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Art & Design

‘Art in schools shouldn’t be sidelined….it should be right there right up in the front because

I think Art teaches you to deal with the world around you. It is the oxygen that makes all the

other subjects breathe’                                                               Alan Parker, Film-maker

Arts are an essential part of our curriculum. We believe that art education stimulates creativity and imagination whilst giving the children unique opportunities to develop intellectually, emotionally, physically and socially. Art has unlimited potential – it relaxes, restores, calms and distracts. In a world with increasing pressures, art has the therapeutic quality of being all absorbing and all embracing.

We encourage the children to represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through art by safely using and exploring a range of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. 

A whole school approach is taken towards promoting the arts. We do this through our spiral curriculum and through the many positive experiences that take place, such as; visiting artists that work with children to create whole school and individual art forms, annual card making with parents and a biennial art exhibition. We teach a skills-based art curriculum, which provides opportunities for children to express their creative imagination and to use artwork to record ideas, observations and experiences. Through the delivering of a spiral curriculum, children are given the means of practising and developing mastery in the key processes of art: drawing, painting, printing, textiles, collage and 3D modelling.

Sketchbooks are used across all year groups and these provide a record of the children’s learning and progress in art. Children take their sketchbooks with them at the end of the year to their new class where they will continue to expand on techniques and their appreciation of artists’ work. At the end of their education at Menheniot, this provides a wonderful momento and a record of what they have achieved.    


We ensure that art is included throughout every class on a regular basis and that it relates to the topic being taught at that time. It is taught by enthusiastic staff, many who themselves have a talent and interest in Art. Children that are identified as have a particular ‘flare’ for art are put on to the schools gifted and talented register or the shadow register and these are reviewed each year. We aim to provide development opportunities to extend their learning, for example, in Key Stage 2 this may involve attending workshops, when available, at the local secondary school which provides enrichment opportunities. In the same way that provision is made for the more able in Art, we also ensure that those who have special needs, such as visual impairment or dyspraxia, are able to thrive in this subject and alter tasks or provide support accordingly.

Our Aims for Art

We aim that our Art and Design curriculum will engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own creative works. We aim to ensure that all pupils produce imaginative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences, become proficient in a wide range of techniques, evaluate and analyse creative works using the correct technical vocabulary and that they gain a knowledge about great artists, craft makers and designers from a historical and cultural point of view.

Art in the EYFS

Expressive arts and design is one of the specific areas within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Each specific area is divided into early learning goals, for expressive arts and design these are:

  • Exploring and using media and materials - children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
  • Being imaginative - children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through Best practice and activity ideas.

Curriculum 2014

Key Stage 1 

Year 1 and 2

Pupils will 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

Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 

Pupils will 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 will 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 [for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay]
  • about great artists, architects and designers in history.

Art Gallery