Curriculum statement – Art, Craft and Design

Lead teacher: Mrs E Robertson

Purpose of study


Art, craft, and design embody some of the highest forms of human 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. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity, and wealth of our nation.


Our Art curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences
  • become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft, and design techniques
  • evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft, and design
  • know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.


There is significant variability in how primary schools approach teaching Art at KS2 and our students enter secondary school with wide ranging experiences, knowledge, understanding and skills. To be successful in Art, students need to acquire the knowledge and skills to develop their ideas creatively and learn to be increasingly proficient in their execution. They need to develop an understanding of artists, architects and designers and be able to express reasoned judgements about their work and use that knowledge and understanding to inform their own work. Students need to develop the skills to be able to use a range of techniques to record their observations, explore their ideas and be proficient in handling different materials. They need to be able to effectively analyse and evaluate their own work and that of others. Students need to acquire knowledge and develop understanding about the history of art from ancient times to the modern era, including periods, styles, movements. Furthermore, they need exposure to artists and cultures in a range of disciplines to enable them to develop their own style as an artist.

Our Art curriculum focuses on developing our students to be creative practitioners/artists through holistic projects which are led by four key areas of Art:

  • Artists and cultures
  • Developing ideas through purposeful experimentation
  • Gathering visual information (photography and drawing)
  • Creating personal responses in the form of a final outcome.

The curriculum in Art and Design is structured as a spiral curriculum (Bruner, 1960). Students develop knowledge, apply the formal elements, and take inspiration from a range of artists and cultures. As students progress through the curriculum their knowledge and skills, understanding of techniques and processes are built incrementally. Artists, crafts people, and cultures are interwoven into each project in all key stages. Students study and take inspiration from a diverse range of arts practitioners which encourages them to respect and celebrate cultural diversity. The development of knowledge and understanding of arts and culture through research, analysis and artist studies enables students to understand the development of styles and how artists respond to the world around them.

At KS3, skills, knowledge and understanding are developed through projects which take place in the classroom and through homework opportunities. In Year 7 & 8 students explore core skills in drawing and painting and gain experience of textiles, printmaking and/or sculpture.​ Embedded within these explorations students develop skills, knowledge and understanding of the 7 elements of Art & Design; TEXTURE, LINE, FORM, SHAPE, TONE (VALUE), SPACE (COMPOSITION), COLOUR.​Through practice and observation, they become more proficient and their application of the elements more refined. As they progress, they learn to become more reflective, articulating their thoughts and critically analysing their work and the work of others. To develop their knowledge and understanding they explore the work of artists from a range of cultures and who use a range of mediums. As they become more proficient, they can extract elements from artists work to influence their own work. In Year 9, students primarily focus on developing their knowledge of 2D through drawing, painting, and photography. Through KS4 students continue to build their knowledge and understanding, refine their skills and explore a range of themes and disciplines (drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, and photography).

Throughout our curriculum we promote the idea of being and growing as an artist/creative practitioner. From Year 7 up to Year 11 students are building skills as a creative practitioner which they can then apply to their chosen progression route; for some that maybe a route into the thriving creative industries.​


When designing our curriculum, we have considered the individual needs of all our students. To ensure that students with SEND have the opportunity to develop the same knowledge and skills as their peers, we adopt a range of strategies within the classroom such as scaffolding, 1:1 tutorials, targeted questioning, and practical demonstrations. This enables students to develop confidence as well as the knowledge and skills they need to progress.