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Art and Design


At Birchwood Primary School we believe that a high-quality art and design curriculum will engage, inspire and challenge our pupils. Our bespoke curriculum is designed to cover the full National Curriculum through the topics that we teach. This gives pupils an opportunity to explore a range of media and techniques including drawing, painting, printing and sculpture. This is often done through the exploration of an initial key artist, craft maker, designer or architect to gain inspiration. Cross-curricular links are promoted to enable pupils to deepen their understanding across the curriculum. This includes artworks from year group specific historical and geographical contexts.

The curriculum has been organised into the substantive knowledge, disciplinary knowledge and vocabulary. This creates our curriculum overview which allows and ensures that pupils are exposed to a clear progression of knowledge and skills and are given the opportunity to build upon their prior knowledge. It is our intention that our art and design curriculum engages, inspires and challenges pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design using a range of media. Pupils will also become proficient in evaluating and analysing not only their own work but the work of great artists, craft makers, designers and architects.  As our pupils progress artistically, they will be more prepared to take risks, think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design, allowing them to access secondary learning.


Opportunities to explore, reflect and develop ideas are planned into each unit of study. Pupils will explore the work of artists, craft makers, designers and architects during their time at Birchwood. They will compare their work to the work of others allowing for past learning to be regularly revisited. After experimenting with new techniques, pupils will be encouraged to apply these techniques, exploring new methods and processes, before completing a finished piece. Evaluation will be paramount in this process, with pupils constantly analysing not only their work but the work of others, allowing them to reflect upon and refine their work. The use of sketchbooks aids this process.

Opportunities for visits from both local and national artists are planned for, inspiring our pupils and giving them an insight into potential future careers.

Effective CPD opportunities are available to all staff to ensure that high levels of confidence and knowledge are maintained and to aid them with their planning of the subject.


Our bespoke curriculum allows our pupils to not only expand their skills and knowledge but also develops their vocabulary and their ability to make comparisons and ask questions. Their progress and the impact of our Art and Design curriculum is measured by looking at examples of their work and through pupil interviews where discussions about current and previous learning take place to ensure that knowledge and skills have been retained. In addition to this, termly assessments take place to review progress and plan for next steps. Children in Foundation Stage are assessed within Expressive Arts and Design.