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Art & Design at Gade Valley Primary School

Art & Design Subject Leader: Mrs Russ


Gade Valley strives to:

  • Offer a wide range of creative opportunities to inspire and encourage the children to experiment with a variety of materials and mediums. These include paint, collage, clay, pens, pencils, chalk, charcoal etc.
  • Assist children in understanding the importance of developing their creativity to enhance their lifestyles.
  • Increase pupil’s innovations and celebrating these through whole school displays and competitions.
  • Enhance the love of art and to be confident, creative artists. 



At Gade Valley, we strive to be a resourceful school that delivers a creative curriculum, accessible for all pupils. All classes from Years 1 – 6 follow the National Curriculum for Art and Design. At Gade Valley, Art & Design is taught half-termly. The Art & Design units are chosen based on Topics for each half term. The themes covered include nature, clay sculptures , painting, pointillism, Pop Art and the works of the Impressionist artists. We are very fortunate to be able to use Art and Design in a cross–curricular way. This helps the children to understand the context and give purpose to the current topic and theme. We also offer a varied range of extra – curricular clubs to enhance the children's creativity, consolidate their skills and develop their artistic knowledge that they have learnt.

At Gade Valley, we offer a wide range of skills, knowledge and materials to develop the children’s wider understanding and expand their artistic creativity. The children are able to do this through having access to a variety of mediums, where they are able to experiment, evaluate and refine their artwork. This also enables the children to expand their creative imagination. 

In addition to the regularly taught Art & Design lessons, we provide many cross-curricular opportunities and assemblies for the children to demonstrate the skills that they have learnt. We also hold plenty of competitions throughout the year, such as 'Dacorum Design a Christmas card' . We regularly collaborate as a whole school to take part in cross-curricular days such as ‘Take One Country’ and ‘Holi Festival Day'.

All Art & Design lessons include the Gade Valley Principles of Teaching and Learning, which are a set of non-negotiables for each lesson e.g. all pupils will be challenged, the children display good learning behaviours etc. Throughout Art & Design lessons, children are also encouraged to develop their core skills of English and Maths. In the Early Years, Art & Design opportunities are provided throughout expressive arts and design activities during daily busy fingers and child-initiated learning sessions.


Please see below the progression of art skills that the children will develop throughout their year at Gade Valley. 


Early Years Foundation Stage

Children experiment and are encouraged to use a variety of media and materials during child initiated and adult directed activities.

They have opportunities to learn to:

  • Investigate using their senses and experiment with textures, movement, feel and look of different media and materials.
  • Choose a range of media and materials; developing their understanding of them in order to create different effects.
  • Use different media and materials to express their own ideas.
  • Experiment with the use of colour.
  • Develop their fine motor skills in order to use simple tools and techniques competently and appropriately
  • Select appropriate media and techniques and adapt their work where necessary

Key stage 1

Pupils are taught:

  • To create sketch books to record their observations and use them to develop and evaluate their ideas.
  • To be innovative and to use a wide range of materials to design and make products.
  • To use a variety of mediums such as drawing, painting and sculpture to develop their ideas, experiences and creativity.
  • 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 are taught:

  • To explore digital mediums to enhance their ideas.
  •  To further develop 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.



Throughout studying Art and Design at Gade Valley Primary School, the children will expand their history and knowledge of artists and designers, and will be taught how these can be used as a stimuli to inspire their work.


The intended impact of the Art & Design Curriculum provision is that the vast majority of children will be working at or above the expected level for their year group.


Up to March 2020, the measurable impact data includes:

  • In the 2018/2019 academic year, the very large majority of pupils achieved age related expectations or above.
  • Pupil voice (End of KS1 and KS2 pupils) says that most pupils:
  • Enjoy learning in Art lessons.
  • They are proud of their work and particularly like their artwork being on display.
  • Feel that teachers give them good and constructive feedback.
  • Feel that teachers inspire them because of the teacher’s enthusiasm.
  • Able to be creative through a wide range of materials that are available to them.
  • Feel appropriately challenged during art lessons.
  • In the autumn term, all pupils took part in a Art enrichment day.
  • In the spring term, all pupils took part in another Art enrichment day focused on colour.
To see our learning in Art & Design, please visit the Art & Design page on the 'Curriculum Blogs' section.

Art & Design National Curriculum

Art & Design Overview 2020 - 2021

Art & Design Skills Progression