Art and Design 

Art and Design studies different visual media like painting, drawing, sculpture, and graphic design. 


At Elmhurst Junior School we place great emphasis on developing children’s confidence in Art and Design, seeing it as an objective subject. We hope to impart a lifelong love of the subject and imbue our pupils with confidence in their own practical abilities.

Art and Design embodies 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.

Our aim is to provide a high-quality art and design education that equips children to observe and record from first-hand experience and from imagination, developing their competence in controlling materials and tools and acquiring knowledge and becoming proficient in various art and design techniques and processes. They will begin to develop an awareness of the visual and tactile elements including; colour, pattern and texture, line and tone, shape, form and space and foster enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts, developing a knowledge of significant artists, craftspeople and designers. 

Our intent is that children will develop the imaginative and creative skills to be experimental with a wide variety of media. Children will critically evaluate and express opinions on their own work and that of others.  As well, they will have an understanding of how art contributes to our history and culture.


Art and Design is taught over three half terms for every year group across the school, with lessons taught weekly. As they progress through Elmhurst Junior School, children increase their critical awareness of the roles and purposes of art and design in different times and cultures, and analyse works using the language of art and design through a cross-curricular approach. Art and Design at Elmhurst is therefore often linked to our knowledge-rich history, geography or science projects. We do not underestimate its value in immersing children on their holistic learning journey and many of our projects are supported by our links with Millfield School. 

Knowledge of substantive and disciplinary concepts have been interleaved across the curriculum, allowing children to encounter and apply these in different contexts. From year to year, unit to unit, our Art and Design curriculum supports children in making connections and building upon prior substantive and disciplinary knowledge.

Art and Design knowledge organisers highlight the key knowledge and vocabulary for each lesson and pupils use sketchbooks to record their work.  Sticky knowledge is checked through the use of retrieval questions and through interactive displays.  Key questions are planned into each unit of work for pupils to show progression of knowledge and understanding of key concepts taught, either through verbal or written feedback. This allows teachers to assess pupils’ skills and knowledge throughout each unit taught. Any areas for development throughout the unit are identified and addressed appropriately by the teacher and live feedback techniques help all children to move forward, deepening their understanding of key knowledge and skills in Art and Design.

Throughout each unit of work, pupils are encouraged to articulate and reflect upon their learning and retrieval activities such as Talk Like An Artist in conjunction with subject specific sentence stems, displays and quizzes are used to support this. The learning journey for each half term is culminated by a final piece of work showcasing the knowledge and skills that have been learnt. All children have access to the full curriculum and tasks are adapted to provide appropriate challenge and support depending on individual needs. Art and Design resources are allocated to year groups and specific units of work, allowing teachers to support effective learning. 


Outcomes in pupils’ sketchbooks provides clear evidence of a broad and balanced curriculum and demonstrates children’s acquisition of key knowledge and skill development.  Pupils’ learning is assessed on a lesson-by-lesson basis through the use of verbal feedback, written feedback, peer and self-review. Key questions, which are planned into each unit of work, allow teachers to assess pupils’ skills and knowledge throughout each unit.

Knowledge retrieval activities like Talk Like An Artist are used to enable teachers to assess the depth of understanding of core substantive knowledge and vocabulary and the strength of its retrieval. Weekly celebration assemblies showcase a variety of Art and Design activities and work completed across all year groups. This evidence informs teacher assessment and is used by the Art and Design subject leader as part of the monitoring process.

In addition, the Art and Design subject leader talks to pupils about their learning as part of the monitoring process to gauge attainment and enthusiasm. Children’s sketchbooks and knowledge organisers are used to guide discussion and provide the subject leader with the necessary information to measure how much core knowledge and vocabulary has been remembered and understood.

Progression maps

Knowledge Organisers


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