Art is given a high profile within the school. We have tailored our art curriculum to ensure a wide and progressive range of experiences for the children that equips them well for their experiences when they move forward to secondary school. Children are often involved in special projects to enrich the planned programme of art. Children’s art is valued and prominently displayed around the school.

Within the school we have  fully reviewed our medium term plans as from January 2020 in order to provide the most inspiring and progressive art curriculum. We often invite artists into Skyswood to enrich various projects within the school, and celebrate children’s work through a range of wonderful displays, including longer term displays where work is featured in high quality picture frames throughout the school. Art is also regularly celebrated through the Kidz Corner pages of monthly newsletters.

Our reviewed art curriculum gives careful consideration to key skills in art; from mixing colours and early experimentation with paint in the early years through to learning about specific techniques such as watercolours and acrylics in upper key stage two. Progression with drawing, printing, textiles, clay, sculpture and mixed media is given high profile within the curriculum, offering opportunities for all children to excel.

Miss Kate McAlister is our Art Co-Ordinator within the school. This role has also been held by Miss Mia Harvey, who has a particular passion for art and has supported the school in developing a rich and exciting curriculum. The headteacher, Bob Bridle, also shares a passion for art and enjoys the opportunity to support staff through team teaching opportunities wherever possible.

The national curriculum for art states that:


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.


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.


By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.


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 (eg pencil, charcoal, paint, clay.)

– about great artists, architects and designers in history.

We have incorporated the required elements of the new national curriculum into the following units of study:


Art and Design Programmes of Study

Early Years

Early Learning Goals 16 and 17 combine to make up the early years content for expressive arts and design. ELG16 is ‘Exploring and Using Media and Materials.’ The children learn how to safely use and explore a range of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with texture, form and function. ELG17 is ‘Being Imaginative.’ The children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own thoughts and feelings through art, design and technology, music, dance, role play and stories.

Year 1 (Autumn Term) – AUTUMN

The unit explores autumn colours through a range of media, including the creation of clay leaves and conkers, along with an artist study based on the sculptor, Andy Goldsworthy. The children experiment with mixing paints to create their own autumn palette and also experiment in colour with the overlaying of tissue papers.


Year 1 (Spring Term) – MARK MAKING

The children experiment with a wide range of materials, making marks and patterns with chalks, charcoal, pastels, paints, pens, crayons, sketching pencils, colouring pencils and printing materials. The unit leads beautifully into the Squiggles, Splats, Spots and Swirls unit after half-term.

Year 1 (Spring Term) – SQUIGGLES, SPLATS, SPOTS and SWIRLS!

This unit explores ‘mark making’ and gives children the opportunity to experiment with a wide range of of techniques and materials. The children will make press prints and then go on to produce colourful art work centred around the theme of ‘Fireworks Night!’ This will then lead on to their own evaluations of various pieces of modern art, and a greater depth of study focusing on the work of Jackson Pollock, producing paintings using a similar style and reflecting upon the artist’s techniques and use of colour.

Year 1 (Summer Term) – ABORIGINAL ART

Children explore Aboriginal symbols and find out about the Aboriginal culture through a series of stories. They find out about meanings behind many of the Dream Time symbols. The class then look at the use of colour and pattern in Aboriginal art work, going on to produce a picture of their own based on the theme of ‘journeys.’ There is also an opportunity to explore the way that Aboriginal art portrays various animals, with the children using an Aboriginal  ‘dot’ technique to produce an animal picture of their own.

Year 2 (Autumn Term) – MONDRIAN

This unit explores the work of Mondrian and links his painting to the geography study on maps. Mondrian based one of his most famous paintings, New York Boogie Woogie, on the layout of Manhattan, New York City. Children look at Mondrian’s use of primary colours and imitate his style to produce their own pictures based on grids and simple colour schemes. The class then work collaboratively to produce a permanent, larger scale piece of art that can be displayed prominently within the school.

Year 2 (Spring Term) – OCEANS

The Oceans unit is a textiles-based unit, where the children create their own ‘Moodboards’ based on the theme of Oceans, linking to their geography unit on Oceans and continents. Their learning is inspired by local artist, Jill Izzard.  Several different techniques are introduced through the project. These include tie-dye, weaving, carding, manipulation of textiles, twig-wrapping, printing and paper-weaving. The children select appropriate pieces of their work and bring them together to create the final ‘moodboard.’ Children are required to bring in a collection of ‘odds and ends’ to support this project. This may include beads, sequins, buttons, pieces of fabric etc… Careful consideration is given to the use of appropriate colour families and the expressive use of shape to add impact to this project.

Year 2 (Summer Term) – RANGOLI PATTERNS

Linked explicitly with our geography unit on contrasting locality (Chennai, India) this unit explores the symmetry and beauty of Indian Rangoli patterns. The children use bright colour schemes and learn about the purpose and popularity of this decorative style of art. The children experiment with various media, including coloured rice, and are always extremely proud of their final product!



Children find out all about colour through this unit. They discuss primary, secondary and tertiary colours, and learn about combining colours (using contrasting colours, colour families and complementary colours.) The unit also explores some of the science behind colour and find out about the colour wheel. Children look at the ways in which professional artists use colour to add impact to their work. A number of exciting techniques are introduced through the study of complementary colour, including impressionism and pointillism. They also produce their own ‘still life’ paintings, which focus on the use of complementary colours to really bring these paintings to life.

Year 3 (Spring Term) – MOSAIC

The study of mosaic links beautifully to our autumn term history project on The Romans. Children look at various examples of Roman mosaic and go on to produce their own designs, thinking carefully about subject content and colour. The unit lends itself well to larger scale collaborative work and also offers opportunities to investigate symmetry and pattern. Teachers may choose to use coloured papers, potato printing or clay tiles as methods for children to experiment with the creation of mosaic patterns. ICT is also used to support this project, with children creating designs and looking at various colour combinations through the use of carefully selected computer software.

Year 3 (Summer Term) – PAINTING FROM NATURE

Explicitly linking to their science study on plants, this unit explores the use of different media to draw and represent plants, building on the KS1 skills of observational drawing. The children include photography and print making in their study, and look at famous artists such as Georgia O’Keefe, Vincent Van Gogh (Sunflowers), Monet and Matisse (tropical plants/Tahiti influence) to explore colour and technique. The children then move on to focus on river landscapes in the second half of the term, linking their artwork to their geographical study of rivers.

Year 4 (Autumn Term) – CUBISM

The children study the work of several cubist artist, such as Picasso and Braque. They have the opportunity to experiment with colour, shape and composition, re-organising planes to produce abstract art based on everyday objects. The children then look at the work of Pablo Picasso in greater depth and produce their own Picasso-style self portraits.

Year 4 (Spring Term) – KNOTS & TANGLES

The children start off by collecting examples of objects that are knotted or tangled and making some observational drawings, using viewfinders where appropriate. The class make knotted patterns through ‘taking a line for a walk’ , create knotted images through printing, explore knots and tangles through using various textiles, and eventually go on to producing an independent piece on the theme of ‘Knots and Tangles’ using their own starting points and creative ideas. At home the children could collect pictures of objects that have been knotted or tangled. These could be used in their art log books to support ideas that may develop as the project progresses through the term.

Year 4 (Summer Term) – PEOPLE IN MOTION

This unit looks at ways of creating the feeling of motion through overlapping images and using an exciting range of sports ‘action shots’ as an initial stimulus. The children learn about bracelet drawings and experiment with a range of media and techniques, including oil pastel and paint, print methods and photographic sun prints.

Year 5 (Autumn Term) – SHADES, TONES & TINTS

A fantastic project for extending learning about colour! The children find out about the difference between a shade, tone and tint, and have lots of opportunities to mix colours for themselves and work with specific colour families.The children explore hot and cold colours and also consider colours and mood. The unit gives the children experiences of working with mixed media and creating a wonderful ‘Willow Pattern’ design, using a wide range of blues (and applying their knowledge of tones and shades). The class also produce abstract paintings – ‘Picasso-style’ from the stimulus of everyday objects.

Year 5 (Spring Term) – FOLDS AND CRUMPLES

The children have the opportunity to strengthen their skills of observational drawing through the theme of ‘folds and crumples.’ Crumpled drinks cans, newspaper and crisp packets are all good stimuli for creating drawings and paintings on this particular theme. The class also use clay to make models of toothpaste tubes, which are fired and then painted with fine brushes and precise detail. The unit also offers opportunities to use photography as a stimulus for further art work, or indeed as a form of art within itself.

Year 5 (Summer Term) – COILING, MODELLING AND SLAB WORK (Clay).

This unit supports children in developing a greater breadth of understanding and increased confidence when working with clay. The children have the opportunity to model clay and create a basic coil pot when producing their own canopic jar. The coiling technique is used to create the pot and the modelling opportunity comes with the creation of the head (baboon, kestrel, jackal or human!) Each child also produces a wonderful model clay sarcophagus. Skills of slab work are required for this particular task. Once fired, the children create elaborate designs and are taught methods to support intricate paintwork and decoration. The unit goes hand in hand with the History project on the Ancient Egyptians and is always a very popular unit with the children.

Year 6 (Autumn Term) – SILHOUETTES

The unit looks at the impact of contrast , dynamic shapes and colour using silhouettes. The children create their own skyscapes using mixed media and experiment with beautiful sunsets for their safari silhouettes.

Year 6 (Spring Term) – SCULPTURE

The children compare the work of the two sculptors, Henry Moore and Giacommetti. They have the opportunity produce their own sculptures in the style of these artists and use a range of materials to create their own maquettes (small proto-type sculptures), including modelling wire, modrock and clay. The children look at ways to create metallic and stone finishes to emulate the style of these two artists.

Year 6 (Summer Term) – LANDSCAPE PAINTING

The unit fits in superbly with the Year 6 field trip to Snowdonia and the summer term Geography unit on Mountains and Coasts. The class have the chance to find out about specific techniques using watercolours and acrylics, and are able to apply these to their own landscape painting. Photographs taken on the field trip are used as a starting point for landscape studies on Mountains. The children also look at a range of work that has been completed by professional artists on the theme of Mountains and Coasts.