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Ordsall Primary School


Art and Design

Art and Design is taught at Ordsall Primary School in Years 1- 6 within a contextualised curriculum following the objectives from the National Curriculum which are broken down further into progressive skills. In the Early Years Foundation Stage it is taught as part of expressive arts and design.


At Ordsall Primary School, we strongly believe that Art and Design embodies some of the highest forms of human creativity and helps to develop a pupil’s imagination, confidence and their ability to express their thoughts and feelings. The children learn to reflect, to develop their own ideas and opinions, to articulate and critically discuss work in a supportive and respectful way. They learn to work independently, to collaborate, experiment and take risks, innovate and problem solve. Learning art and design involves learning a wide range of conceptual, social and practical transferable life skills. We believe at Ordsall Primary School Art and Design education should engage, inspire, support and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.  As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design.  They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.


 Through art and design pupils can:

  • Produce creative work – recording experiences and observations, exploring and combining ideas, thoughts, imagination, senses and emotions.
  • Explore, experiment with and enjoy a range of drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design skills and techniques, developing increasing proficiency and confidence
  • Learn to evaluate, analyse and discuss their own and others’ creative works using the language of art, craft and design
  • Know about great artists, craft makers and designers and movements, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.


Art and design offers pupils the opportunity to explore their learning, make mistakes and build confidence to develop as independent thinkers, which links closely to the schools approach to the teaching of metacognition.


Art and design is taught and assessed at Ordsall using five key areas:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
  • Evaluation
  • Artists/architects/designers 


The school’s art and design curriculum is rooted in the consensus of the school’s leaders about the knowledge and skills that pupils need in order to take advantage of opportunities, responsibilities and experiences in later life. Art and Design at Ordsall Primary School is taught using our long-term and contextualised learning plans, which are derived from the National Curriculum. The key skills and key knowledge for Art and Design have been “mapped” across the school so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and progresses learning towards clearly defined end points or “milestones”. The milestones for the end of each term build systematically on prior learning to ensure progression. In this way, the teaching staff are aware of what pupils should ‘know’ by the end of each term, year and key stage.


Our art and design curriculum at Ordsall Primary School plays a key role across the school. The classes across school are named after artists who reflect the 3 of the 5 key areas of art. They are a mixture of British and international artists, a mix of periods of art and a mix of gender and backgrounds.


We teach art and design through our broad and balanced curriculum. Art is and design and design is taught explicitly and practically through the school’s day-to-day teaching, artist days and wider curriculum opportunities.  The practical nature of art and design ensures objectives are covered in a way in which our children will retain vital knowledge and skills so that they will be able to transfer and apply it fluently in a range of contexts.


The contextualised plans detail the specific year group objectives which, along with teacher’s short-term plans, ensure that the five key skills of art and deisgn are taught in a progressive way. By delivering our art and design curriculum in this way we aim to develop the children’s cultural capital and promote British values such as tolerance and respect by learning aboutlooking at and creating a variety of artworks. This helps us to encourage pupils to achieve their very best in art and design, including challenging our more able pupils and supporting our disadvantaged and SEND pupils.


At Ordsall Primary School children have many opportunities to further their interest in art and design through extra-curricular activities such as art, leather work and pottery clubs alongside opportunities to have their work entered into competitions and displayed for the public such as the Rotary Young Artist competition or the United Living Building Site Safety Competition. Both of these opportunities resulted in our children’s work being on public display.


The assessment process used within art and design enables the school to evaluate the progress that pupils are making, inform future work and can be used to monitor specific groups. The process is tied together through our records of achievement at the end of the year and our termly assessments. The objectives from the contextualised curriculum plans are used to assess the children against the milestones. The work that children do is scrutinised and moderated so that the objectives for art and design are triangulated so that they all fit together for a clear purpose.


The school benefits from expertise in art and design from within the school’s teaching staff, and art and design is such a high priority at Ordsall Primary School that the school employs a specialist art teacher who teaches all classes across the year. Through their use, the teachers own subject knowledge in art and design is developed so that all of our staff can provide the very best education in this area.


The children at Ordsall Primary School also participate in wider curriculum opportunities ensuring that our children gain first-hand experience of art in line with the wider intent of our school curriculum for example visits to the Harley gallery and artwork which is driven by the big question that the children are addressing.




It is our intention that the art and design curriculum at Ordsall Primary School will be both stimulating and motivating in order to capture the children’s curiosity and fuel their motivation to learn. Learning, Playing and Growing Together in art and design provides the children at Ordsall Primary School with exciting learning opportunities so that they can enjoy acquiring and developing their skills, deepening their understanding, and committing key knowledge to long-term memory to apply it fluently in a range of contexts.



How do we measure the impact of our work in Art and Design?


At Ordsall Primary School we measure the impact of our work in Art and Design in a variety of ways. The school uses its knowledge and vocabulary progression map for Art and Design to compare the work that the children are doing with key points on the map. This allows the staff to assess where the children are, and check which elements are evident from the progression on the maps. In Art and Design this is done by observing the children completing or starting their work, through pupil discussion (when the children are asked about their work)  the work in the children's books and on display and a scrutiny of social media posts about Art and Design. This assessment process, used within Art and Design, enables the school to evaluate the progress that the children are making, inform future work, measure the impact of what we teach and monitor specific groups. The process is tied together through the records of achievement at the end of the year that are shared with parents and carers.


If you would like to see some of the work that we do in art and design please see our Twitter feed @Ordsallschool or our website, which are both used to share the work that we do with parents and carers, the local community and the wider community of Bassetlaw, Nottinghamshire, the region and the United Kingdom.


If you would like to know more about the art and design curriculum at Ordsall Primary School please see the documents below. If you have any questions about the work we do in art and design please contact the art and design Subject Leader at the school.