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Sir John Heron Primary School

Together we learn. Together we achieve.


Art at Sir John Heron


The aims of the art and design curriculum

“Together We Learn. Together We Achieve” is embedded into all elements of school life and learning at Sir John Heron Primary including in the art and design curriculum and lessons. Art and design is an important part of the school’s broad and balanced curriculum. We believe it is important all children have access to a coherently sequenced art and design curriculum which is relevant to their needs and interests and equips children with the necessary knowledge and skills needed to succeed in their next stage of education and prepares them for life in modern 21st century Britain.


Art and design plays an important role in working towards the aims of the school’s curriculum. The aims include ensuring children master a range of knowledge and skills, are provided with vocabulary rich learning, are encouraged to become healthy and active citizens and are provided enrichment opportunities and cultural capital development while also supporting the development of key skills needed for successful learning such as resilience and risk taking.


The aims of art are to enable children to:

  • Record from first-hand experience and from imagination, and to select their own ideas to use in their work.
  • Develop the creativity, imagination, knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.
  • Improve the children’s ability to control materials, media and techniques.
  • Think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design and know how art both reflect and shape our history and culture.
  • Foster an enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts and a knowledge of artists, craftspeople and designers.
  • Become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques


How art and design is taught at Sir John Heron Primary

  • Art and design is taught in half termly blocks from Years 1 to 6. 
  • The objectives follow that of the National Curriculum objectives set out for KS1 and KS2. 
  • Topics have been sequenced and mapped out carefully for all year groups to ensure that the skills and knowledge acquired is progressive. Curriculum maps specify units of work covered in the school’s art curriculum.
  • Medium term plans for each year group have been created by the Leader of Learning as a guide for teachers to follow. These support staff with planning and sequencing coherent structured lessons. Included in the medium term plans are key vocabulary (tier 2 and 3 words), end points for each unit and strategies to help scaffold and support the SEND children, as well as challenging the more able. 
  • At the start of a topic, KWL grids are given to children, which assess what children currently know and what they would like to learn. As the teaching progresses, children also use the grids to complete what they have learnt helping encode knowledge into long term memory. This reflective journey of children’s learning also guides teachers with planning exciting lessons, as well as identifying any gaps in learning. 
  • The remaining lessons are structured so that children can work on a specific skill set such as drawing, painting or making sculptures.
  • Children are encouraged to work collaboratively and use partner talk to enrich their vocabulary linked to the subject.
  • In lessons, new vocabulary (tier 2 and 3) is explicitly taught and teachers use a range of strategies to check children’s understanding of this e.g. asking them to use the word in sentence. Previously taught vocabulary is revisited regularly to help embed into long term memory. At least one of the success criteria should have a vocabulary focus in each lesson and there should be relevant vocabulary on display in the classroom environment which can be referred to during teaching and used as a resource by children to support their learning. 
  • Previous learning is revisited regularly, particularly at the start of a lesson to assist the embedding of knowledge into long term memory. 
  • SMSC is embedded into all lessons.
  • There is scaffolding for children who require support to access the learning in class. This is done through a handy hints box as well as differentiated resources to help children access the learning. Challenge is also provided to extend the more able. 
  • Teachers should plan for enrichment opportunities in order to enhance the curriculum and provide children with memorable learning experiences. Enrichment is an important part of developing cultural capital and can include educational visits and inviting visitors into school. Cultural capital can also be addressed within the lessons e.g. learning about famous inventors.


Assessment of art and design

  • The assessment of art is a continual and gradual process. Each teacher assesses children’s understanding at the start of a topic through the use of a KWL grid. Children assess their own learning by stating what they already know about that particular topic, along with what they would like to learn. By the end of the topic block, children revisit their KWL grids to state what they have learnt. This supports the long term memory of children to better encode their learning. 
  • Teachers also assess art and design by looking at what skills the children have acquired through the work produced. Open ended questioning and conversations with children also assist with assessment.
  • Teachers make judgements on SIMs to provide a final overall grade to a child each term. These include E (emerging), D (developing), S (secure) or M (mastery).
  • To demonstrate a learning journey and skills progression, each year group teacher also has a portfolio of pieces of work which the leader of learning can monitor, along with sketchbooks outlining work.