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Art and Design



The Gawber Art Curriculum builds the ability our children have to interpret and appreciate what the observe. Over time, the become confident at communicating what they think and feel and they begin to make what the imagine and invent. The Gawber Art Curriculum is intellectually challenging and creatively demanding. Children begin to engage with with the arts regularly at the very start of their education at Gawber, stimulating interest and imagination in the materials and media they encounter and providing the necessary foundations for their future learning. 


At Gawber, we aim to deliver the National Curriculum aims for art and design to ensure that all our children:

  • produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences
  • become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques (such as textiles and collage)
  • 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.

Essential knowledge for artists:

  • Knowledge of Techniques
  • Knowledge of Materials
  • Knowledge of Processes
  • Knowledge of Artist

Essential skills for artists:

  • The ability to draw, paint and sculpt creatively
  • The ability to create observational and imaginative works
  • The ability to critically analyse work


At Gawber, we recognise the importance of drawing and understand that this is central to the delivery of art and design. Kapow Primary includes a well structured, developmental approach to the teaching of drawing and related language through specially designed sessions about fine motor control, an understanding of line and shape, a knowledge of light and dark in drawing and through focusing on different techniques and methods.  We use Kapow Primary as a basis for the progression of art at Gawber School but we adapt this approach responding to the interests of the children and by relating learning to the other aspects of the Gawber Curriculum. Kapow Primary’s Art and design scheme has been designed as a spiral curriculum with the following key principles in mind:


Cyclical: Pupils return to the same skills again and again during their time in primary school.


Increasing depth:  Each time a skill is revisited it is covered with greater complexity thus increasing their knowledge of techniques, materials and processes. They add to their knowledge of artists craft makers and designers.


Prior knowledge:   Upon returning to a skill, prior knowledge is utilised so pupils can build upon previous foundations, rather than starting again.


By using Kapow Primary as the basis of the progression of knowledge, we can guarantee that the themes and activities are appropriate for the subject and year group. We do however, modify the themes in line with the responses from children, taking into account their interests and passions. We also use other areas of the curriculum to inspire artwork, utilising the opportunity to revisit knowledge from other areas of the curriculum also. Therefore, in some cases, the themes suggested by Kapow may differ slightly to what is delivered in school but the key knowledge remains the same.


An example where other areas of the curriculum are sometimes used as inspiration for our artwork - The children revisit their knowledge of the history of our school and community (history curriculum) and use this to inform their designs of a new school for the future of Gawber.

The structure:

Formal elements of art units

Each year group begins with a unit called ‘Formal elements of Art’ which focuses on the taught knowledge of the formal elements. Drawing features heavily to begin with. The progression of the formal elements knowledge can be found in our progression document. Children focus on their knowledge of: 








Art and design skills units

Each year group has a unit called ‘Art and design skills’ which focuses specifically on developing the practical knowledge of art, craft and design taught in the formal elements unit.  Children also develop their theoretical knowledge here, learning about different artists and artwork and the cultural and contextual content that supports this. 



The knowledge from these two recurring units are then applied throughout the rest of the scheme within the other units. Sometimes the work that the children produce can appear more static whereas at other times the artwork they produce may appear more diverse and different to that of their peers. This will depend on if the children are learning a specific curriculum objective or if they are applying their existing knowledge as well as drawing on their personal and creative thoughts and feelings. Children know how art is studied and discussed and so they can begin to make judgements on their own artwork and the artwork of others. 


Artist Study

At Gawber School, we also allocate an artist study to each year group to help develop pupils understanding of the history of fine art. Artists are studied within Kapow units but children at Gawber are given the opportunity to study an artist in depth also. A variety of art from different eras, produced by both male and female artists is used  to encourage children at Gawber to believe that they too can be an artist!  




By using and adding to Kapow art, all children at Gawber …

  • Generate ideas and use sketchbooks, taking inspiration from a range of artists
  • Draw, paint, print, photograph, use mixed media, craft techniques and sculpture
  • Have a good knowledge of the formal elements: colour, form, line, pattern, shape, texture and tone
  • Have knowledge of artists' work and techniques
  • Evaluate their work: critiquing their own work and that of others.

Our key curriculum aims