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Art and Design


At Cottingley Village Primary  School,  we value Art and Design as a subject, to inspire and develop our  children’s  creative thinking and  to  further their cultural, spiritual and moral understanding. We encourage all our children to express their thoughts and emotions in a safe and appropriate way and Art is a fantastic medium, which can support  and empower our children  to do this. We teach our children to be reflective about their work and respectful of others. Our school motto, ‘Together we can succeed’, creates a safe space for our children  to collaborate, explore, experiment and take risks without the fear of getting it wrong which is the basic essence of what Art is and what Art can offer to our children.   

We take inspiration from a range of different art movements: Traditional Art, Modern Art, Contemporary Art and Abstract Art. With this we explore a range of different artists from different times and cultures, developing our cultural capital, learning more about them, their  style, the skills they used and why they created their work. We then apply what we have found out to our own work.   

We plan and teach  sequenced art lessons  based on development of knowledge and skills,  across a range of media including drawing, painting, collage, printing, 3D sculpture, textiles and digital media.  


At Cottingley Village Primary school we teach Art as part of our Learning Challenge Curriculum. The skills and knowledge are developed and built upon each year so that progression can be seen clearly across the school. All children are exposed to a range of media each year, giving  them the opportunity to explore, develop and embed their skills, knowledge and understanding, from our youngest children in Early Years to our eldest in Year Six.   

Learning sequences start with a challenge question for the children to explore and investigate. They are encouraged, through discussion, to decide what prior knowledge, skills and learning from other subjects will help them to achieve this. This leads on to the exploration of an artist or art style or movement. Skills and knowledge are then taught and practised through experimentation and then children are then given the opportunity to apply those skills to their own final piece of artwork.  The children then evaluate their work and answer the original Learning Challenge question.

Through self and peer evaluation, the children will discuss what they have done well and what they will need to continue to practise and develop in order to continue to improve their skills in that particular area. Staff also make suggestions and refer back to previous modelling to support the children. Children will record their evaluations and reflections using a range of different ways: sentence stems, written annotations, whole class collective discussions, Ipads and interactive online platforms. Children’s work will be evidenced through these  sketch books, class floor books  and displays within the classrooms and around school. 

It is also incredibly important however, that our children feel empowered and open to making mistakes. In art, there is no right or wrong as it is all a matter of interpretation. While drawing, for example,  may not be a strong area for one pupil, they may find sculpture easier to grasp. It is this openness and  acceptance that will allow our children to take risks in Art. It is when we take risks that our learning can truly flow, and all our children can become artists.  


Through high quality first teaching of Art, taking place at Cottingley Village Primary, the children will be exposed to a wide variety of different media including drawing, painting, collage, printing, 3D sculpture, textiles and digital media each year. They will be given the opportunity to use these in a range of different ways and for different purposes  and therefore will have developed a wide range of skills. This will have built upon their prior knowledge of what they can do when using each medium.    

Children will be able to talk about a range of artists and movements and as they move up through the school, and they will begin to develop their own preferences of media and styles.  During the sequence of learning, progress will be assessed in a range of ways. Children will be aware of the skills they are developing and will be able to look back on what they achieved before. 

Our approach of being open and accepting of mistakes will not only help to develop our children’s creativity within Art but will extend to other areas of their lives. There are many key life skills that will be developed through our attitude and teaching of Art which will support our children as they move on after Cottingley, such as respecting others and their work even if we don’t like it personally or carrying on after something goes wrong or when things do not turn out how we planned. This  resilience is a key skill  which our children will need throughout their lives.  

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