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At Coleridge, we aim for a high-quality art curriculum which provides the opportunities children need to embed knowledge and skills in art and design over time while they develop and express their creativity and imagination by exploring the visual, tactile and sensory qualities of materials and processes and discuss and reflect on their own work, and that of their peers. We value art as a subject, to inspire and develop our children’s cultural, spiritual and moral understanding. We place great importance on the work of artists, craft makers, designers, and architects and take inspiration from our mapped out artists each half term in order to be influenced by their style, which children can apply to their own work. We plan and teach sequenced art lessons based on vocabulary, artists, skills and knowledge, using a range of media to build up to an endpoint each unit and we revisit these areas each year to recall and build on previous learning and skills and so that over time, clear progression can be seen.

We aim to offer opportunities for children to

  • Foster an understanding and enjoyment of art, craft and design
  • Experience a broad and balanced range of art activities and show progression within these
  • Show development of ideas and their own skills through the use of a sketchbook in Y1 – 6 and on paper in the EYFS
  • Develop their ability to observe, investigate, respond to and record the world around them through a growing variety of forms and media
  • Develop their use of a range of tools, media and processes
  • Develop an understanding of the work of artists, crafts people and designers and apply this knowledge to their own work
  • Study historical, cultural and religious art.

We plan to enhance our art curriculum further by inviting local artists into school to lead workshops and by providing our children with the opportunity to display their artwork in a more permanent way in school, working collaboratively with our Eco Warriors to consider how we can use art not only to create aesthetic pleasure but to demonstrate our commitment to making changes to improve our environment.


At Coleridge, we teach art through a skills based curriculum, enhanced by carefully selected knowledge we want the children to know as they move through school. The skills are developed and built upon each year so that progression can be seen clearly across the school. All children are exposed to a range of media each year giving them the opportunity to explore, develop and embed their skills and understanding of that media, from our youngest children in EYFS to our eldest in Year 6. In order to ensure teachers have good knowledge of art and the curriculum, we bring artists into school to deliver staff CPD and provide feedback on our progression of skills for each unit.  In creating the curriculum and its objectives in this coherent way, and empowering staff with curriculum plans and CPD, we have considered workload for staff.

During each art lesson, which children receive weekly, progress is assessed in a range of ways. The children will be aware of the skills they are developing and will be able to look back on what they achieved previously; similarly, teachers can use our exemplification books to consider starting points and to ensure deliberate, repeated practice. Through self and peer evaluation and feedback from teachers, the children will discuss what they have done well and what they will need to continue to practise and develop in order to continuously improve their skills in that particular area. The teacher will refer back to previous modelling to support the children. Pupil voice, informed by effective questioning, identifies the knowledge and skills children have learned. We look in their sketchbooks and at the endpoints they build up to each half term, which show pride in learning and demonstrate how children have applied their learning in practice. Subject leaders provide clear feedback to stakeholders, including governors, with actions, policies and audit CPD during the monitoring cycle.

It is incredibly important to us that our children feel empowered and open to making mistakes. In art there is no right or wrong as it is a matter of interpretation but we provide children with the tools and scaffolds to discuss their work and the skills and effects they have used. By opening the children up to a bespokely written art and design scheme which incorporates generating, exploring and developing ideas, developing, evaluating and improving ideas, taking inspiration from the work of others, and developing and refining the skills of drawing, painting, collage, printing, sculpture and textiles over the year, we have tailored our curriculum to the needs of our pupils. We encourage the children to formulate their own opinions, preferences and interests; we know there will be some areas of art that children feel they prefer or perform better in. Through creating a culture of openness and acceptance, we allow our children to take risks in art. It is when we take risks that our learning can truly flow and all our children can become artists.


Children leave our school with a secure, embedded understanding of the skills and knowledge we teach; they have a rich understanding of a range of artists and styles due to the extensive exposure to a range of artists they encounter at school.

Pupils leave with the ability to

  • Use the language associated with art (for example, line, shape, pattern, colour, texture, form) to express emotions, interpret observations, convey insights and accentuate their individuality.
  • Communicate in visual and tactile form, across the areas of drawing, painting, collage, printing, sculpture and textiles, using observation, memory and imagination to inform their choices.
  • Explore and invent marks, develop and deconstruct ideas and communicate perceptively and powerfully through purposeful drawing and other media
  • Share their knowledge and understanding of other artists, craft makers and designers.
  • Think and act like creative practitioners by using their knowledge and understanding to inform, inspire and interpret ideas, observations and feelings and convey their creativity.
  • Select and use materials, processes and techniques skilfully and inventively to realise intentions and capitalise on the unexpected.
  • Reflect on, analyse and critically evaluate their own work and that of others.

At the end of each year the children will have been exposed to a wide variety of different media, giving them the opportunity to use it in a different way or for a different purpose and develop a range of skills. As pupils move up through the school the children will begin to develop their own preferences of media and styles as they will have been exposed to them frequently throughout their time in school. This will build upon their prior knowledge of what they can do when using this media. Our lessons are accessible for all pupils and they are proud of what they have achieved. They will be able to look back at their earliest work in their sketchbooks and see the progress they have made.

Our approach of being open and accepting of mistakes will not only help to develop our children’s creativity within art but will extend to other areas of their lives. There are many key life skills that will be developed through our attitude and teaching of art which will support our children as they move on after Coleridge, such as respecting others and their work, or showing resilience when things don’t go as planned. This is a key skill which our children will need throughout their lives.

Ultimately, our end goal is for all pupils to acquire a rich knowledge and skillset in the subject and an enthusiasm, passion for and a commitment to the subject during their time at Coleridge which they wish to pursue beyond their time here.

Evidence suggests that the cultural capital passed on through families helps children do better in school. Research within our locality suggests that for many of our children, this is a gap we must bridge. We value this in art, as the National Curriculum defines it to be, ‘It is the essential knowledge that pupils need to be educated citizens, introducing them to the best that has been thought and said and helping to engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.’ We strive to ensure that our pupils are confident creators, able to make informed decisions about what culture they consume and participate in, having opened them up to a breadth of experience in art. As outlined below, we expose the children to a wide array of artists, from different cultures and periods in history; we ensure that children have a broad experience in developing their techniques across a breadth of art forms. We consider carefully the progressive subject-specific terminology and language that children should be exposed to and use each year and we make links with other areas of the curriculum so that learning becomes more embedded. Furthermore, we consider how we can expose children to art in the locality, through visits to galleries and local sculpture parks in order to foster and encourage a love for the subject beyond the classroom.


Our end goal in art is for all pupils to acquire a rich knowledge and skillset in the subject and an enthusiasm, passion for and a commitment to the subject during their time at Coleridge which they wish to pursue beyond their time here. We want our pupils to have access to the best possible art curriculum, rooted in research and expertise. As we develop our art curriculum, we want teachers to feel empowered to deliver the best possible lessons and so we access high-quality CPD to underpin each part of our curriculum; we bring artists in to school to provide us with feedback on the vocabulary we have mapped out, the artists we have selected to study, the progression of skills we have written to go alongside our bespoke curriculum and to share their expertise in the areas of drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, printing and textiles. Furthermore, we invite these artists back into school to deliver projects that enhance not only our art curriculum offer and maximise cultural capital opportunities, but that enrich our personal development offer by promoting and exemplifying the values, drivers and characteristics outlined on our curriculum matrix.

Please find below examples from our most recent training with artist, Puy Soden.

CPD session at Coleridge Primary School Puy Soden

Please find below a presentation that provides information about how we have designed our art curriculum which contains links to and examples of research that have helped to shape decisions that we made about how our curriculum is designed.

Art Curriculum Design at Coleridge

Below is our school’s progression of skills and language that supports pupils to develop across the curriculum, in each area of art. Below each unit, you can see the progression in vocabulary that we have mapped out for pupils to learn and use on their art journey and build upon each time they revisit that area of the art curriculum. This progression document is reviewed each time we have a subject specialist artist in school so please email the school office if you would like any additional information about this progression of skills.

Art – Progression of Skills 

Art – Progression of Language

Key concepts in art are groups or categories of concrete or abstract ideas and things to create a deeper, shared understanding. At Coleridge, we understand the necessity of providing children with opportunities to revisit previous learning, committing knowledge to their long-term memories. In order for this to happen in art, we have carefully considered the concepts and knowledge that children will be taught and how these will be revisited and built upon each year, from EYFS through to Year 6. Please see the attached concept story for more information about the concepts that underpin our art curriculum at Coleridge.

Concept Story and Concepts in art at Coleridge

Examples of Planning



We want our art curriculum to promote a passion for creativity. The curriculum will enable our learners to be confident to produce and discuss individual pieces of artwork.  We are eager for children to have the chance to appreciate art both inside and out of the classroom. Learning is developed from our core principles which are colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space.

When developing our art curriculum, we wanted to focus on embedding a skills based curriculum that would develop skills in a wide range of artistic outcomes. We were aware that our children needed to develop their exposure to a range of art (both classical and modern) and we worked to include a wide range of artists from various countries and backgrounds.

Art at Coleridge

In foundation stage, children are taught a range of basic art resources that includes pencils, pastels, glue and rubbers. Children are encouraged to represent their own experiences in their artwork and complete topics on self-portrait and nature that surrounds us. Children are encouraged to work with a range of materials (paint, clay and various paper types) to broaden fine motor skills. Children are taught focus vocabulary that they can they use to describe their artwork.

In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 we focus on 6 key units to broaden skills and exposure to a range of art. Our units are: drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, printing and textiles. Within these units we focus on a broad range of artists (such as Wassily Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso, Banksy, Pete McKee, Tammy Kanat and Hokusai) to allow our children exposure to both classical and modern art. We felt it imperative that children are immersed in the artists’ work to ensure that they are inspired to go on to recreate what they have witnessed within their own artwork.

All children are exposed to our key concepts throughout lessons and we build on them as children progress through school. It is vital that these concepts are built upon year on year as all elements have a relationship to one another:

  • Most images begin their life as line drawings.
  • Lines cross over one another to form shapes.
  • Shapes can be filled with tone and colour, or repeated to create pattern.
  • A shape may be rendered with a rough surface to create a texture.
  • A shape may be projected into three dimensions to create form.


All children have access to a wide variety of art resources. Children have access to drawing pencils, paints, papers, clay, mod roc and a range of tools. All of these resources will be used within lessons throughout KS1 and KS2 to ensure exposure to a range of tools.


Unlike other subjects it has been difficult to find suitable trips to take children on to discover art. With that in mind, we have started to bring art to Coleridge! We aim to exhibit the artwork we produce in a gallery style showcase to allow children to take pride in the exceptional art that they produce. We love to invite artists in to show children that art is accessible for all.

Art Research

Art Research