Art and Design


Our curriculum starts in the Early Years and progresses sequentially through to Year Six. In every lesson we focus on threshold concepts that ties the ambitious body of knowledge together with the characteristics children are developing.

These essential characteristics of mastery in Art are:

  • A love of art and clear enjoyment of the subject that allows children to talk passionately and intelligently about the subject.

  • A mastery of the six areas of taught technical ability that allows children to apply their skills creatively, confidently and innovatively.

  • A secure, wide and diverse knowledge of great artists from the past and present.

In Art the threshold concepts are:

  • The ability for children to develop themselves as effective independent and interdependent learners, allowing them to develop their own creative ideas through various starting points in the curriculum.

  • The mastery of techniques such as: drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, print, textiles and digital media.

  • To be able to take inspiration from the greats (classic and modern).

It is our vision to inspire a lifelong love of Art within our pupils. Art has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity.

Art is an expressive and creative subject that allows children to show off their personal characters and skills in ways other subjects cannot; it has originality, inspiration, experimentation, discovery and creativity at its heart.

At Gorseland, we allow children time to be inspired, develop and hone their skills throughout their time here, with the aim of giving them the confidence to apply them creatively and innovatively to individual projects that they can lead and drive.

Arts is a major driver for the school, enabling children to have a greater understanding of significant art and artists that have helped to develop the culture in Britain.

Therefore, at Gorseland, our aims are to ensure children experience a wide breadth of study and have, by the end of each key stage, long-term memory of an ambitious body of procedural and semantic knowledge.

Our curriculum maps are carefully crafted and available in school. The curriculum content is available on our website.


The art curriculum is carefully designed so that the threshold concepts weave through each technique and style of art we share with our children. We have constructed a progression of skills and knowledge of art and artists to ensure that children move sequentially through their art education. Each skill is inspired by artists before children are encouraged to generate their own ideas in response to what they have seen. They then learn to acquire and then master the techniques as they are consolidated each year. This forward and backward engineering of our Art curriculum reinforces the key ideas, concepts and techniques we would like our children to experience.

We maintain a high level of subject knowledge of Art in our school by regular training and professional development for teachers and subject leaders. Teachers create a positive attitude to Art learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in Art.

Through our planning of problem-solving opportunities, children are encouraged to ask their own questions and use skills and research to discover the answers. Their curiosity is celebrated within the classroom.

Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, often involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge and skills, assessing children regularly to identify those children with gaps in learning in order to plan for next steps.

We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous years. As the children’s knowledge and understanding increases, they will become more proficient in selecting, using equipment, manipulating materials, reflecting, creating and innovating.

Guidance from the framework of ‘Support and Challenge’ is used to plan a bespoke curriculum tailored to pupils’ individual needs to facilitate access to quality learning experiences and develop their Art knowledge, understanding and skills.

With effective subject leadership, we are a well-equipped and resourced school. Regular monitoring shows that our children understand and apply key principles within their work. At Gorseland, we have a rigorous monitoring process of the Art curriculum that is kept up to date and contributes towards our school improvement plan.


The successful approach at Gorseland results in an engaging, high-quality Art education that provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world. Our engagement with the local environment ensures that children learn through varied and first hand experiences of the world around them.

Frequent, continuous and progressive learning - both inside and outside the classroom is embedded throughout the Art curriculum. Through various workshops, trips and interactions with experts and local organisations, children have the understanding that Art has changed our lives.

At Gorseland we demonstrate the success of our ambitious Art curriculum as follows:

Concrete ways of seeing the impact of what our children achieve in Art

Children complete sketch books across each milestone (years one and two, there and four, five and six) that allow teachers to have a secure understanding of their ability, and so that children can see, reflect on and celebrate their progression and achievements.

Gorseland holds a Take One Picture event each year that showcases and celebrates pupil’s end of year standards and encourages excellence.