At Horsenden we aim to develop confident, independent artists who can articulate and value their own creative journeys. By providing opportunities of structured learning alongside time and space for personal exploration, we develop pupils who have a growing self-awareness of their own creativity.  Our curriculum is designed to empower our pupils by providing them with every opportunity to develop their abilities, nurturing their talents and interests, allowing them to express their ideas and thoughts about the world, as well as providing a well-rounded art curriculum where they learn about the rich heritage and culture of the British Isles and beyond. 

We aim to raise the expectations of what pupils are capable of in the visual arts by introducing a wide variety of materials, allowing pupils to build their understanding and skills over time. This is complemented by a curriculum that develops and revisits formal elements of art and design over time. Experimentation, risk and innovation are encouraged and we focus less on the outcome and more on the creative journey to ensure these things are achieved by all. 

Art is taught by one teacher peyear group and we are very lucky to receive training and guidance from Mrs Misra, an art specialist teacher, who works termly with teachers and classes across the school. Four key strands of art are developed and revisited throughout each art unit: 

  • Making skills
  • Formal elements of art (line, shape, tone, texture, pattern, colour)
  • Knowledge of artists
  • Evaluating

Within the 'Formal Elements of Art' units, pupils learn and practice various skills discretely. The knowledge and skills from these units are then applied throughout all other units across the year. Key skills are revisited repeatedly with increasing complexity in a spiral curriculum model. This allows pupils to revise and build on their previous art learning. The Curriculum Map (below) shows the sequence of units for each year group and the Progression of Skills and Learning (below the Curriculum Map) outlines the skills taught within each year group and how these skills develop to ensure that pupils make progress by the end of each year.

To feed and excite the creative process, the units taught across all year groups balance the elements of practice alongside novelty to ensures pupils remain engaged and curious. Classes are given the opportunity to explore a variety of polarities across the year:

  • Traditional skills are balanced with experimental work
  • Small scale work is balanced with large scale work
  • Quiet reflective study is balanced with active, dynamic work
  • Individual work is balanced with group work
  • Two dimensional work is balanced with three dimensional work
  • Study of historical “great” artists is balanced with contemporary artists

Our whole school focus of developing talk in the classroom is seen in all art lessons, with discussions about pupil’s own art practice and the work of others built into every lesson. Pupils are involved in the evaluation, dialogue and decision making about quality of their own outcomes and the improvements they need to make. By taking part in regular discussions and decision-making processes, pupils not only develop key knowledge about art but they can also speak confidently about their own learning journey.

Curriculum Documents

Whole School Art Curriculum Map:

Progression of Art Skills:

Knowledge Organisers

Knowledge organisers capture the key knowledge and vocabulary that pupils will be taught in each unit of learning. They are used by class teachers and pupils in various ways to help pupils remember key information. Parents and carers can support pupils at home by discussing what they've been learning in art, using the knowledge organiser to guide discussions.






Art: Curriculum in Action 

Year 2's peaceful penguins:

Reception become inspired by Van Gogh:

Year 2 mixed media work:

Year 3 explore with ink:

Year 2's Valiant Victoria Portraits:

Extended Art Curriculum

Portrait Home Learning (offered to all pupils across the school as an additional home learning task during a mid-year break):