“I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.”

Georgia O’Keeffe

At English Martyrs, our art scheme aims to inspire pupils and develop their confidence to experiment and invent their own works or art.  It is designed to give pupils every opportunity to develop their ability, nurture their talents, express their ideas and thoughts about the world, as well as learning about art and artists across cultures and throughout history.

Our art curriculum enables pupils to meet the end of key stage attainment targets outlined in the National Curriculum (2014).


Our art curriculum is designed with five strands that run throughout.  These are:

  • Generating ideas
  • Using sketchbooks
  • Making skills, including formal elements (line, share, tone, texture, pattern, colour)
  • Knowledge of artists
  • Evaluating and analysing

Units of lessons are sequential, allowing students to build their skills and knowledge, applying them to a range of outcomes.  The formal elements, a key part of the National Curriculum, are also woven throughout the units.  Key skills are revisited again and again with increasing complexity in a spiral curriculum model.  This allows pupils to revise and build upon their previous learning.  Units in each year group are organised into four core areas:

  • Drawing
  • Painting and mixed-media
  • Sculpture and 3D
  • Craft and design

The progression of skills and knowledge is ensured through sequential learning, however teachers are encouraged to adapt lessons to form cross-curricular links with the rest of the school’s curriculum when suitable.  Creativity and independent outcomes are embedded into our teaching and we aim to support all children to learn how to make their own creative choices and decisions, so that art outcomes, whilst still being knowledge-rich, are unique to the pupils.

Lessons are always practical in nature and encourage experimental and exploratory learning with pupils, using sketchbooks to document their ideas.  Lessons are adaptable to ensure access and enjoyment for all pupils and opportunities to stretch learning further.


The Art and Design curriculum is designed in such a way that children are involved in the evaluation, dialogue and decision-making about the quality of their outcomes and the improvements they need to make.  By taking part in regular discussions and decision -making processes, children will not only know facts and key information about art, but they will be able to talk confidently about their learning journey.

The impact of our scheme can be constantly monitored through both formative and summative assessment opportunities. Guidance is provided (via Kapow) for each lesson to support teachers in assessing pupils against the learning objectives.  

Pupils will leave English Martyrs equipped with a range of techniques and the confidence and creativity to form a strong foundation for the Art and Design learning at Key Stage 3 and beyond. 

The expected impact of our curriculum is that children will:

  • Produce creative work, exploring and recording their ideas and experiences.
  • Be proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques.
  • Evaluate and analyse creative works using subject-specific language.
  • Know about great artists and the historical and cultural development of their art.
  • Meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National Curriculum for Art and Design.


Updated: 22/12/2023 122 KB
Updated: 22/12/2023 112 KB