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Our art and design curriculum is based on six areas of art and design – drawing, colour, texture, form, printing and pattern. It is design to bridge back to key skills and build on the previous year's work or in some cases such as printing, on the work from two years previously.

Each unit of art then has three elements/stages.

Taking in – being a magpie ‘I like, so I borrow’ – usually in sketchbooks where look at photographs of artist’s work, other children and comment. Taking in the technique.    

Testing Out – exploring the media – colour mixing, tone bars, trying out on different paper, producing final art piece

Reflecting – recording thoughts on what they have produced, what like, how they would develop/improve

Taking In (Be a Magpie! “I like so I borrow!”)

The sketchbooks are used to collect:

  • Photographs
  • Photocopies of art works – even of other children’s work
  • Pictures from magazines, comics, cards, calendars, stamps etc.
  • Samples of textures, fabrics, and other materials
  • Lists of resources that the children might need to produce a piece of art

Activities: Collecting, Cutting, Drawing, Noting (single words, lists, sentences, quotes), Record, Photograph, Video, Commenting on artists, designers and architects work


Testing Out

Sketchbooks are also used by the children to record their own, or other children’s exploration of media.  Examples include:

  • Colour strips from colour mixing
  • Tone bars from tone work
  • Studies of the effects of media on different types of paper
  • Comments and notes on the use of media e.g. how to mix a certain colour or how to get a certain effect

The children are encouraged to comment on the media and techniques used, even at a basic level ("You smudge it with your fingers.").

Activities: Drawing, Doodling, Mark-making, Painting, Printing, Collaging, Writing.



  • Sketchbooks are used by the children to record their thoughts on the artwork that they have produced.
  • They take part in a critical dialogue identifying positive features in their work and ways in which their work could be developed or improved. In its simplest form this takes the form of a list of comments (alongside a photograph or photocopy of their work) saying what they like about the picture and what they would do differently if they did it again.

Activities: Looking, Talking, Writing, Sharing, Drawing




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