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Summer Lane Primary School

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Art and Design

Art co-ordinator: Jo Sears

Our Art Intent Statement


Our aim is to enrich and inspire pupils to think creatively and for them to become confident artists equipped with the knowledge and the skills to experiment and create pieces of artwork



On entering the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) children are given opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. Using Developmental Matters (July 2021), art activities are planned to ensure children are continually focused on working towards meeting the goals set out in the 'Expressive art and design' section of the Development Matters document (section 10). Continuous provision is also provided in the EYFS setting in the form of a painting area and a collage area.

F2's visit to the Cooper Art Gallery & class activities

Our school's art and design curriculum follows a progressive long term plan that focuses on skills from Foundation to Year 6, helping pupils' become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpting techniques and other skills. The curriculum seeks to build on knowledge and skills over a two-year rolling curriculum (for KS1, LKS2 and UKS2) which is broken down into three main strands: 'we are sketchers', 'we are painters' and 'we are sculptors'.


Each unit of work has been structured to be integrated into a thematic approach, to effectively enhance and deepen the pupils' understanding of key historical, geographical or science concepts through connections to a class topic. Where appropriate, art and design units may be linked to the community or cultural issues to engage our artists in the world around them and to help understand the role they play as individuals. 


Art and design is taught on a half termly basis which alternates with DT. These medium term plans each follow four stages: inspire, develop, create and evaluate and allow the teachers to plan lessons from these as well as for the subject to be taught in a consistent fashion across school.



At Summer Lane Primary School, each of our pupils have their own sketch books to document their personal journey for each unit of work, where they can record their feelings, thoughts and ideas; practice new techniques and to further refine their skills. These sketchbooks give our pupils the opportunity to study an existing piece of art, create a constructive and reflective critique of this work and to use these ideas to develop their own piece of related art work. Artists from different eras and nationalities are studied throughout school to give our pupils a balanced understanding of art concepts and skills. 



Visits from artists or to local galleries are planned into the curriculum or are taken advantage of as the opportunities arise. These visitors and visits are designed to enrich and inspire the art process and for pupils to make wider links to their art units and to art and design in society. We often visit exhibitions and participate in workshops at the Cooper Art Gallery, Experience Barnsley and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, whom we have good links with. 

  • Recently pupils and parents in Nursery visited the Yorkshire Sculpture Park to partake in 'A Bear Hunt' as linked to their topic on Journeys. For many, this would have been the first time they encountered sculptures on such a giant scale.
  • Pupils in F2 visited the Cooper Art Gallery to view an exhibition on the colourful illustrations of David McKee from 'Elmer the Patchwork Elephant'. They returned to class and created their own elephant designs.
  • Year 6 were approached by Barnsley Council to create a short video to commemorate Remembrance Day during the COVID-19 pandemic when people were unable to gather. Instead videos from throughout different community groups were streamed online to unite our local community.
  • In order to pay tribute to the NHS for all their hard work during the pandemic, the key worker children created a banner for our NHS heroes, which we hung outside our school, directly across from Barnsley Hospital.


    Remembrance Day

    NHS banner

    Art is embraced throughout school with focused theme days being organised where classes can explore, express and create a piece of art work individually or collaboratively.  

    • Classes celebrated Roald Dahl Day recently and were asked to create a piece of artwork inspired by readings about Dahl's characters, events in a story or his settings. A wide range of skills and materials were seen as children took inspiration from these readings.
    • Space week allowed classes to experiment with different mediums and create space inspired pieces of art work.



    The impact of our art and design curriculum can be seen not only in our children's sketchbooks but through our displays and school environment. We measure the impact of our art and design curriculum through various forms:

    • Class discussions/low stake quizzes with the children about their knowledge of artists and concepts
    • Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
    • Looking at the quality of the pupils' sketchbooks and final outcome.
    • Children in the Foundation Stage are assessed within the Expressive Arts and Design strand of the  Development Matters document.