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Art and Design

Art Subject Leader: Catherine Parris

At Rushton Primary School, we provide a high-quality art and design education that engages, inspires and challenges pupils. We have designed our ambitious, carefully sequenced and cohesive curriculum offer using ‘Curriculum Maestro’ from Cornerstones Education. The curriculum design fully complies with the National Curriculum and distinguishes between substantive knowledge (key knowledge) and disciplinary knowledge (skills).  Key art forms such as ‘Paint and colour’, ‘Printing’ and ‘Malleable Materials’ are structured so that pupils’ knowledge builds progressively from year to year. Pupils understand and use a wide range of artistic techniques and vocabulary which enables them to develop the disciplinary skills needed to ‘think like an Artist’.


Our art and design curriculum ensures that pupils develop the key knowledge and skills needed to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.  They will become proficient in key art forms such as drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques. Pupils will explore their own ideas before creating final pieces and will evaluate and analyse their own and others’ creative works using the language of art, craft and design.  They will know about great artists, craft makers and designers and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.

At the end of EYFS

Pupils in Reception will develop knowledge and understanding of the Early Learning Goal ‘Expressive Arts and Design’ which serves as a foundation for further learning.  Pupils will learn about primary colours and how to mix them to make secondary colours.  They will use their drawing and mark-making skills to explore line and shape.  Pupils will explore threading and will manipulate dough to create shapes. They will learn simple printing techniques.  Pupils will be introduced to works of art by significant artists. 

At the end of Key Stage 1

Pupils will be able to demonstrate an understanding of colour theory including the use of colour-related vocabulary.  They will learn about techniques such as portraiture, collage and still life. They will explore elements such as composition and texture when creating their own final pieces.  Pupils will learn about new techniques such as relief sculpture and mural making through the exploration of work by artists from other time periods, countries and cultures.

At the end of Key Stage 2

Pupils will extend their knowledge of colour theory and use this to compare the use of colour families in different works of art and their effect on the viewer.  They will explore art, craft and design techniques such as mosaic, weaving, block printing and decorative stitching.  They will learn about art forms and artists from different times and cultures including the work of modern artists.


The focus of our arts curriculum is to teach discrete skills and techniques so that pupils can experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. Vocabulary used by artists to describe art forms and techniques is explicitly taught so that pupils can critique their own work as well as the work of others. Alongside these skills we will develop children’s knowledge of a range of artists and designs. Pupils will be taught how art and design is able to both reflect and shape our history, as well as contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation. The artists chosen provide pupils with positive role models that they can aspire to emulate, as well as developing their understanding of their own and others’ cultural heritages.



We use a multi-faceted approach to assessment within art and design.

  • Retrieval practice of key knowledge from previous lessons and units of study.

  • Assessment for learning is used within each lesson through skilful use of questioning and live feedback.

  • Pupil voice to support the evidence that pupils know and remember more over time.


Cultural Capital

Enrichment is an essential part of our art and design curriculum which provides pupils with discrete time to deepen their learning.  They provide opportunities for new experiences as well as nurturing and developing a thirst for learning. 


Enrichment activities include:

  • After school clubs

  • Occasional theme days


Career Professional Development

We develop strong subject knowledge amongst all staff which is achieved through comprehensive middle leadership development, a focus on developing all teachers’ subject knowledge and pedagogy. All staff benefit from implementing the high-quality planning resources provided by the Trust which is amended to meet the needs of all pupils.


Below is a summary of the CPD activities bespoke to art and design:

  • Sharing knowledge from trust-wide meetings

  • Bespoke training videos

  • 1:1 discussions with staff about lessons

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