At Silverdale Primary School, we believe that high-quality Art lessons will inspire children to think innovatively and develop creative procedural understanding through the framework of three vertical concepts.

  1. Formal elements – colour, form, line, pattern, shape, texture, tone.
  2. Techniques – drawing, painting, printmaking, 3D sculpture, textiles, photography/digital art.
  3. Use of materials – clay, paint, pencils, charcoal, fabric

Our Art curriculum provides children with opportunities to develop their skills using a range of media and materials. As they progress through the curriculum, we intend our pupils to build up on their understanding of practical concepts like colour or the use of clay; by revisiting and adding layers to their understanding throughout the curriculum.

Children are also introduced to a range of works by different artists and develop knowledge of the styles and vocabulary used by famous artists.

The skills they acquire are applied to their cross-curricular topics, allowing children to use their art skills to reflect on and explore topics in greater depth; for example, by sketching historical artefacts in detail, researching geographical locations to support their work on landscape painting or using art as a medium to express emotion and thought to enhance their personal, social and emotional development.



Early Years is the first opportunity to develop our children’s creativity and imagination. We implement our art curriculum by following the interests of the children through the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework which aims to guide pupils’ development of artistic and cultural awareness. We provide our children with regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. We develop their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts through high quality and varied experiences. The frequency, repetition and depth of their experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to and observe.

In Key Stage 1, children are taught that Art is a way for humans to make sense of the world around them, either by documenting it, reinterpreting it or celebrating it visually. Pupils are taught these skills (vertical concepts) to create a firm foundation and understanding of practical skills ready to use to communicate thoughts and feelings in Key Stage 2.

In Key stage 2, children are taught that art is ancient and that humans have expressed themselves artistically throughout our existence. They will know that artists explore the past and its impact on the present and that artists bring difficult or contentious issues to light and provoke debate and discussion through their work. Using the skills they have progressively built upon, pupils begin to use these to express their own thoughts and ideas through their art work.

For each unit of learning, teachers plan for and children experience:

  • Specific vocabulary and definitions that all children must know and remember.
  • Substantive knowledge rich lessons where children build on prior learning and situate knowledge within carefully constructed strands or vertical concepts delivered following Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction.
  • The disciplinary knowledge needed to be a successful artist.
  • Co-operative learning using Kagan strategies to ensure high levels of accountability and engagement for all children.
  • A cycle of lessons which carefully plans for progression and depth.
  • A curriculum that is well adapted, designed and developed to be ambitious and meet the needs of all leaners and ensure children know more and can remember more.
  • Opportunities for all pupils to see themselves reflected in the curriculum by educational visits, visiting experts and artifacts to enhance the learning experience.
  • Questioning is used to allow pupils to consolidate knowledge and understanding where necessary or to apply learning in an open manner.


To enable children of all abilities to access the curriculum, additional models and scaffolds are provided. Teachers reference the ‘Four Broad Areas of Need’ document to ensure their planning meets the needs of all pupils; changes to pedagogy are considered and changes to content are made in consultation with the art lead and the SENCO.

Our progressive sustainability Art curriculum interweaves within the Silverdale curriculum to ensure children have the rich and deep knowledge needed to make meaningful change. We endeavor to work more sustainably within each unit of work, and we take every opportunity to recycle and repurpose materials to remind pupils about the impact of climate change.



Our Art Curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress.

In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes
  • Opportunities for work to be displayed beyond the classroom such as on corridors or special show casing events and exhibitions, where work can be shared with a wider audience including children from other year groups and parents.
  • Pupil discussions about their learning, which includes discussion of their thoughts, ideas, processing and evaluations of work.
  • Teachers consistently interact with pupils, assessing their thought process, knowledge and understanding. Feedback is actionable, precise and acted on by the children where necessary.
  • Recall and retrieval practice demonstrates whether learning has been remembered.

In Art, children will be reflective and evaluate their work, thinking about how they can make changes and keep improving. This should be meaningful and continuous throughout the process, with evidence of age-related verbal and written refection. Children will take risks, experiment and be reflective artists.


United Learning comprises: United Learning Ltd (Registered in England No: 00018582. Charity No. 313999) UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee.
Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB.

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