Art & Design

‘Every child is an artist. The problem is to remain an artist once they grow up.’ – Pablo Picasso


Art has a very important place in the curriculum at Fishtoft Academy.  Our world is an increasingly visually-orientated one and our art lessons aim to provide our pupils with both a way to explore the world around them and a means by which they can express their ideas and process their thoughts.

Experiential learning: ‘I see and I wonder, I hear and I remember, I do and I understand’

Our art curriculum provides hands-on experiences which are divided into the skill areas of: drawing, painting, collage, textiles, 3D design, printmaking and digital media.  Throughout their primary school art journey our pupils will be presented with opportunities to use relevant materials, processes, techniques and vocabulary; exploring and discovering first-hand the potential of different media and methods, whilst subtly developing increased control of a range of art tools and materials.

Through our teaching of art, we aim to seek a balance between children using art as a form of personal imaginative expression and discovering the more formal elements of art.  In the lower school, children are first introduced to the latter, i.e. the use of line, shape, tone, texture and colour, which are then revisited and further built upon throughout the remainder of their primary art journey and beyond.

As they learn, children will be exposed to a range of key artworks produced by a culturally and ethnically diverse range of artists, in a variety of styles. This in turn will allow our pupils to understand that art is made by all sorts of people, in a variety of ways and for them to feel represented by the art and artists they are exposed to.  As teachers of Art & Design, we are also teachers of history, philosophy and culture to our pupils and place great value on cultural capital.

‘Oracy, Literacy and Reading: Learning the words to learn’

We recognise that art has a language all of its own, particularly when it comes to exploring ideas and expressing skills verbally, and so we ensure that the use of subject-specific vocabulary such as tint, shade and hue are both introduced and/or revisited as part of every unit of work.

‘Raising Aspirations: The World beyond Boston’

At key points in their artistic journey, our pupils get to work collaboratively alongside a professional artist to create both individual pieces and ‘big art’ which is then displayed around the Academy.


We follow the National Curriculum for Art and Design (2014).

Art is taught to all learners by a subject-specialist teacher in units of work linked to our wider-curriculum themes.  These units of work have been planned by a subject-specialist teacher using the Academy’s Art and Design knowledge and skills progression ladders.

At Fishtoft Academy we believe that children need to over-learn art skills in order to develop a level of competence and confidence, so as part of our progression in learning there is repetition of skills built in.  Additionally, in order to ensure that our learners are able to commit the knowledge, concepts and skills they develop to long-term memory, we have core vertical themes which are contained within every unit of art delivered in our Academy.

These are:

  • Artists and Crafts persons: To know how artists use the elements of art to create an effect and to help convey their intent; and how artists and designers have helped shape our history
  • Elements of Art and Design: To know about the different components of art – line, shape, colour, form, texture and space.
  • Experimenting in Art and Design: To know what is meant by balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern and variety in art and how to create these.
  • Creating: To know how to produce creative works in a variety of media, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences.

From Y2 upwards, our learners are encouraged to develop their use of sketch books as a tool for experimentation of art techniques and knowledge. Our learners will take their sketchbooks up through the Academy with them in order that, over time, they build up a personal portfolio of work.

Our long term overview for art can be seen below: