Art and Design

Our Philosophy

At Sir William Burrough Primary School, our bespoke curriculum, designed by an art expert in school, is designed to provide a strong knowledge and skills base, alongside the promotion of creativity and imagination, for every child in art and design. We understand the importance of art and design as part of a broad and balanced curriculum, but also to give children the tools they need to explore the subject in the context of their further education and the wider world. We understand that art and design encompasses a wide range of practices central to human civilization and that these practices have broadened even further in the 20th century. We promote our children’s interest and understanding of the diverse world in which we live through art and design. We create a deep understanding of the key components of art and design, and its history, by developing knowledge and skills which are progressive.

We have carefully selected the individuals that children explicitly encounter throughout our curriculum to ensure that these are a broad and diverse group of artists. We have included art/artists from the Stone Age right through to artists working today; we have considered a gender balance; children will encounter an artist from every continent; each year we have selected at least one local artist, or artist who is exhibiting locally, to give our pupils the opportunity for first-hand experiences. Each art and design topic is linked to the subject that pupils are studying in History, Geography or R.E. which means that they can put their work into context.


Our aim is to continuously evolve and create a curriculum that provides an art and design education which inspires creativity and imagination, but is backed-up by skills and knowledge.

Our curriculum covers practical, theoretical and disciplinary knowledge. We ensure that all of our children have the skills required to produce a range of their own, creative work, in different media, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences. We enable children of all abilities to express themselves, and their ideas, through the use of colour, texture, form and pattern by using different materials and processes across the year and throughout their journey in school.

We have designed our curriculum to ensure that children revisit selected media and processes year-on-year so that they gain proficiency in them. The 6 key areas in art and design which children will revisit every year include drawing, painting and sculpture (which are included on the National Curriculum) but also include: colour theory, digital art and textiles. The rationale behind the choice to revisit the 6 key themes each year is that the 6 topics are broad enough to give pupils a rich variety in their curriculum, but children can achieve depth in each subject by the end of Upper Key Stage 2.

As well as developing the practical knowledge that pupils need to become proficient in art and design, our curriculum also looks at the theoretical and disciplinary knowledge that pupils need. From EYFS, children are taught to analyse and evaluate their own, their peers’ and famous artists’ pieces. Pupils can express informed opinions and make connections between artists and their artwork. We encourage the use of subject specific language when discussing, or writing about compositions


To ensure a high standard of teaching and learning across the school, we implement a curriculum that is progressive across the whole school. In Key Stage One, Lower Key Stage Two and Upper Key Stage 2, art and design is taught discretely focusing on the knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum but linked to History, Geography or Science topics which ensures a well-structured approach to the subject.

Children in EYFS will have the opportunity to explore and enjoy the textures, movement, feel and look of different media and materials. They also explore the fundamentals of colour and colour mixing. EYFS teachers ensure that pupils develop the skills to use simple tools and techniques competently and appropriately in preparation for Key Stage 1. Art and design projects in EYFS are linked to topics in Cornerstones.

Our 6 key themes run through the school from EYFS to Year 6 which enables children to revisit them each year and consolidate their previous learning and ensure retention of key skills. There is a clear record of key artists that are studies in each year group which enables teachers to refer back to pupils’ previous learning as well as introducing new artists and craftspeople. At the end of every session, children’s work is formatively assessed and half-termly, or at the end of a topic, children’s work is summatively assessed.

To deepen our children’s experience of art and design, and enable them to put it in to the context of real-life, we encourage meaningful art and design trips and welcome visitors into our school.


At Sir William Burrough, we strive to ensure every child has a deep knowledge and understanding of skills, media and techniques required to become proficient in our 6 key areas of art and design. We provide opportunities for pupils to be creative, explore their imaginations and build their resilience through making ‘mistakes’. We equip them with knowledge of a broad range of diverse artists, global, national and local, and the language they need to be able to discuss these artists, their artwork and their opinions about them respectfully. Standards in art and design are high as demonstrated in the quality of children’s sketchbooks, displays around the schools and their work which has been exhibited locally. We work hard to prepare our pupils in art and design for both secondary school and their future lives.