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Intent for Art and Design

The National Curriculum in England 2014 states that: ‘Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of 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.’ 


‘Art’ should be interpreted as ‘art, craft and design’ throughout and ‘artists’ should be interpreted to mean ‘artists, craft workers and designers’


At Oakfield Primary School one of the key curriculum drivers is for pupils to 'use creativity'.  We want pupils to be creative learners in lessons – as thinkers in the way that they express their thoughts and feelings about the work of other artists, how they have shaped our world, its cultures and history; and as doers through opportunities to experiment, invent and create using a wide range of media, tools and techniques.


Each year group will plan two Art and Design projects which will aim for pupils to develop a progression of skills in collage, sculpture, printing and textiles.

Pupils will also develop skills of drawing and using colour throughout the year with opportunities to use these skills through observational drawing or with a focus on an artist.


Art and Design projects include the key elements:

  • Exploring and developing ideas
    • Record from first-hand evidence, experience and imagination
    • Ask and answer questions about starting points for work
  • Investigating and making
    • Investigate the possibilities of a range of materials and processes.
    • Try out tools and techniques, including drawing.
    • Represent observations, ideas and feelings, and design and make images and artefacts.
  • Evaluating
    • Review what they and others’ have done and say what they think and feel about it.
    • Say what they may change or improve in the future.


Our ‘Progression of knowledge and skills in Art and Design’ document outlines what pupils will be taught in each year group.


In Year 1 pupils focus on looking at the work of Picasso, Klee, Klimt and Kandinsky before creating their own artwork in their style. Through their art projects they explore and learn to experiment with a mixture of collage materials before sorting and arranging them using shapes, textures, colours and patterns to create a collage of animals in the jungle. From being inspired by the work of Andy Goldsworthy pupils collect and use natural materials from within the environment to create their own environmental art. During the year pupils have many opportunities to develop their observational drawing skills linked to work in Science lessons on seasonal change.


In Year 2 pupils make their own printing blocks using a range of materials and explore printing techniques such as repeating, overlapping, rotating and arranging shapes. They continue to develop their observational drawing skills through observing seasonal change. There are opportunities to focus on artists such as Arcimboldo who created funny faces using drawings of fruits and vegetables and Lowry when studying townscapes. Pupils take inspiration from a visit to see the ‘Lion King’ at the theatre and looking at the Kente cloth before creating their own multi-cultural weaving design.


In Year 3 pupils develop their knowledge of collage further by exploring Roman mosaics before designing their own motifs for mosaic. They continue to develop their observational drawing skills of rocks and fossils. During the year pupils look at the work of a range of artists including cave paintings, Van Gogh as inspiration for harvest artwork and finding out about the story of the Willow Patterns through the work of Thomas Minton.


In Year 4 pupils use their imagination by working in the style of Marc Chagall. They study tomb paintings as a source of evidence in history and a source of inspiration in art. Pupils focus on artists such as Gaudi and Monet using ideas to create their own artwork in their style. They build on their printing skills by experimenting with colour mixing along with their textile skills through exploring dyeing fabrics using African and Indonesian art to inspire their own design. Again there are opportunities to develop their observational drawing skills of musical instruments.


In Year 5 pupils find out about surrealism through studying the work of Salvador Dali. Through their art project pupils use the work of artists such as Wilfredo Lam to inspire their group collage and then use basic sculpture techniques and materials to sculpt the own imaginary animal, bird or insect for their setting. They continue to develop their observational drawing skills of World War II artefacts and create their own propaganda posters.


Year 6 pupils create their own 3D sculptures using a range of tools and techniques. They find out about pointillism through studying artists such as Seurat who painted in this style. Pupils use their imagination to create artwork based on the theme of space from listening the Planets Suite by Holst. They learn how to print onto fabric as a starting point for textile work.


Within lessons teachers model relevant Art key vocabulary and encourage pupils to use it.


Through our 'Mighty Oaks' project we promote outdoor learning opportunities.  Pupils enjoy creating dandelion animals; printing using natural objects; making clay / sunflower seed hedgehogs; weaving with sticks, wool and natural objects; using natural dyes, eg. berries, grass, mud to create cave paintings; bark rubbing; hapa zome printing with nature; creating self-portraits using natural materials to name a few.


“Art and Design is not just a subject to learn, but an activity that you can practise: with your hands, your eyes, your whole personality” 

Quentin Blake, Children’s Laureate.



Useful websites: - Art For Kids – Step-by-step drawings to help develop confidence, concentration, practise, creativity. - DrawwithRob - An illustrator (shows a different kind of art, art for books) Step-by-step but easy characters – uses colour, imagination, precision The Tate Kids website includes lots of different activities including things to make, games and quizzes, exploring, videos and a gallery. - This area has different art activities which you can complete at home such as a rainbow watercolours, finger knitting and so much more!


Local places of interest:

Hazle’s Pottery Barn -


Beecroft Art Gallery Southend -


Firstsite Colchester -


Henry Moore Foundation –


Tate Modern –


The British Museum –


The William Morris Gallery –


The National Gallery –