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Art & Design


At Bowes Primary School, we value Art and Design as an important part of the pupil’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum and believe that high quality lessons will inspire pupils to think innovatively and develop creative procedural understanding. Art and Design provides pupils with opportunities to develop and extend skills and to express their individual interests, thoughts and ideas.

Our Art curriculum reflects Bowes diverse community, ensuring progressiveness and inclusivity allowing children to feel represented. It has been designed to deliver high-quality art and design education developing pupils' skills, techniques and confidence within the Arts. It engages, inspires and challenges pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to feel secure and confident when experimenting, developing and creating their own works of art, craft and design. As pupils make progress they will be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of the fundamental attributes of an artist, designer or craftsperson.

Our specially designed curriculum encourages pupils to think innovatively, take risks, explore, experiment and reflect continuously on their work, this encourages high achievement through our provision of high quality teaching and learning experiences.

During their time at Bowes, pupils learn and explore a wide variety of mediums and techniques, such as drawing, painting, printing, collage, textiles, sculpture and digital art. Sketchbooks are used to explore ideas, experiment with different mediums and textures, make notes and record their thoughts and feelings throughout a unit of work.

Pupils are introduced to a range of artists, craftspeople and designers, from a wide variety of cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds, this supports pupils in developing their knowledge and understanding of different art movements, styles as well as vocabulary.



Art and Design at Bowes is taught using a thematic curriculum from the Early Years through to the end of Key Stage Two. It aims to ensure that all our pupils remember long-term art content they have been taught and integrate new knowledge into larger ideas.

Our specialised art teacher provides effective support for those teaching outside their main areas of expertise and as a result, teachers have developed their knowledge and understanding of the art and design curriculum.

Teachers present content clearly, encouraging pupils to think critically and have discussions, ensuring pupils can explore, discuss and evaluate the work of artists, designers, craft makers, architects and photographers they have studied. They check pupils' understanding of how to use art and design as a means of self-expression, identify misconceptions accurately and provide clear, direct feedback. In so doing, they respond and adapt their art teaching as necessary.

Pupils' knowledge and understanding of art and design builds over time through an ambitious and personalised curriculum which is coherently planned and sequenced allowing pupils to continuously revisit and build on prior learning.

The promotion of a vocabulary and language rich art and design curriculum is essential to the successful development of knowledge and understanding in art and design. Pupils are provided opportunities to continuously build on their vocabulary throughout units of work through discussion and by making annotations and evaluations of their work, the work of artists studied as well as the work of their peers. These skills are embedded from early learning to promote depth of learning and retainment. The expectations of our pupils is high and demanding, matching the aims of the art and design curriculum.

Pupils at Bowes are provided the opportunity to visit and take part in enriching workshops, at times linked to their learning, at galleries such as Tate Modern, The National Gallery and The Royal Academy of Arts, enhancing their learning experiences, cultural experiences and their cultural awareness. They are also provided extracurricular opportunities such as art clubs, lunch time clubs, and work experience for year 6.



The curriculum is the progression model. If pupils are able to demonstrate they are able to know and remember more against our curriculum expectations they are making good progress and attaining expected standards.

Strategies such as regular and consistent feedback, coherently planned and demanding learning experiences and the use of individual sketchbooks to assess the knowledge, skills and understanding that our pupils have gained in art and design during each half-termly unit. This is then used to inform and further develop future lessons; ensuring pupils are supported and challenged appropriately, whilst also demonstrating a high level of progression.

Pupils are expected to think critically, discuss and express their opinions and views on artists work, their own work and that of their peers. As a result, pupils develop detailed knowledge and a wide variety of skills across the art and design curriculum and achieve the best possible outcomes producing work of a high quality. This is also demonstrated throughout the school in creative displays and our Year 6 end of year art exhibition.

Children in the foundation stage are assessed within Expressive Arts and Design and their progress is tracked using Tapestry with age related expectations then reported to parents at the end of the reception year.


Beyond the Curriculum

Our vision is to embed art and design within a variety of learning opportunities within everyday school life as well as real life experiences.

Trips and experiences are organised, when possible, to complement the art and design curriculum. Through exposure to a variety of meaningful experiences, we ensure our pupils have opportunities to deepen knowledge and understanding within a variety of challenging and exciting opportunities.

  • Visits, workshops and experiences have included: Tate Modern, Tate Britain, V&A, The National Gallery, Saatchi Gallery, The Royal Academy of Arts, The Hayward Gallery
  • Pupils in KS1 and KS2 have opportunities to join after school clubs
  • Pupils have taken part in external art competitions
  • Year 6 pupils participate in an International collaborative art project
  • Year 6 end of year art exhibition showcasing their work
  • Arts Enrichment Programme - The school organises and funds trips in the Spring half-term and Easter break for selected PP pupils to visit galleries and have experiences in central London
  • ‘Creative Therapy’ sessions have been organised for selected PP pupils and pupils with SEND. The sessions are run by the Specialist Art Teacher and take place weekly


Please find available for download the Art & Design Primary National Curriculum.