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Art & Design at Gade Valley Primary School

Art & Design Subject Leader: Mrs Burtt

Curriculum Aims:

At Gade Valley, we strive to be a resourceful school that delivers a creative curriculum, accessible for all pupils. The units are designed so that all pupils experience the fundamentals of art through broad and balanced units, including exploration of the work of a wide range of artists and makers. Units guide pupils in the skills required to explore, analyse and discuss art. They are encouraged to combine their knowledge of what constitutes ‘art’, specific artists and techniques with their own experiences to evaluate artworks and to inform their own creative practices.

We aim to do this by:

  • Offering a wide range of creative opportunities to inspire and encourage the pupils to experiment with a variety of materials and mediums. These include paint, collage, clay, pens, pencils, chalk, charcoal etc.
  • Pupils are given the opportunity to learn about a variety of artists across the Key Stages: Clarice Cliff Jasper Johns, Ranti Bam Louise Bourgeois Rachel Whiteread, Ruth Asawa El Anatsui Anthony Caro, Cai Guo-Qiang Judith Scott Zaha Hadid Yinka Shinobare Friedensreich Hundertwasser Nicola Anthony.
  • Assisting pupils in understanding the importance of developing their creativity to enhance their lifestyles.
  • Increasing pupil’s innovations and celebrating these through whole school displays and competitions.
  • Enhancing the love of art and developing pupils to be confident, creative artists. 


How we teach Art and Design:

All classes from Years 1 – 6 follow the Kapow Primary Art and design scheme. At Gade Valley, Art & Design is taught half-termly. The Art & Design units are chosen based on Topics for each half term. Some of the themes covered include nature, clay sculptures , painting, pointillism, Pop Art and the works of the Impressionist artists. Teaching and learning of Art and Design is incorporated throughout the core and foundation subjects. This helps the pupils 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 pupil's creativity, consolidate their skills and develop their artistic knowledge.


At Gade Valley, we offer a wide range of skills, knowledge and materials to develop the pupil’s wider understanding and expand their artistic creativity. Pupils 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 pupil 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 ‘Diwali workshop’ and ‘Remembrance Day.'


All Art & Design lessons include the Gade Valley Principles of Teaching and Learning, which are a set of non-negotiables. For example, in each lesson all pupils will be challenged and are expected to display good learning behaviours. Throughout Art & Design lessons, pupils 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 & Design skills that the pupils will develop throughout their time at Gade Valley. 


Early Years Foundation Stage

Pupils 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:

  • Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and technique, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
  • Share their creations, explaining the process they have used.
  • Use different media and materials to express their own ideas.
  • Make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories.


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.



Key Developments and Information for 2022/23

Up to July 2023, the measurable impact data includes:

  • In the 2022/2023 academic year, the large majority of pupils achieved age related expectations or above.
  • Pupil voice (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, for Remembrance Day all pupils created a field of poppies in the style of different artists and wrote what their hopes were for the future
  • Celebration Evening, art was celebrated throughout the school.
  • In July, Parents were invited to an open evening, that celebrated a variety of artists that demonstrated the pupils knowledge and skills they had learnt during their art lessons. 
To see our learning in Art & Design, please visit the Art & Design page on the 'Curriculum Blogs' section.

Art & Design National Curriculum

Art and Design Overview 2023/2024

Art and Design Skills and Knowledge Progression 2023/24