Art and Design


Art and Design Curriculum Information

“All children are artists” – Pablo Picasso

Rationale (National Curriculum Purpose of Study)

At Woodcroft we follow the Art programme of study outlined by the national curriculum. The purpose of study is as follows: 

Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.

The national curriculum for art and design aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences
  • become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques
  • evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design
  • know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.


Curriculum Scope and Breadth

The curriculum scope is shaped by the national curriculum, expanded worlds curriculum, essentials curriculum and cultural capital. In each subject, we aim for our students to become creative and curious individuals, with a breadth of cultural knowledge, supported by the research/findings of academics and scholars. 

An overview of the  Essentials Curriculum

The full scope of the essentials curriculum:

At Woodcroft we split year groups into three phases called milestones:

  • Year 1-2 = milestone 1
  • Year 3-4 = milestone 2 
  • Year 5-6 = milestone 3 

In each milestone we distinguish between subject units and threshold concepts.

Subject units are the specific aspects of knowledge that are studied. 

Woodcroft Art and Design – Curriculum Units 
Autumn  Spring Summer
Milestone 1
Year 1 Portraits 

– drawing


– painting 

At the seaside 

– print

Year 2 Scenes of the sea

– collage

Love for landscapes

– digital media

The beauty of flowers

– sculpture

Milestone 2
Year 3 Renaissance 

– drawing 

Cityscape art 

– digital Media 


– painting 

Year 4 Symbolism 

– collage


– print

Myths and legends 

– sculpture

Milestone 3
Year 5 Cultural tradition in art

– print

Art and religion 

– drawing 


– digital media 

Year 6 Capturing conflict 

– Collage


– painting


– sculpture 

Threshold concepts tie together the breadth of subject knowledge. The same concepts are explored in a wide variety of different topics throughout each milestone. Pupils will return to the same concepts over and over; gradually deepening understanding of the subject and building their schema.

The threshold concepts in art are as follows: 

  1. Take inspiration from the greats: This concept involves learning from both the artistic process and techniques of great artists and artisans throughout history.
  2. Develop ideas: This concept involves understanding how ideas develop through an artistic process.
  3. Master techniques: This concept involves developing a skill set so that ideas may be communicated.

The three threshold concepts are further developed with knowledge categories (disciplinary  concepts) that support each unit of art. The knowledge categories of disciplinary concepts for art are as follows: 

  • Media and Materials
  • Techniques
  • Effects
  • Colour Theory
  • Emotions
  • Artists
  • Styles and Periods
  • Visual language
  • Process

Each threshold concept works with the disciplinary knowledge categories to help strengthen the schema. 

What do Art lessons at Woodcroft look like?

Teachers plan a blocked sequence of learning that takes into consideration the outcomes of the unit based on milestone aims, and the aims of the national curriculum. In art, the sequence of learning should take learners through a three part sequence involving each threshold concept:

  1. Take inspiration –  First, children build knowledge of notable artists, show how their work was influential, and use the ideas of studied artists to inspire their own art pieces
  2. Develop ideas – They then use their initial inspiration to develop and imaginatively extend ideas from starting points throughout the curriculum. This is collected as  information, sketches and resources to present in sketchbooks. 
  3. Master techniques – Unit have a focus media to produce a finished piece of art. Each milestone will have a dedicated unit of art for painting, drawing, sculpture, print, collage or digital media. There are aims for each milestone to meet for each practical art technique.  

 This sequence of learning leads up to an independent proof of progress task, which is designed by the class teacher. 


We identify specific categories of knowledge that enable pupils to express their understanding of the substantive concepts. Teachers plan learning sequences to cover each of these knowledge categories, making each subject distinct.

Within each Milestone, pupils progress in their learning through three cognitive domains from basic to advancing and then deep understanding. The goal for pupils is to display sustained mastery at the ‘advancing’ stage of understanding by the end of each milestone. The most able pupils will be able to demonstrate a greater depth of understanding at the ‘deep’ stage. The time-scale for sustained mastery and greater depth is two years of study within each milestone phase.

A fundamental aspect of our curriculum are planned Proof of Progression assessment tasks. These are based on  learning expectations of a milestone in each cognitive domain from basic to deep. Teachers are able to make comparative assessments of pupil progress based on how pupils independently apply their learning to these tasks at the end of each unit.

In art the POP task could have elements of evaluating the art created, listing materials and techniques, comparing different artists, and making links between art and the context of the art. 

Progression of Skills

To ensure teachers consolidate the children’s prior learning and knowledge, teachers use the Art and design concept and knowledge map, and the Skills and medium grid  To further support this, the units taught are revisited and summarised during Arts and Culture assemblies. 

Knowledge is built on and revisited throughout the Milestones by focusing on different practical art skills in each milestone. As pupils progress through the school they are able to revisit the same art skills to deepen their knowledge and master practical art techniques. 

Curriculum resources

  • Knowledge webs for milestones 1-3 
    • Milestone 1 – Art and Design
    • Milestone 2 – Art and Design 
    • Milestone 3 – Art and Design 

Knowledge Webs and The Tree House

Knowledge webs are published on the Treehouse. The Treehouse is our virtual learning environment. They cover the essential knowledge and vocabulary that children should learn.

AIM@Arts Programme of Extended Curriculum Opportunities

Woodcroft pupils are offered an Arts programme of outstanding opportunity that extends beyond the National Curriculum. We call this AIM@Arts. This programme is outlined on the Aim@Arts pages of this website; follow the link below…

Click here to find out about the AIM@Arts Programme at Woodcroft

Here are some useful links: – Art UK – The Tate – kids zone! – National Gallery of Art – kids zone! – Art games Getty games

Visit a curriculum subject page by clicking the link listed below:

English   Mathematics   Science   Computing   Physical Education   Music   History   Geography   Spanish   Design and Technology   Art and Design   Religious Education