool

The impact of our curriculum design will be that children foster a love and enjoyment of Art and Design.  Within Art and Design, we strive to create a supportive and collaborative ethos for learning by providing investigative and enquiry based learning opportunities. Emphasis is placed on investigative learning opportunities to help children gain a coherent knowledge of understanding of each unit of work covered throughout the school.

Our art and design curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills and discreet vocabulary progression also form part of the units of work. We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Floor books and pupils’ sketchbooks, along with displays, give evidence of the topic coverage and clearly show each step of learning; working through the processes of: Exploration – Investigation / Experimentation – Making final product - Evaluation
  • Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
  • Moderation staff meetings where pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
  • Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum.