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At Bishop Gilpin we aim to create a firm foundation for a lifetime of learning through engaging, inspiring and challenging pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. 

We also seek to enable pupils to appreciate the design and creativity displayed by iconic artists and those who remain unknown.

Our pupils learn to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. Over time our children learn how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.

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Making Skills

Pupils are taught to use a wide range of materials and skills to design and create their own art. As pupils move through school, they improve their mastery of art and design techniques by using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space.
They use drawing, painting and sculpture to bring their designs to life and convey ideas and/or emotions.

Generating Ideas

As pupils develop their design techniques and knowledge of artists, they generate their own ideas based on their experiences and imagination.
Through their sketchbooks, children review and revisit ideas and techniques to inspire them. Children are taught the appropriate skills to be able to execute their ideas.


Pupils are encouraged to share their opinions on art and design. This ranges from children expressing what they like about their own art in EYFS to giving reasoned evaluations of both their own and others' art.
Reflection is a key part of evaluation and pupils are taught and encouraged to frequently analyse and reflect on their progress, taking into account their original intention and others’ opinions.

Knowledge of Artists

Across the school, pupils learn about a diverse range of artists, craft makers and designers. Pupils learn about classic artists and creators, as well as those that have been influenced by them. Through guided conversation, pupils begin to understand the messages being conveyed by artists through their work.
Their understanding of these artists informs their own art and design, where they are able to make links from their own work to the artists and designers they have studied.

Sketch Books

Pupils use their sketchbooks to record ideas, develop skills and experiment with materials. They are encouraged to express their ideas and individual personality.
Through guided conversation and sketches, pupils develop and discuss their own ideas.
Throughout their sketchbooks, children will begin to refine these ideas and select appropriate techniques for creating original artwork.

Art and Design Curriculum Approach

The key NC strands in Art and Design, the EYFS framework and Development Matters have informed our schemas and our curriculum planning, leading to a direct impact on children's learning as evidenced in their sketchbooks.

By the end of their time at Bishop Gilpin, our aim is for children to have both an appreciation for art and an understanding of the technical skills required to produce different styles of art. We want the children to feel confident in their artistic abilities and to feel able to express themselves in their sketchbooks.

Schemas are repeated and then added to in future learning. Skills/procedural knowledge follows a planned progression, based on our progression of skills doc.

From September 2022, the schemas are being formally identified each lesson.

To further improve upon the consistency and quality of our Art and Design curriculum we have based our current planning on the Kapow scheme, after reviewing a number of different curricular approaches. We have adapted this scheme to fit our needs and desired outcomes, namely access to a diverse range of artists. Each year group identified a range of traditional, modern and diverse artists to fit in with their units and topics.

SEND pupils' access to the full Art and Design curriculum is ensured in part by the nature of the subject and conclusively by the class teachers' and support staff consideration during planning and teaching. 

We know that engagement in the arts can support wellbeing of pupils (see EEF research).