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Garden Suburb Infant School

Art and Design

Art and Design Curriculum Intent for Garden Suburb Infant School

At Garden Suburb Infant School, Art and Design forms a fundamental and highly valued part of our EYFS and KS1 curriculum. We recognise that learning in Art and Design provides our children with a unique way of perceiving themselves, their community and the wider world.

We aim to instil a life-long interest in Art, providing a strong starting point for future years to build on.

language development

We aim to foster our children’s confidence in using language to describe, discuss, evaluate and compare their own art and design, that of their peers and that of a diverse range of artists, craft makers and designers from different times and cultures.  We will teach key vocabulary related to a process or artist which is outlined on our art and design progression document and each unit of work. Vocabulary will be revisited in subsequent topics. We foster our children’s visual literacy skills through providing opportunities for them to carefully observe and talk about specific artwork

learning behaviours

We actively foster our children’s enthusiasm and excitement for Art and Design. When our children recognise themselves as practising artists, their motivation and enthusiasm for the subject can increase profoundly. Children have told us that they like art because they can create their own things, use their imaginations, draw, and use lots of colour.  We recognise that engagement in Art and Design can have a distinctly positive and sometimes transformative effect for some. 

We promote positive learning behaviours through including our animal mascots in planning units in order to prompt our children to be resilient, reflective, creative, independent or co-operative while they are engaging with Art and Design.  Children across the school have said that they would like opportunities to work both independently and collaboratively with their peers, in small and large groups

physical activity 

We aim for our children to have opportunities to experience a broad range of processes and techniques in every year group, including drawing, painting, collage, printing, textiles and sculpture.

Drawing is a highly valued process that is taught each half term in all year groups.  We aim for our children to draw at both larger and smaller scales, using a variety of mark making tools.  We aim for them to have opportunities to work collaboratively and individually, making large gestural drawings and more controlled, detailed drawings.

Cultural capital 

Learning from and about Artists, Craft Makers and Designers,

Every child brings to our school the visual language of their own experiences and cultural background, using colour, texture, form, space, line and pattern to communicate what they think about, observe and experience.  We aim for all of our children to be inspired by, learn from and about a diverse range of artists, craftspeople and designers, and recall them with delight, recognition and knowledge. We aim to teach our children that creativity and the making of art and design is practised by people from diverse cultures across the world, from the past and the present.  We will give the children opportunities to visit and explore real examples of art in our local area so that they can begin to make connections with it.  We aim to celebrate and share the artistic practices of artists, designers and craftspeople who form part of our school community.  We aim for the children to develop their knowledge of artists and place them in context with the knowledge they develop in other subjects such as history and geography.

creative curriculum design and progression 

Our children will develop their knowledge and skills through curriculum planning based on the requirements of the National Curriculum for Art and Design.   Planning is carefully designed to be coherent and accessible, to enable children to make clear links with, and build on prior learning experiences.  Our aim is for children to have the opportunity to explore and develop their own ideas, use a wide variety of drawing tools, experience a broad range of processes and techniques in each year group, and have opportunities to observe carefully and critically evaluate as artists, with increasing levels of depth.  For each year group, we aim for our children to revisit and further develop their understanding of mark making, colour, shape and form through the processes they engage with.  Art and Design is taught weekly throughout the school year. We will ensure children opportunities to revisit, build upon and refine their work, as practicing artists do.

Through our topic based approach to teaching and learning, we aim for our children to forge links between their learning in Art and Design and other subjects.

We want our Art and Design curriculum to be highly aspirational and creative for all children in our school community. We adapt lessons to the needs of the individual and value all children’s efforts and outcomes.  We teach all children to use positive and appropriate language in order to respect, praise and evaluate each other’s efforts and work.


We implement our Art and Design curriculum based on the objectives based on the National Curriculum programme of study for Key Stage One. Art and Design knowledge, skills, processes and vocabulary are mapped across each year group in half termly units which build on previous learning experiences, both across a year and from year to year.  Each half term the children also learn about artists, designers and craft makers who provide inspiration, reference or a context for the processes being taught. In Reception, the children begin to explore a range of tools and processes upon which teaching and learning in Year One can be developed.

It is also vital that our children are given opportunities to express and develop their own ideas, experiment and take creative risks, and explore different outcomes.  Through engaging with our curriculum, the children developing increasing control, confidence and understanding of drawing, painting, collage, printing, textiles and sculpture.

Across our school, Art and Design is taught within the context of a half termly topic/core literacy theme.  This approach supports children to make links between their learning in Art and Design and other subjects such as Science, History, Geography, English and Maths. 

Our children keep Art and Design/Sketch books from the beginning of Key Stage One.  These books provide a valuable space for our children to explore mark making, draw for a range of purposes and develop their observational drawing skills. Drawing is a highly valued process that is taught specifically, each half term, throughout our school.  The Art and Design books also provide a space where our children can visualise, develop, modify and have lots of different ideas.

Art continues to have high status in our curriculum. Annually, we dedicate a half term to a whole school project based on a painting or a collection of paintings/artwork.  Teaching and learning across the curriculum is also linked to the artwork. Our school community comes together to celebrate the learning inspired by the artwork and share experiences.

A specialist Art and Design TA leads twice weekly art clubs for Year Two children.  An artist’s work is used as a starting point for the children’s own artwork and there is an emphasis on revisiting, modifying and further developing ideas.


If you were to walk into an Art lesson at Garden Suburb Infant School you would see:

  • Children purposefully exploring their learning environment and having access to a wide variety of tools and materials and (Reception).
  • Children using a variety of resources, materials and tools independently to explore and demonstrate their own ideas creatively.
  • Children who are excited about their learning and are keen to learn and try out new techniques and different processes.
  • Children highly engaged in their learning which links to current year group topics.
  • Creative pieces celebrated and displayed both in class and in corridors around the school.
  • Children creating and thinking imaginatively and evaluating their own work and the work of others.
  • Children who are very proud of what they have created and who are keen to show it.
  • Children who can use key vocabulary to talk about different aspects of their work.
  • Children who can work independently and collaboratively.
  • Teachers demonstrating secure subject knowledge and providing learning opportunities that are inclusive of all needs.


Each child’s sketchbook is a place where they can record their ideas, their thinking, their evaluations, their experimentation, as well as their individuality. 

Our sketchbooks are exciting to look at, touch and feel, and are central to good practice. As the work is predominantly visual, there are no right or wrong answers. Children learn from mistakes, and these are valued as part of the working process.

A sketchbook is a must for all artists to record their ideas, inspiration and a place to practise and refine their skills.

Click here to see a selection of pages from our Key Stage One children’s sketchbooks.

Garden suburb infants - our Art galleries 

You can visit our own art galleries, by clicking on these links:  London Skylines  Exploring Print Making  Clay Projects  Exploring Weaving  Work inspired by the art of Sir Frank Bowling


Children’s individual ideas and creative intents are nurtured and encouraged through lessons that have clear learning intentions, progression of processes and techniques, and understanding of possible outcomes.   Individual responses that may be unexpected are highly valued and celebrated.  The children’s sketchbooks and finished artwork show a focus on valuing progression of processes, through effective lesson sequencing, and progression in use of tools, equipment and techniques.  We understand the importance of children recognising and valuing the art processes they have experienced and of us as teachers, valuing their individual creative intents and process work, as well as outcomes.  Our children talk enthusiastically about their artwork and show real ownership of, and interest in their own art, that of their peers, and of artists, designers and craft makers they learn about.  Art and Design’s continued high status in our school is evident in prominent displays of different processes and techniques the children have engaged with through the year.  Special assemblies are held to share and celebrate achievements in Art Club and for Art curriculum days and weeks.  The vast majority of our children reach age related expectations and a significant number of children exceed age related expectations.



Click on the documents below, to see:

  • How our Art and Design Curriculum Intent maps onto our whole school, overarching intent
  • Our Art and Design Curriculum Map
  • Art and Design Progression document
  • Visual Progression documents illustrating the progress children make in "Drawing Animals", Mark-Making" and "Clay"