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Curriculum Statement

Art and Design Subject Statement


Our art curriculum is designed to offer all of our pupils a high-quality art education, which inspires them to develop creativity, self-expression and confidence. Our curriculum is designed to equip pupils with a range of artistic skills and contextual knowledge, which will enable them to create their unique pieces of art. Many of which are inspired by influential and famous artists, including artists local to Manchester. We aim to widen their cultural experiences and develop their appreciation of diversity within the arts. At Rushbrook, we hope to inspire children and allow them to realise that a career within art is achievable. 

Our art curriculum is organised into three key units that we feel will support our pupils in building and deepening their knowledge throughout their school life and make the learning stick. The three main units are the art of: 

  • Drawing 
  • Painting and  Mixed media 
  • Sculpture and 3D 

Children will explore and create with many different mediums to extend this knowledge, such as mixed media, printing, collage, 3D forms, and digital art. Opportunities are provided frequently to celebrate the children’s artistic achievements to enable them to grow in confidence throughout their school life. When pupils leave us, we aim to have formed a strong foundation of art skills through a range of different tools, skills and knowledge, which they will build upon as they become young artists in their own right. 


The teaching of Art and Design begins in the Early Years where children develop a good foundation of core artistic skills through a mixture of child initiated and adult directed activities linked to our main components.   In the Foundation Stage, Expressive Arts and Design encompasses all things creative. We follow guidance from the Department for Education under the new EYFS Statutory Framework and Development Matters. In EYFS, Art & Design is taught by ensuring all children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials within our continuous provision. In EYFS children are encouraged to strengthen key skills and explore new techniques and ideas in a combination of child initiated and adult directed activities. Our Art and Design play-based curriculum follows a child-led approach to Art and design, with each lesson emphasising ‘process over outcome’.  

Craft and design elements of Art are taught across school through ongoing seasonal crafts and whole school Art projects. The units which are divided into three core areas are repeated in each year group, so that children are given every opportunity to develop mastery in Art and Design by revisiting core subject knowledge and applying that knowledge practically in a range of contexts with growing complexity. 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.  As children progress through school, they are encouraged to dive even further into their contextual studies to learn about great artists, architects and designers in history which act as stimulus for their own creative ideas.  

There are five key strands that run throughout each unit of the curriculum: 

1 – Generating ideas 2- Using sketchbooks 3- Making skills (including formal elements) 

4 – Knowledge of artists 5 – Evaluating and analysing 

In KS1, children continue to use sketchbooks. Children are taught sketchbooks are a work of art and they begin to use these to record progress and ideas. In KS1, children build on their learning from EYFS, refining their key kills with a more structured approach. Children develop a wide range of art and design techniques. They learn about the formal elements of art – colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space and they use a range of materials creatively to design and make their own works of art. Children learn about the work of a range of artists and craft-makers, describing the differences and similarities between different artists, styles and disciplines. Children are encouraged to think like an artist by making links and comparisons to key works of art and their own. 

In KS2, pupils continue to develop their use of sketchbooks to record their observations. They use them to review and revisit ideas, enabling them to re-cap prior learning. Children begin to use sketchbooks more freely to expressively present their thinking.  We encourage pupils to take ownership of their sketchbooks. In KS2, children improve their mastery of art and design techniques with a range of materials. They dive even further into their contextual studies to learn about great artists, architects and designers in history which act as stimulus for their own creative ideas. 

The planning of the art curriculum began with the EYFS Framework and National Curriculum. A comprehensive progression document has been created and developed over time, which considers pupil voice and the context and needs of our children. Each year group follow the long-term plan, whereby they will study a unit of art during each term. Teachers use and follow medium term plans to ensure they know what to teach and when. The medium-term plans contain the three types of knowledge in art, key vocabulary, key learning points and questions. They also include formative assessment opportunities through questioning. 


We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods: 

  • Assessing children’s understanding of practical and theoretical knowledge via discussions with pupils.  
  • Self-reflections and peer assessments during evaluation and analysing lessons. 
  • Summative assessment of pupil discussions about their learning 
  • Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice). 
  • Moderation staff meetings where pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.  

Cultural Capital in the Arts 

Cultural Capital at Rushbrook is something we are passionate about throughout all subjects. The Arts lends itself well to developing cultural capital. We are excited about developing our pupils’ appreciation of human creativity and achievement.  

We celebrate British and International Artists throughout the year for our pupils to gain a wider appreciation of different styles of art ensuring that a mixture of diverse female and male artists are included. Opportunities are built into our curriculum for children to experience: 

  • ceramic art workshops as part of ‘Pure Innovations Organisation’ 
  • visits to local art galleries such as Manchester Art Gallery 
  • joint collaborative art projects with ‘Baubles 4 beds’ that supports the ‘Homelessness International Art Project’ in Manchester. 

Subject Information

Subject Overview

Proud to part of the Bright Futures Education Trust
Rushbrook Primary Academy
101 Shillingford Road
Gorton, Manchester M18 7TN