Art and Design

At Lakelands Primary School, we teach our pupils (from Year 1) discrete subjects. This means that we teach pupils what it means to be artists. Pupils will understand that in Art and Design, we learn how to invent and create works of art, craft and design.

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."

Pablo Picasso

Art and Design Curriculum Overview


Art and Design Knowledge and Skills Coverage

All units of learning in our Art and Design curriculum are designed to cover the following key areas:

  • Sketching
  • Paint (poster, acrylics, watercolours)
  • Printing (using items, press, stencils, lino)
  • Fabric Arts / Textiles
  • Sculpture (clay / modroc)
  • Pastels / Charcoal
  • Weaving
  • Photography / Multimedia
  • Collage
  • Digital Art

Across the school, we teach Art and Design to help pupils acquire and develop a repertoire of skills and knowledge so that they increase their understanding of how artists work. 

The following core concepts underpin the teaching of Art and Design:

  • Developing ideas
  • Mastering techniques
  • Take inspiration from the greats

We use these to support teacher knowledge and improve lessons:

  • Knowledge organisers
  • Skills progression through adapting the Essentials Curriculum

How is Art and Design Taught?

There are three strands to our Art and Design curriculum;

  • mastering skills in different art and design disciplines (e.g. sketching, sculpting, photography, etc)
  • knowledge building (e.g learning vocabulary linked to various disciplines e.g. weave, thread, tine, texture, acrylic)
  • exposure to art through artist studies

All children have a sketchbook, which they use from Year 1, where skills are taught discretely and built upon. For example, when producing a sketched self-portrait, pupils will first experiment with different sketching pencils, then they will practise drawing dots, lines and patterns. They will then use the appropriate pencil depending on the part of the face they are drawing. They use Austin's butterfly feedback to improve their self-portrait before creating their final product.

Some lessons also start with a 'Let's Recap' section which enables pupils to recap on prior knowledge, or they may begin by looking at a previous week's work in their sketchbooks and recapping the skills they have been taught.

We also use Knowledge Organisers to support pupils to retrieve and learn significant facts about artists. They learn about a variety of artists from different races and backgrounds (including LGBTQ+) and are inspired by them to create their own piece of art.

As a transition project in the last term of Year 6, pupils will hold their own gallery showing with the theme 'Metamorphosis' - using the techniques, knowledge and skills that they have gathered over the seven years at Lakelands.

Enrichment Opportunities in Art and Design

There are various ways in which we enrich the pupils' art and design knowledge and skills beyond individual lessons:

  • Art History club where pupils study famous artists from various time periods. 
  • Gallery showing at various venues in and around Colchester (first gallery in Spring 2023)
  • Local art trails with The Public Art Company

Art Links with other curriculum areas (including EYFS)

In EYFS, the foundations are laid so that pupils are prepared for the Art and Design curriculum in Year 1. Pupils have access to creative stations in their continuous provision including junk modelling, sculpting with malleable materials such a play dough, painting using a variety of materials (poster paint, watercolours) and mark making using gross motor skills in their outdoor environment. These are all linked to the Early Learning Goals for Expressive Arts and Design.

From Years 1 to 6, each half term, pupils will learn either an Art and Design unit or Design and Technology. Whilst there are links between the design elements of these discrete areas, they are taught differently and there are different skills involved. In Art and Design, pupils learn how to express themselves creatively, whilst in Design and Technology, pupils design and make things for a particular purpose. We are very clear that at Lakelands, building sculptures is part of Art and Design, unless this is for a particular purpose (e.g. a shelter for animals to protect themselves).

There is also a link with History, particular in Art History club and when learning about significant artists, as pupils learn about artists from different time periods. This is the same for Geography, where in Year 6 pupils learn about Mexico as a comparison study (to lead into learning about the Maya civilisation in History at a later date). In Year 6, their significant artist is Frida Kahlo.

Knowledge Organisers