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Art and Design


At Coley Primary School we are passionate about Art. We find it in the most ordinary of places from inside our classrooms to our outdoor environment. We enjoy making the ordinary look extraordinary.

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.



We enjoy looking at all aspects of the curriculum in a creative way.  We aim to give  children a wide range of experiences in the arts as part of and in addition to the curriculum.   

We want all children to have the opportunity to explore, develop and communicate their personal, aesthetic response to these experiences whilst developing their knowledge and skills within a wide range of arts activities.   Above all we aim to introduce  them to an appreciation of the arts that will last a lifetime.    


     The National Curriculum for Art and Design 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.



The teaching and implementation of the Art and Design Curriculum at Coley Primary School is based on the National Curriculum and linked to topics to ensure a well-structured approach to this  subject area.

The children are taught Art as part of their termly topic work.  Areas covered include sculpture, environmental art, still life, collage, painting and drawing and more  ( see art and design overview for more details ). 

We use the work of famous artists to inspire our own. The children have access to contemporary (20th and 21st century) artists as well as more traditional ones to enhance their learning. 



At Coley Primary we believe Art is so important to children's development that in addition to delivering an exciting curriculum we dedicate a whole week to the subject.  Art week gives the opportunity for children to work collaboratively across year groups and explore the different styles and techniques that this subject has to offer. By giving children this dedicated time it enables them to explore areas of the art curriculum at greater depth.

We have Coley Academy where children get to choose an area they would like to explore and work with different adults sharing their passion and work with a range of age groups also.

Children have their own sketchbooks to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas. These sketchbooks follow them as they progress through the school.


Early Years Foundation Stage

Pupils explore and use a variety of media and materials through a combination of child initiated and adult directed activities. They have opportunities to learn to:

  • Explore the textures, movement, feel and look of different media and materials

  • Respond to a range of media and materials, develop their understanding of them in order to manipulate and create different effects.
  • Use different media and materials to express their own ideas
  • Explore colour and use for a particular purpose.
  • Develop skills to use simple tools and techniques competently and appropriately.
  • Select appropriate media and techniques and adapt their work where necessary.


Key stage 1

Pupils should be taught:

  • to use a range of materials creatively to design and make products
  • to use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination
  • to develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space
  • about the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and similarities between different practices and disciplines, and making links to their own work


Key stage 2

Pupils should be taught to develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design.

Pupils should be taught:

  • to create sketch books to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas
  • to improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials [for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay]
  • about great artists, architects and designers in history



We aim to support children in expressing their creative imagination as well as practise and develop mastery in the key processes of art: drawing, painting, printing, textiles and sculpture.


Assessment of children's learning in Art is an ongoing monitoring of children's understanding, knowledge and skills by the class teacher, throughout lessons. This assessment is then used to inform differentiation, support and challenge required by the children.


Teachers will also assess pupils’:

  • Knowledge of tools, materials and equipment.
  • Ability to record and communicate their design ideas in a clear manner.
  • Personal qualities and attitudes towards their work.
  • Ability to explain what they have created and how.
  • Ability to use tools and materials safely and effectively.
  • Ability to evaluate their work and the work of others.


Final end of year assessments are made using assessment criteria that has been developed in line with the national curriculum and Target Tracker.


Here are some examples of our wonderful artwork. 



These trees were part of our work during International Week where we studied Japan and the work of Yayoi Kusama. We wrapped the trees using fabric, foil and ribbon. We used our Maths skills  to estimate and work out lengths needed. This made people view the space very differently. We added an outdoor gallery to highlight the whole process from design to execution. We also wrote facts about the artist and Japan and hung them on the trees. 


This work was also inspired by Yayoi Kusama. We used oil pastel on card focusing on colour and form. 

Art work can be collaborative. We were lucky enough to have been able to study real doves. We handled and released them. We watched them fly away. We used this first hand knowledge to help us recreate this experience in woven form. We studied how artists use negative space and recreated a single Dove of Peace using this technique. 






Andy Goldsworthy is a real inspiration to us.  His work is called ephemeral art which means its temporary and of that moment. We often use his work as a starting point for our own. 




Here are some examples of our own art ephemera. 



We are Entomologists! We combined Art and Science by studying the mini beasts in our immediate environment.  We learnt about the differences between mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians and arthropods. 

We used our observational skills to produce these pictures. We used pastel and watercolour.