Art Curriculum

At Dane Bank Primary School, we believe that through art, craft and design we want to engage, inspire and challenge pupils by introducing them to a broad range of techniques, materials and artists, craftspeople and designers. We want to equip them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, explore, take risks, invent and create. It will enable them to be authentic and explore their own identity as well as being curious about respecting and connecting with others. Most importantly, we want them to foster a positive, life-long relationship with the subject and have fun.

Children will also learn about, respond to and evaluate the work of famous artists. They will make comparisons between the work of different artists and their own work and will develop the confidence to express their own ideas and preferences.

Where appropriate, Art and Design lessons link to other wider curriculum subjects. The Art and Design skills overview document outlines: the units of learning the children undertake each year; key threshold knowledge; the key skills that are developing and the progression between different milestones

In Art and Design, children’s sketchbooks do not follow the school’s presentation or marking policy; we feel very strongly that it belongs to the child. It’s not just a book – it is a space where children can freely express, create, develop and learn, often with limited guidance from the teacher. The sketchbook should be at the centre of their creativity.

Our Art and Design Long Term Plan & Skills Progression is outlined here:


Art & Design in Early Years

From an early age, young children love exploring media, materials and mark-making. The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. It is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. Early skills include:

  • Fine and gross motor skills;
  • investigating and using a variety of, materials, tools and products;
  • developing making skills;
  • handling appropriate tools and materials safely, with increasing control

Art and Design is thoughtfully structured around the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework and Development Matters guidelines. This approach ensures that each child’s creative journey is aligned with their developmental stage, fostering a solid foundation in artistic expression.

Integral to our teaching philosophy is the emphasis on self-regulation. Through engaging activities and guided exploration, students are encouraged to develop key skills such as fine motor control, spatial awareness, and imaginative thinking. This not only promotes a sense of autonomy and confidence but also lays the groundwork for lifelong learning. Furthermore, the Reception class curriculum serves as a vital stepping stone for the comprehensive art and design program that continues through Years 1 to 6.

By nurturing a love for creativity and providing a structured framework for artistic development, we aim to empower our students to become confident and expressive individuals, equipped with the skills to thrive in their artistic pursuits throughout their academic journey and beyond.

To see how Art & Design is woven through our Early Years curriculum, please click here for Nursery and click here for Reception.