Art Intent

Art is recognised globally as a universal language. Our Art curriculum unites and inspires all pupils at Barnehurst as they explore, create and investigate varying artistic styles that simultaneously provoke questions and ignite their intrigue for the ever-growing world of artistry that surrounds them. We recognise that the arts enable children to confidently develop a sense of individual identity and value. Through self-expression and creativity, our art sessions and experiences allow children to develop a sense of self whilst cementing a meaningful appreciation, understanding and acceptance of cultures, diversity and views that may differ to their own. Supporting the whole school vision of ‘The Power of Me and the Power of We’. The children will create their own individual pieces of artwork, whilst drawing on the world around them and the vast art styles and cultures in each topic covered. As well as encouraging expression and creativity, our art curriculum strengthens widely transferrable skills such as fine-motor skills, hand-eye coordination, analytical thinking, critical thinking skills and problem-solving skills.                                                                                                  

The National Curriculum states that a high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire, and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. Through being provided with opportunities to work both independently and collaboratively, our children broaden their understanding of the creative world around them as they sketch, paint, craft and sculpt whilst implementing taught skills such as pattern detailing, shape making, textures and lines. From their very first in-school creative experiences within our Nursery right through to when they are established artists and creators in Year 6, we ensure that children are consistently exposed to a wealth of diverse, inspiring and stimulating art styles and forms. Through the years, these rich experiences extend and challenge our children’s existing skills whilst effectively introducing those that are new to ensure they are masters of their own creativity for successful futures beyond Barnehurst.

Whilst at Barnehurst, each child will develop a strong art schema ensuring that their art knowledge and understanding is built upon and connected, to ensure they have a thorough understanding of each unit that they have been taught. A subject schema is a way of organising knowledge in a meaningful way; it is an appreciation of how facts are connected and the ways in which they are connected. A schema is different from information, as information is isolated facts that have no organisational basis or links. The diagram below shows an illustration representing the difference between information and a schema. 


We ensure that pupils form an art and design schema by:

• using concepts as the basis for the schema

• strengthening the schema with knowledge

• further deepening connections through tasks and outcomes.


To ensure the art schema is built upon in every year group as a school we have a focus on the three following concepts:

• developing ideas

• mastering practical skills 

These three concepts can then be broken down further into the following.



When all of these concepts are put together the art scheme is further embedded and developed, allowing for meaningful connections to be made.



Each Key Phase, has been allocated three art topics to be covered across the year. To further deepen the knowledge and skills learnt, the topic will be taught twice. Once at a ‘basic’ level (in year 1,3 and 5) and again the following year at an ‘advancing’ and ‘deeper’ level (in year 2,4,and 6). We hope that this will then ensure that meaningful learning is not lost, as the children are having to retrieve their prior learning and use this at a deeper level. The diagram shows what topics each Key Stage will focus on.








At Barnehurst we believe that spiritual, moral, social and cultural education should be evident in everything we do. In Art the work of children becomes a spiritual encounter as it develops from the initial learning of skills. They are introduced to the work of great Artists and experience wonder and awe at the achievements of these great works of art. They also experience great admiration and respect for their peers’ work when they see the level of achievement and progress. Pupils understand that this standard of work does not happen immediately but requires endurance. Throughout their time at Barnehurst the children will be introduced to art from various religions and have the opportunity and time to reflect on these. Within Art and Design children will continually be able to enjoy the beauty and awe of the natural world and recognise how artists celebrate this in their artform.

They incorporate mutual respect and the consideration for others’ work. Pupils are encouraged to show compassion when assessing the work of others. Understanding how their comments can build up or destroy another’s self-belief. Displays around the school and in classrooms show a variety of different art work from age groups and abilities. This promotes children to be positive about their work and increases self-esteem. Throughout their time in Barnehurst, the children will frequently need to work in pairs, groups or teams. This will allow the children to work collaboratively building upon the skills of cooperation and communication.

All units of work link with contextual themes involving various cultures and civilizations from around the world. They lead to a greater understanding of different ways of life and a respect for cultures that are very different from their own; how they can enrich their own lives. The fusion of art work between their own and other cultures leads to pupils incorporating designs, patterns and motifs in their own work developed by a deeper understanding of the culture. All key stages ensure that Art is taught as part of a topic and alongside other subjects to gain a greater understanding of different cultures.

Subject Implementation

To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in art and design, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout Barnehurst. Art and design is taught as part of a termly topic, focusing on knowledge and skills stated within our curriculum. Although art is one of our discretely taught subjects, we ensure that art and design is given the same importance as the core subjects, as we feel this is important in enabling all children to gain ‘real-life’ experiences. Through a carefully detailed art curriculum and it’s building blocks, our teachers ensure meaningful opportunities and effective progression for our students through inspiring and exciting experiences. During additional medium-term planning release each term, teachers have the opportunity to reflect on previously taught skills and techniques and can highlight any key interests shown by their classes. They then use this vital information to plan for future art and design sessions which inspire, motivate and challenge all pupils.

Building blocks

Art lessons are thoroughly planned for with the use of knowledge organisers, these ensure that all adults within the classroom have the knowledge needed to teach the topic well, ensuring that this knowledge is then filtered down to the children. Within each knowledge organiser the key skills and vocabulary are clearly shown, they are also clearly linked to the schemas previously mentioned. Ensuring both adults and children are aware of what art schema is being built. Art lessons are then structured and planned to ensure that all learning is built upon and remembered, to allow for long-term learning. This is due to the whole school sic-phase approach. This looks as follows:

In the "Connect" phase, students establish a connection between prior knowledge and the new art topic, which aids in activating relevant schemas and preparing the mind for learning. The "Explain" phase provides a solid foundation by presenting key art concepts, skills and knowledge, ensuring that students grasp the fundamental elements of the subject. Following this, the "Example" phase allows the teacher to demonstrate the new concept and/or skill. In the "Attempt" phase, students engage in hands-on activities or discussions to reinforce their understanding. The "Apply" phase encourages students to use their knowledge in different projects, enhancing memory retention through active application. Finally, the "Challenge" phase stimulates critical thinking and encourages students to delve deeper into the concept being taught, fostering a long-term engagement with art and facilitating the integration of knowledge into their long-term memory. This structured approach not only supports immediate learning but also lays a robust foundation for pupils' lifelong historical understanding and retention. 

Here is an example of a 6 week block of lessons that would be taught in Year 6. You can see that throughout the weeks the children are exposed to key artists, opportunities to research, learn new skills, knowledge and produce various pieces of their own artwork.


Early Years Foundation Stage

 Throughout the EYFS children have opportunity to learn and then apply their learning in a range of ways through their continuous provision. We have created a progression of knowledge and skills for our children to lay the foundation for their learning for when they move to the national curriculum.



Key stage 1

Here is an overview of the key concepts that are covered in Key Stage One:

Lower Key stage 2

Pupils are taught to develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity, experimentation, and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft, and design.



Upper Key stage 2


Sketch books

At Barnehurst, our sketchbooks are act as a tool that can act as each individual artist’s journey throughout their time in school. Children keep their sketch book as they progress throughout the years and it serves as a sentimental reminder of the skills and projects they have completed through the years. Children are able to reflect on how they have developed as an artist and can be actively proud of their achievements as they reflect on the breadth of skills and activities they have partaken in.

Ipads have become a quintessential part of our curriculum and have served as a wonderfully engaging concept for our children. Now a daily part of our learning at Barnehurst, Ipads has served as a fantastic and engaging tool as children have a new means to explore art and research into the greats.

Subject Impact

Our Art Curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes;
  • Looking at progressions of skills using the children’s sketch books
  • Pupil discussions about their learning, which includes discussion of their thoughts, ideas, processing and evaluations of work.