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Art & Design

Welcome to Art:

Subject Coordinator: Miss Harrison


Welcome to Art and Design

Art and Design is an incredibly important subject because it can help children to learn and grow in so many different ways. It can foster increased self-esteem, communication skills, evaluative skills, strategic thinking, help problem-posing and thinking outside the box, promote diversity, respect and intercultural understanding, show that making mistakes can be liberating and open up new opportunities, provide therapeutic benefits, support emotional literacy and make us feel happier!

According to Cultural Learning Alliance research, children who engage in the arts thrive at school. “Indeed, arts education contributes to raising attainment in maths and literacy,” says Lizzie Crump, Co-Director of the Cultural Learning Alliance. “People often focus on the core academic subjects as predictors of children’s future success, but actually, children who have a rich grounding in the arts are more likely to vote, go to university, get a job and keep it in their later life.”

“The creative economy is the fastest growing sector in the UK economy, made up of professions like architecture, advertising and design, film-making, IT and games development, as well as the more obvious performing arts vocations,” explains Julian Knight, Creative Director of Creative Futures.

What makes Art and Design different at Bramhope?


At Bramhope Primary School we want all children to feel that they belong and can express themselves freely and creatively in art lessons. We foster an inclusive environment where children are encouraged to speak positively about their own, and others’, work. We regularly discuss and celebrate how our challenges and mistakes can help us learn and can sometimes work out even better than we had planned. We can turn our ‘mistakes’ into wonderful unplanned successes and creative opportunities!

We have carefully chosen 10 key artists who have been selected to meet the needs of our children. The selection includes artists from a wide range of cultural backgrounds and genders with the hope of enhancing children’s cultural capital and providing a rich tapestry of inspiration from which to draw.

In addition to this we now have our own BPS Arts Council with the intention of providing more enriching arts opportunities for enhancing cultural capital for our pupils. All children at our school can contribute ideas regarding the arts (via our 

‘Arts Suggestion Boxes’) and our arts council will discuss the ideas and help guide teachers on how to shape their arts education. We are awaiting our BPS Arts Council designed badges so that children know who to talk to about their ideas too.


At BPS Art lessons are taught in a dedicated Art Studio allowing access to all creative resources and providing great opportunities for spontaneous ideas and individual projects.

Our curriculum is designed for our students. It builds upon the National Curriculum and at its heart is created to provide a rich and inspiring creative experience, helping children to build upon existing skills and forge new ones.

We dedicate an hour a week to art and design and alternate this half-termly with DT. Lessons are first planned to meet the skills required to ensure progression for our pupils, where possible (and where deemed appropriate) learning is also linked to topics studied in other areas of the curriculum. We perceive a benefit to making suitable links to help deepen the desired learning and provide a richer, more engaging experience. However, we consider art and design to be a valuable stand-alone subject and, therefore, if the desired learning cannot successfully be fulfilled by a topic, no links will be made.

Learning in art and design at BPS is built upon the progressive teaching of the formal elements of art and art and design skills so that these fundamentals are firmly embedded. Upon these essential skills branches we hang enriching experiences to ensure a broad and exciting curriculum, such as clay sculpting, printing, architecture and collage.

We have high expectations of behaviour in art and design lessons and encourage children to push themselves artistically and take creative risks. We also value resilience and independence, allowing children to take their work in their own direction, where appropriate.

We make links to future careers in art and design so that children can see a purpose and value in their learning; ‘Today you are architects/artists/sculptors/designers!’ Our Arts Council met with a Graphic Designer to discuss the career and a Mosaic Artist recently came in to school to work with all children to design and make a whole school mosaic.

What are lessons like?

Art and design lessons at Bramhope Primary School are designed to be exciting and engaging. Children often enter the Art Studio excitedly asking “What are we learning today?”

Children will develop practical skills and techniques in a wide array of disciplines such as drawing, painting, sculpture, collage and printing and these skills will be honed over the years through regular revisiting, building upon existing skills.

Where appropriate, we enhance learning by using I.T, the school grounds and the school garden. During their time at Bramhope pupils should develop a bank of visual vocabulary to help them articulate ideas (oracy), appreciate and evaluate works of art, specific styles and their own work. Children will study a broad range of artists, styles and periods that reflect the diversity of Leeds life and the wider world. Children will learn about how culture and society can impact artists’ choices and how, in turn, artists can influence and shape society and culture.

What do we mean by progress?

Progress in art looks different from progress in other subjects. This is because art is a unique subject and every child’s creative journey is different. Essentially, the creative process is not linear and neither is its progression. Every child is on their own unique creative journey which we need to facilitate and not make subjective judgements on. Therefore, we must make space for opportunity, exploration, experience and discovery. We can, however, guide this process and provide well planned opportunities for learning and progress that engage and challenge children. An example of this are ‘The Formal Elements of Art’ (line, shape, space, form, tone, texture, pattern, colour and composition) which underpin and thread through our curriculum progressively from Year 1 to Year 6. If we take one of these strands, colour for example, and consider progress across the age ranges from Reception to Year 6 we may see children progress in the following ways:

Reception – Recognition and exploration of colour using varied media.

Year 1 – Mixing primary colours to make secondary ones

Year 2 – Exploring colour tone


Year 3/4 – Mixing tints, tones and shades


Year 5/6 – Using all their prior knowledge to mix their own colours for a particular chosen effect


What do we mean by assessment?

Art and Design assessment is in the form of ongoing formative methods such as meta-cognitive questioning (the processes used to plan, monitor, and assess one's understanding and performance), before, during and after learning, regular discussion and instant feedback. Learning from ‘mistakes’ or turning them into a creative advantage is regularly discussed. This process helps us work with the child to decide what is working for them and what their future creative learning needs might be. We also refer to our Progression Plan and our ‘end of key stage statements’ which help us assess if children are working towards, at or above age-related expectations. Sketchbooks, which accompany the children throughout school, also provide a valuable insight into the creative journey and progress of our pupils.

Useful Links

Bramhope’s Vision Statement

Bramhope’s Teaching and Learning Policy

Bramhope’s Curriculum Overview

Art Policy

Links for parents

Information and activities from the Tate, London.

National Portrait Gallery Tours.

The New York Art museum's kids section offering virtual tours and information about art and some project ideas too.

Craft Council - Uses minimal resources.

500 art activities to try with your children.

A dedicated channel for parents with tips on supporting your children in Art.

Digital art projects to do with your children.


  • 'Art is the best! I like getting messy!'  Year 1
  • 'I love the spotty lady. Everything is so spotty and colourful and happy!' Year 1 talking about Yayoi Kusama.
  • 'Picasso is funny, and he makes funny faces' Year 2
  • 'We do lots of exciting things in Art!' - Year 2
  • 'My favourite thing we do is getting messy with clay!' Year 3/4
  • 'I like printing and learning about different artists. Frida Kahlo is so colourful, and I love all her animals!' Year 3/4
  •  'I loved studying Architecture and Zaha Hadid was my favourite. I liked the curvy lines in her buildings.' Year 5/6
  • 'When things go wrong in art, sometimes they have really gone right!' Year 5/6