Art and Design

“Every artist was first an amateur.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Children emerge from Marton Manor Primary School as not only adept artists but also individuals with a profound appreciation for the diverse and impactful role that art plays in shaping human civilisation and enriching their lives.


At Marton Manor Primary School, we champion the idea that art is a rich and varied set of practices central to human civilisation; and consequently, permeates every facet of our lives in an indisputable way. The Art and Design provision at our school is designed to surpass the requirements outlined in the National Curriculum and provide a deep and inspiring exploration of the field. With no stone left unturned, we take children on an exciting and engaging quest; immersing them in the beauty and purpose of the art world whilst at the same time developing their art making skills across a multitude of disciplines.

To do this, we have created a high-quality, bespoke curriculum written to equip children with the productive and receptive subject knowledge – developing their capacity and competency to appreciate and create art. It does this by ensuring that the 3 essential domains/areas of knowledge are carefully and progressively mapped across the year groups. These areas of knowledge are:

Domain 1: Practical Knowledge – How do we develop technical proficiency?

Pupils develop practical knowledge through the art and design curriculum. This knowledge is necessary for when they make and create art. Practical knowledge is taught through explicit teaching of different techniques and processes within each specific disciplinary area and will ultimately enable, as they become more proficient, pupils to make informed choices based on what they know about the limits and possibilities of materials and media.

As practical knowledge is usually discipline specific, the curriculum is built in such a way as to allow pupils to explore the different materials, techniques and processes of artmaking within well-planned, themed blocks of learning. These blocks of learning are carefully mapped to ensure that progression of practical knowledge is cumulative thus ensuring pupils truly develop and build upon this crucial knowledge year on year. The blocks of learning, in each year group, are all set out in a similar way:

  • Block 1: Painting
  • Block 2: Mixed Media (Collage, Printmaking)
  • Block 3: Sculpture
  • Block 4: Creative Response

At Marton Manor, we fully understand that drawing can be viewed as its own discipline, however, given the fact that it essentially underpins and interweaves through every creative discipline, we teach an element of drawing within every block of learning. This continual revisiting of drawing within every block of learning, in every year group, ensures that pupils develop their practical knowledge in drawing in a more consistent and purposeful way. This leads to pupils becoming more proficient in drawing thus enabling them to utilise this discipline as a set of skills to support and enhance all other creative disciplines as they progress through school.

Domain 2: Theoretical Knowledge – How do we learn about artists and their work?

The second domain of knowledge in our art and design curriculum is theoretical knowledge. This enables pupils to make connections between art’s past, present and future. Our curriculum is designed so pupils learn about a plethora of great artists and designers, across many different disciplines, and, most importantly, understand the historical and cultural development and significance of their art forms. By carefully mapping theoretical knowledge throughout each year group, we aim to help pupils recognise that art and art practices are embedded in socio-cultural matrices; themes and diverse connections are contextually routed and take place within cultures, society and history thus that the meaning of images, objects and artefacts can and have changed depending on a multitude of factors.

At Marton Manor, we have designed our curriculum to ensure that we continue to recognise the important interplay between this crucial theoretical knowledge and the practical knowledge that pupils accumulate within each block of learning. Every block of learning begins with a relevant Artist Study and Response lesson. Within these lessons, pupils learn about artists and designers, art movements, or art traditions. These artists, designers, art movements and art traditions are intentionally diverse with the aim of raising all pupils’ cultural capital and enabling pupils to make meaningful links between the practical artwork that they produce and art from different times, places, cultures and societies. Throughout each subsequent art lesson, within each learning block, links will be made back to the chosen practitioner(s) in order to ensure that theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge is intertwined and neither happen as separate entities.

As can be seen from the curriculum document, this theoretical knowledge within our school centred around 3 specific areas. These are:

  • Meaning and interpretations
  • Materials and processes
  • Journeys and connections

Domain 3: Disciplinary Knowledge – How do we study, discuss and judge art?

The third domain of knowledge within our art and design curriculum is disciplinary knowledge. Disciplinary knowledge relates to theoretical knowledge within the school curriculum but it is different. Where theoretical knowledge teaches children about specific artists, designers, art movements and art traditions, disciplinary knowledge transcends the different areas of art making and focuses on norms, products and purposes of art. It is about how art itself is thought of as a discipline. This is a crucially important element of our curriculum as it contributes to pupils’ capacities to interpret art across all disciplines. As with the other two domains of knowledge, disciplinary knowledge is carefully mapped across all year groups; providing pupils with the cumulative knowledge and language to participate in meaningful discourse about the big ideas in art; about quality, value, purpose and more. 


Our curriculum is designed so our pupils know more, remember more and subsequently do more with their subject specific knowledge. It is the aim that the cumulative acquisition of knowledge gained within each of the 3 domains brings about a progressive process of qualitative change thus enabling pupils to progress in the curriculum area within blocks of learning, within year groups and, ultimately, throughout their school journey. As stated above, the 3 domains of knowledge are carefully and explicitly mapped throughout school in small building blocks that are revisited and build upon each year. This explicit mapping enables teachers to teach each domain in order to maximise progress.

Although the two things often go hand in hand, at Marton Manor, we aim to ensure that the progress that pupils make is prioritised over individual pieces of artwork that they make. Much of the receptive and productive knowledge gained by pupils from the 3 individual domains is predominantly applied to a number of convergent goals and, in order to allow pupils to further apply this knowledge in a way that isn’t teacher directed, creative response blocks of learning are planned into each year.


Creative Response blocks of learning are opportunities for pupils to use their knowledge to work towards a divergent goal. This will give pupils the opportunity to respond to a word, theme or topic. They will be tasked to draw upon all of the knowledge they’ve gained, in a way that they choose, in order to make artwork that is unique and individual to them. This opportunity allows pupils to be creative and imaginative by:

  • Thinking about the purpose of their work
  • Selecting their own source imagery,
  • Selecting their own materials
  • Using the techniques and processes that best allow them to achieve their goal
  • Giving them opportunity to experiment, take risks and make unexpected connection
  • Giving them the freedom to analyse and discuss their own work in relation to the work of their peers and other practitioners that they have studied or admire.



As outlined in the subject intent, the curriculum is written so pupils cover 4 blocks of learning per year. The number of sessions required to maximise pupils’ learning has been mapped in detail in the curriculum document. Each lesson is designed to take one hour of curriculum time. Ideally, these should be delivered regularly. If rotated/alternated with another subject on the timetable, long periods between lessons should be avoided as this will impact on the pupils’ learning and progress. Ideally, Art and Design time will not be ‘accumulated’ in order to ‘block’ longer sessions or full days as this will inevitably lead to longer periods of time during individual lessons.

All lessons will be designed around the learning questions set out in the curriculum document and bolstered by the accompanying knowledge. To deliver these lessons, all teaching staff must use the school’s lesson design format:

  • Retrieval
  • Vocabulary
  • Explain and Model
  • Check Understanding
  • Apply Learning
  • Review Learning


All teachers have been provided with a carefully constructed bespoke curriculum which has been created by a subject specialist and is informed by the most current research into the field.

The Art and Design Subject Leader will provide CPD to all staff during staff meetings to ensure that all teachers are skilled enough to teach the curriculum in the best possible way. In addition to this, the Subject Leader will support individual members of staff with anything that they don’t feel they are confident or competent with.

The Art and Design Subject Leader will partake in any subject specific CPD that could further grow their knowledge and thus enhance the curriculum or the quality of the teaching and learning within this curriculum area.


All consumable and non-consumable materials are ordered in accordance with the activities and tasks outlined within the curriculum and are stored in the art cupboard. The Art Lead will audit the  materials at two points within the school year, February and July, to ensure that all non-consumable equipment is accounted for and that there is an adequate supply of consumable materials for the upcoming block of learning. All art materials, other than paper, are stored in the art cupboard outside of the hall. It is the responsibility of all teachers and teaching assistants to ensure that non-consumable equipment is used with care, properly cleaned after use and counted in before returning it back to storage. This process is essential in ensuring that all classes have the materials and the equipment to teach adequately.


The majority of pupils’ learning will be evidenced in their sketchbooks. If larger work is produced, it is suggested that it is photographed and displayed in the sketchbook so the learning journey can be viewed as a whole.

Creative response final pieces should be produced on separate paper with the view of these pieces being available for the yearly exhibition. It is recommended that these pieces, if 2D, should be produced on a higher quality paper or card.

The artist study lesson, at the beginning of each block of learning, will have a specific proforma that has been designed by the Art Lead. To ensure consistency throughout school, this must be used.

All lessons are to be accompanied by the short-form date and the learning question phrased as a ‘Can I…?’ statement. These can be either printed and stuck in the top left corner of each page or handwritten by the pupils. This is at the discretion of the class teacher.

Any short annotations, in sketchbooks, are written in pencil. If children are doing any longer annotation or piece of writing, this can be with either handwriting pen or pencil (depending on the year group) but must be done on a pre-cut piece of lined paper to ensure presentation is of a high standard.


In our pursuit of inclusivity within art and design, our curriculum implementation focuses on accommodating the diverse needs and abilities of all our students. To achieve this, we employ a multifaceted approach:

  • Clear and Adaptive Instructions: Lessons are structured with clear, step-by-step instructions that can be adapted to suit different learning styles and abilities. This includes providing visual aids, verbal instructions, and written guidelines, ensuring every student comprehends and engages with the lesson content.
  • Individualised Support: Recognising that each student has unique strengths and challenges, we offer individualised support when necessary. This may involve additional assistance from teachers or support staff, modified tasks, or supplementary resources tailored to specific needs.
  • Varied Art Materials and Techniques: During the Creative Response elements of the curriculum, we ensure a diverse array of materials and techniques are accessible, allowing students to choose mediums that align with their preferences and abilities. This includes tactile materials for tactile learners, audio-visual resources for auditory learners, and visual aids for visual learners.
  • Encouraging Open-ended Projects: The Creative Response element in the curriculum is designed as an open-ended project which fosters an environment where students are encouraged to express their creativity and individuality. By allowing for varied interpretations and outcomes, we celebrate diverse perspectives and talents within our classroom.
  • Adaptation for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities: We ensure that our art lessons are adaptable to accommodate students with special needs or disabilities. This may involve specialised tools, adjusted lesson plans, or additional support, fostering an inclusive environment where every student can actively participate.

By integrating these strategies into our art provision, we aim to create an inclusive space where every student feels valued, supported, and empowered to explore their creativity regardless of their individual learning style, ability, or background.


Lessons are based around thought-provoking as a route into providing the children with the knowledge they need. This makes for instant engagement and sees learners actively partake in lessons.

The curriculum is designed in a way that makes purposeful links to the children in our school, and the area in which they live. By carefully selecting creative practitioners that have had an impact on the Tees Valley, or have some form of cultural or historical link to the area, pupils recognise their own connections to the creative sector.

In order to further engage pupils within their art and design lessons, meaningful cross curricular links are made between art and other subjects. These links can take many forms and are made explicit by teachers.

Different Art and Design club afterschool and lunchtimes clubs are run throughout the year. The content of these clubs changes and covers disciplines such as: drawing, painting, printmaking and photography.


Artwork from lessons is regularly shared with parents on class dojo and on the school’s Facebook page.

An annual art day takes place where parents are invited into school to take part in a curriculum-based activity with their child.

To follow up from the annual art day, a collaborative task will be sent home for families to complete together. This is centred around a chosen theme and gives pupils the chance to share their practical, theoretical and disciplinary knowledge with their parents. All work produced, and brought into school, is entered into a school wide competition and judged by the Art Lead and Mrs Rehbohm. Prizes are awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

In the summer term a school-wide art exhibition is held to celebrate pieces of work produced during the Creative Response blocks of learning. Parents are invited to this event.


Homework within Art and Design varies from year group to year group. Across all year groups, most homework is discussion based where pupils are asked to think and talk about their classroom learning at home. Prompts are planned throughout the curriculum to direct class teachers to opportunities where this is possible. In KS2, there may be some instances where more formal homework is set. This is usually linked to classroom learning although not exclusively. There are times where Marton Manor Primary School, or an external provided, runs art and craft-based competitions. In these instances, homework could be related to these specific activities/projects.


We expect, by realising our intent through successful implementation, that the majority of pupils make good or expected progress in Art and Design and leave Marton Manor as confident and competent artists and designers with enough knowledge to face the challenges of the secondary school art curriculum. We expect that children, having been taken on an intricately woven journey of practical, theoretical and disciplinary knowledge, ultimately leave us knowing more and have a rich understanding of how the creative arts permeate every facet of our lives and are inextricably linked to who we are. In addition to this, we also expect that pupils of our schools are impacted in the following ways, that go beyond subject specific knowledge:

  • Enhanced Creativity and Expression: Pupils will demonstrate increased confidence in expressing their thoughts, emotions, and ideas in ways beyond the visual arts.
  • Improved Problem-Solving Skills: Pupils will think critically and creatively, honing their ability to approach challenges with innovative solutions, a skill applicable across disciplines.
  • Cultural Appreciation and Understanding: Through exposure to various art forms and cultural contexts, pupils develop a broader appreciation and understanding of diverse traditions, fostering empathy and global awareness.
  • Increased Self-Confidence: Pupils gain a sense of accomplishment as they witness a qualitative evolution of their skills, leading to heightened self-esteem and a positive self-image.
  • Collaboration and Communication: Pupils develop teamworking skills and effective communication skills as they learn to share ideas, compromise, and work together towards common artistic goals.
  • Most importantly, our curriculum cultivates a love for artistic expression, nurtures skills that extend beyond the art classroom, and empowers students to approach the world with creativity, empathy, and confidence.


Pupils are assessed by their class teacher each term. This assessment is made based on teacher judgement and evidence of each block of learning. Pupils are assessed against the DFE attainment targets outlined in the Art and Design programme of study.

The assessment process will identify pupils as either WORKING TOWARDS THE EXPECTED STANDRARD, MEETING THE EXPECTED STANDARD or EXCEEDING THE EXPECTED STANDARD. This assessment data is then recorded on a centralised data collection spreadsheet.

Individual pupil grades will be shared with parents as part of pupils’ termly reports.


The Subject Leader, working in conjunction with the Headteacher and the Local Governing Body, is responsible for assuring the quality of the Art and Design provision across school. This is done in the following ways:

  • Assessment Data Analysis: The Subject Leader collates and analyses all assessment data.
  • Learning Walks: The Subject Leader carries out termly learning walks which allow them to visit each year group and take part in active Art and Design lessons. 
  • Pupils Book Scrutiny: The Subject Leader carries out termly book looks by looking at a selection of books from each year group across school.
  • Pupil interviews: The Subject Leader carries out termly pupil interviews using the proforma in Appendix 6.
  • Staff surveys: The Subject Leader will create and send out 2 staff surveys each academic year in order to gather feedback from teaching staff about the Art and Design provision.


The Subject Leader, working in conjunction with the Headteacher and the Local Governing Body, is responsible for analysing the information gathered using the methods outlined above. Once this information has been analysed at the end of the year, a Subject Action Plan will be written up in order to outline where improvements will be made.

“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.”

Neil Gaiman

Curriculum Policies

If you want to learn more about what’s coming. please take a look at the subject policy which outlines how the curriculum is going to look. 

Art CurriculumDownload
Art and Design Subject PolicyDownload
EYFS Art and Design CurriculumDownload
Year 1 Art and Design CurriculumDownload
Year 2 Art and Design CurriculumDownload
Year 3 Art and Design CurriculumDownload
Year 4 Art and Design CurriculumDownload
Year 5 Art and Design CurriculumDownload
Year 6 Art and Design CurriculumDownload

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