Cawthorne Church Of England (VC) Primary School

Art and Design At Cawthorne


At Cawthorne, we value and are dedicated to the teaching of Art and Design; we see this as a fundamental part of school life. We are committed to providing an ‘Arts Rich Curriculum’ for our children. We want all of our children to believe they are artists! Our flexible curriculum is designed with ambition, for all our pupils, to create a wide range of outcomes through varied opportunities and memorable experiences. We believe that by developing these, we can contribute to the quality of our children’s lives, both within and beyond school. We see Art and Design as a means to support learning in a range of ways. The knowledge, skills and vocabulary that are developed in these subjects can be transferred across the curriculum and thus aid learning. Our Art and Design curriculum is designed to reflect our school’s core purpose which is to promote “life in all its fullness”.



The teaching and implementation of the Art and Design Curriculum at Cawthorne is based on the National Curriculum and EYFS Frameworks, and uses a two year planning cycle to support split year group classes. We aim to ensure that all pupils are taught a sequenced progression of knowledge, skills and key vocabulary across all year groups and key stages. Art is taught weekly / fortnightly in blocks throughout the academic year to ensure there is full coverage. Art lessons will sometimes be taught discretely or will link to other curriculum areas being studied. Drawing skills will be a core element of our Art and Design curriculum and a progression of these skills will be interwoven into the different areas of the art curriculum. Throughout the two year cycle, children will have opportunities to focus on the remaining elements of art and design: painting, collage, sculpture, print, textiles and digital media.

Our progression of skills are divided into four elements for each year group:  generating ideas through looking, talking, playing, making and digital media; through making incorporating drawing, painting, collage, colour, 3D work, digital animation and design; evaluating  which takes place throughout art lessons and projects, this may be done as a class, in small groups or individually; and knowledge and understanding ensuring that children understand the context of their artwork, as well as the artists that they are learning about and being inspired by. As our children progress, we want them to think critically and develop greater understanding of art and design; how it contributes to culture, creativity and wealth of our nation. A similar focus on skills means that children are given opportunities to express their creative imagination, as well as develop mastery in key processes of art: drawing, painting, printing, textiles and sculpture. Lessons and activities are planned to include all children by using a range of approaches. This includes questioning, use of equipment, and mixed ability grouping to enable children to offer peer support. In the EYFS, Art and Design is taught through weekly and termly themes and topics. There are some adult-led activities to follow up on whole class learning and discussion points, although much of the learning in art and design will be developed through the Continuous Provision and the Enhanced Provision, both in the classroom and in the outdoor environment. In KS1 and KS2, Art and Design is taught in half termly blocks three times a year ensuring there is full coverage of the skills. Lessons are planned to facilitate the best possible outcome for all children within the class.

Children at Cawthorne will have many opportunities to:

  • Produce creative work, exploring and generating their ideas and recording their experiences
  • Become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques
  • Evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design
  • Know about great artists craft makers and designers and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms

Our curriculum is rich in technical, creative and aspirational vocabulary and allows all learners to engage and contribute positively, whilst developing their linguistic skills. Language development is at the heart of our Art and Design curriculum and key vocabulary that is relevant within the specific unit will be taught and re-visited throughout ensuring children are able to use it appropriately. Children have the opportunity to join extra-curricular Art and Design clubs as well as making links with local community groups providing them with opportunities to further develop their skills. Where possible, visits are incorporated into the curriculum in order to give the children first-hand experiences of the different elements within Art and Design, for example a visit to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The De Morgan Trust and The Cooper Art Gallery as well as learning about local artists.


Achievement at Cawthorne is defined as knowing more, remembering more and being able to do more, this is reflected in the children’s art and design work as they progress through school building on early skills in EYFS and developing and refining them as they move through school. Our children enjoy the self-expression that they experience in both Art and Design; they are happy to have their learning displayed and shared with others in class. Our children are always keen to learn new skills and work hard to perfect them. Art is very often cross-curricular, helping them to express feelings and emotions. Through their Art and Design, children are able to reach out to the community, with their work being displayed in the local parish church and being involved with the annual Christmas card designs for the Parish of Cawthorne.

At Cawthorne, teachers assess children’s knowledge, understanding and skills in Art and Design by making ongoing observations of children working during lessons, asking them questions and having discussions about their learning. This allows us to support and meet the needs of all of our pupils. Children are also encouraged to be critical and reflective of their own work by being able to verbalise or make annotations about what they would change, develop or do next time to improve their work. Teachers will refer to key skill statements after they have been taught and use this information to inform future lessons, ensuring all children are supported and challenged appropriately. These statements will then be used to generate an overall grading at the end of the year. In our Foundation Stage, children are assessed within Expressive Art and Design and their progress is recorded and tracked termly. All children’s attainment and progress is reported to parents in our end of year report.