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Abbey Primary School

A caring, sharing, achieving school, putting the child at the heart of everything we do.

Art and Design

Art and Design Curriculum Intent Statement

“The artist sees what others only catch a glimpse of.”

(Leonardo da Vinci)


At Abbey Primary School, self-expression, creativity and the development of a unique identity are encouraged within our pupils through the teaching of art, craft and design. Children’s natural curiosity to observe, touch, manipulate and create is captured within engaging and challenging lessons. Carefully sequenced teaching of key knowledge, alongside the necessary skills, equips children to experiment and invent, leading to the creation of their own high-quality artwork. The work of significant artists, from a range of periods, enables pupils to gain an understanding of the way in which art and design both reflects and shapes our history and contributes to the culture, creativity and richness of world communities. During a residential visit to London in Year 6, pupils visit the National Gallery in London where they are given the opportunity to view many of the pieces of artwork studied throughout their primary school years.

As advocated by the National Curriculum, as pupils progress, they develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design combined with the ability to think critically about their own work and the work of other artists and designers.


The Art and Design curriculum incorporates three interrelated strands of knowledge:


Substantive Knowledge: The subject specific knowledge that is taught in each year group – the content that children need to know and remember because it is useful and transferrable. Consideration has been given to the specific content so that pupils encounter a wide range of artists, designers and craft makers to exemplify concepts and themes whilst also addressing the needs of the children and their communities.


Procedural Knowledge: This knowledge represents the skills of an artist – knowing how artists work. This is revisited; growing in complexity year on year so that pupils’ understanding deepens. For example, pupils undertake a cycle of appraising, developing ideas, creating and evaluating; learning how to do so in increasingly sophisticated ways.


Disciplinary Knowledge: The disciplinary knowledge in art and design involves pupils knowing and understanding how the organising concepts below can be used and combined to create a particular effect. Through exploration of a range of artists’ work, pupils’ understanding of how their focus on specific elements impacts upon the final outcome.


The organising concepts of Art and Design are:

Line: Exploring marks that span the distance between two points – straight or curved, 2D or 3D, implied or abstract

Shape: Exploring the result of closed lines – shapes that are two-dimensional, geometric or organic

Colour: Exploring hue and intensity

Value: Exploring the lightness/darkness of a colour

Texture: Understanding the way something feels, or looks like it would feel

Space: Understanding the way in which line, shape, form and colour can be manipulated to create space

Form: When a shape acquires depth and becomes three dimensional it takes on form


Our Art and Design curriculum develops pupils who:

  • Enjoy art for all its qualities; freedom of expression, manipulation experimentation and exploration and for supporting social, emotional and mental well-being
  • Are proficient in a range of art, craft and design techniques including drawing, painting and sculpture
  • Produce high-quality creative work, drawing on well-developed disciplinary and procedural knowledge, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences
  • Evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design
  • Know about a range of significant artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural significance of their art forms