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Art and Design

Our Art Lead is Steph Shaw


‘Art has the role in education of helping children to become like themselves instead of more like everyone else’

Sydney Gurrewwitz Clemens


At Firfield Primary School, we aim to provide our children an art curriculum which enables them to become confident, resilient and unique artists. Children become competent in knowing and carrying out the process of making a piece of art and are offered a broad exposure to different materials and techniques. This is essential in order for children to see the wide variety of possible life vocations available and the understanding that there is not just one way to be successful.

Children leave Firfield as informed citizens, able to articulately appreciate art in the world around them through the study of a diverse range of artists and cultures. The importance of representation is recognised both in terms of helping all of our children to feel valued, and to give an insight into a world that they may be unfamiliar with, helping to build empathy. Children gain an understanding of how Art and Design has reflected and shaped our history, and how they can use their own work to express issues that are important to them and the world today.

Our curriculum is accessible to all and structured and sequenced in a way that enables the children to make progress through changes to their long term memory.


At Firfield, our curriculum planning in Art and Design is based on the 2014 National Curriculum and the Primary Knowledge Curriculum (PKC). Art and Design is studied in every year group during every other half term (this is alternated with Design and Technology).

The children learn the skills of drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, photography, printmaking and textiles. The children develop a good understanding of the generally recognised elements of art (line, shape, form, space, light, texture, and colour), and how these ingredients work together to make a coherent whole. Both the elements of art and the skills are revisited multiple times throughout the children’s time at Firfield. This broad curriculum approach is favoured by the National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD).

All children have their own sketchbook. Sketchbooking techniques are explicitly taught in order for the children to develop resilience and their own artist’s voice. The children become independent in the ‘process‘ of art. By the end of Key Stage 2, the children are able to investigate, observe, annotate, sketch, design and plan.

Children are taught to describe, analyse, interpret and make their own personal judgement of the artwork in the world around them. A wide range of historical and contemporary artists are studied and cross-curricular links are made to History, helping children to understand how art has helped shape and reflect on the past. These are: Anglo Saxon Art (Year 3), Ancient Egyptian Art (Year 4), Art from Western Africa (Year 5) and William Morris (Year 5). Children consider current moral dilemmas facing the art world. All of this is supported through educational visits.

Effective CPD is available to staff to ensure high levels of confidence and knowledge are maintained.


To measure the impact of our curriculum, a mixture of sketchbook monitoring and pupil voice interviews will be used. Children will be able to articulate the process of their art through reference to their work and show that they have retained the knowledge and skills that they have learnt in each year group. The children’s artwork will be authentic, and they will be able to critically examine the artwork of others. End of unit quizzes and self-assessment vocabulary sheets allow the children to track their own progress.