Art and Design

Art and Design


At Sandbach Primary Academy (SPA), we want children to learn to express themselves, their feelings and their understanding of the world around them (both past and present) through meeting and exploring a wide range of artists, artistic genres and through many different creative avenues. We want our children to know themselves as artists and be given future choices as to which aspects of art they find suit their creativity and imagination best.

The SPA Art and Design curriculum is approached in two ways, taught discretely and as an enhancement to other curriculum areas. The discretely taught element of the curriculum ensures all children receive teaching which is progressive in knowledge and skills and is the focus of the SPA Art and Design Curriculum. Exploratory and themed artwork is then used to enhance other curriculum areas and showcase these skills in a cross-curricular manner.

We believe that all children benefit from learning Art and Design skills, not only as this enhances and progresses their learning, but also as a holistic and expressive avenue, which our children often find they benefit from.

At all opportunities, local artists are invited to work with children on art projects in the school, enhancing learning in classrooms, whilst visits to galleries and cultural sites take learning beyond the classroom.



Art and Design is taught through four key aspects to provide depth of knowledge and skills in the art genre being taught and the focus artist. The learning journey begins with a deconstruction stage, where the influence of a key artist is considered and unpicked, providing both example and understanding of that genre of art and the artist’s engagement with this. Here the children have opportunity to respond to the artist and how they have used that aspect of art in their own work. Next, the processes and skills for that genre of art are developed, as appropriate to the key stage marker the child is working towards. The children then enter a planning phase where sketching is used to explore and formulate ideas. Finally, the children create a final piece of artwork demonstrating their own personal outcome of the knowledge and skills for that aspect of art and the influence of the artist studied.


Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Our Nursery children (aged 2+) are encouraged to learn how to safely explore a variety of materials and tools available in the learning environment. Children are given the freedom to experiment with colour and texture using these materials and tools. Opportunity is given to share their creations and grow confidence in their ideas and explorations.

End of EYFS: Reception

By the end of the EYFS children will have built on their earlier (Nursery) explorations but will now have explored specific techniques. Here children also learn about design, form and function allowing children to explore these aspects whilst learning to explain how they have used them in their creations. This is taught and learnt through a half termly focus with opportunities to meet six different artists and six different genres, one per half term.


End of Key Stage One (KS1)

From Year One onwards, the art and design learning becomes focused into termly work. This allows for a deeper exploration of the artists and art genres whilst providing more time to know, learn and apply the techniques and skills taught.

Year A

In Year A, children in year one and two start with learning about drawing with a local focus, supporting their geography work of ‘Our school and our grounds.’ The local artist, David Caellar, is studied and where possible, asked to be part of the learning at the school. Here, children learn how to know the difference between pencils (4B, HB and 8B) and crayons and what the different grades of pencil mean. They learn when is most appropriate to use a specific pencil whilst learning how to create tone, patterns and textures with these, charcoal and pastel. Children learn how to use a viewfinder for the first time and learn the skill of sketching from observation.

In the Spring Term, year one and two children move on to a 3D art focus and the work of the UK female artist, Barbara Hepworth. By the end of this work they will know some of the properties of air-drying clay and that it does not need a kiln to set. Children know that clay can only be scored before it dries and sets and will learn the skills of joining two finger pots together and adding line and shape to their work. Children learn skills to use tools to add texture and to make different shapes.

The second part of their 3D sculpture work explores weaving and the female German artist, Gunta StÓ§zl. Year one and two children learn what weaving is and techniques for weaving paper.

In the final term of Year A, and as part of their focus of hot and cold, KS1 children study the work of the current Iranian artist, Farideh Puradam. Learning skills and techniques through the genre of digital art, children recreate a ‘hot and cold’ image inspired by this artist. Children will know and use the ‘fill’ and ‘brushes’ icons in an appropriate computer programme and begin to edit their work. Children know how to take and edit photos demonstrating their ideas through these.

Year B

In Year B, children in KS1 start with an Autumn Term focus of Collage. This compliments their Science work on habitats, with Henry Matisse’s ‘The Snail’ at the centre of their art learning. Through this learning, children know how to cut and tear paper to an appropriate size for a task, use the knowledge of the thickness of the material to understand he ability to cut or tear this and know the effect the material will have on their collage.  Children learn to gather and sort the materials they will need to create group and individual collages whilst explain why they have chosen particular materials for their artwork.

The children’s history work on the railway coming to Crewe, influences their learning about painting in the Spring Term. Two artists are studied for their painting of train scenes, Joseph Mallord William Turner and Monet. In year one and two, children learn in painting what the Primary colours are and that purple, green and orange are secondary colours. They learn which colours require mixing to create these secondary colours and that colours can be tinted (made lighter) or toned (made darker). Children learn to select paintbrushes of different thickness and thinness for effect and predict outcomes of colour mixing.

In the final term of Year B, children in KS1 focus on African artist, Esther Mahlangu whilst learning about printing. They learn a range of techniques for printing using everyday objects and know the outcomes of different methods, such as pressing, rolling, rubbing and stamping. Printing repeated patterns and onto paper and textile are also learnt.


Lower Key Stage Two (KS2)

Children continue to have discrete art lessons which build upon knowledge and skills taught in KS1 ensuring they have met the end of Lower KS2 markers through the two-year cycle.

Year A

In Year 3 and 4, the children return to the genre of 3D art through the focus of UK cities. London born artist, Claire Halifax is learnt about bringing her representation of UK cities into the forefront. Claire also has an interest in the diverse architecture found in cities, therefore this is the first opportunity children have in KS2 to consider architecture as part of design and artistic influence. Children work with both fabric and clay, learning what a running stitch and back stitch are and how to use these effectively. Children also learn skills of fabric joining, adding texture and sewing detail.

Following this, the children of lower KS2 continue their learning about drawing building on knowledge and skills taught in KS1. The Willow Pattern is used as a starting to point and inspiration. Now children learn how to draw a range of facial expressions and body language into their work. A broader range of pencils are used (8B, 4B, HB, 4H and 8H) and learning how to draw reflections is also introduced.

In the final term of this year, a digital art project is undertaken with the focus of Water. Examples of water in work by David Hockney is studied. Children then use digital cameras to take images of water, learning how to import and print these and use them in their artwork. They combine their own images with those of others, using the web and a suitable computer programme.

Year B

In Year B of lower Key Stage Two, the children start with learning in their painting through their theme of Stone Age. They study ‘Lion Man and the first artists’ to begin to understand the most historical of paintings, cave paintings. Their colour mixing knowledge and skills are developed from KS1 where now an understanding of the colour wheel and locating primary and secondary colours is learnt. Children can now create any colour they need and are asked to predict colours being mixed. Learning how to create background washes for their artwork is taught whilst tints and tones are used to create shadows, mood and feeling.

Next, the children develop their printing knowledge and skills looking at the two artists, Peter Blake and Alice Pattullo through their European studies. Children will now learn how to make their own printing block and be introduced to two-colour print techniques. Children will build up to using at least four colours in their prints and know how the properties of different materials will affect the outcome of their print.

In the final term of this year, year 3 and 4 children learn about Mosaic, extending their learning of Romans in the wider curriculum and focusing on The Alexander Mosaic. Learning what a mosaic, montage and ceramic mosaic are whilst learning the skills for these become the focus of lessons. Knowing the difference between visual and tactile qualities of art helps children to combine these in their final mosaic artwork.


Upper Key Stage Two

In this final stage of the Primary Curriculum, children gain the knowledge, skills and techniques over the two years to meet the end of Key Stage and Primary School outcomes in Art.

Year A

Year A begins with a focus on drawing through the theme, Vikings. Children study the artists Lucian Freud and Margaret Keane with a particular focus on how they represent eyes in their art work. This then evolves through a link with the book, How to Train your Dragon, where children develop their knowledge and skills of drawing through the exploration of dragon eyes. Children learn how to create shading in their work as well as creating movement through line, shape, colour and tone. Learning the effects of combining different drawing tools ensures children can explain why they have chosen particular tools and techniques in their work.

In term two, art work is focused on the genre of digital art and the artists, The Singh Twins. Their artwork explores architecture, meaning and culture which is considered alongside learning about architecture and culture in Anglo-Saxon times. Children work towards creating their own digital representation of Anglo-Saxon architecture and culture whilst exploring meaning in an abstract way. Children learn own to scan and alter images whilst adding graphics, text, animation and sound to their work.

In the final term of Year A, a theme of Born in the USA allows children to meet three different artists representing three different aspects of art. These are: Lichtenstein and Pointillism; Georgia O’Keefe and her modernist landscapes and Mark Rothko’s abstract artwork. Children work on their knowledge and skills in the field of painting learning about colour, contrasts and placement through the range of styles. Children develop their own style and explain why they have chosen specific painting techniques whilst learning to express their emotions in their artwork.

Year B

Year B in Upper KS2, provides year 5 and 6 with a ‘civil rights’ focus and the genre of collage. The book, Radiant Child, is used to introduce and explore the Artist Jean Miquel Basquiat. Children learn how to combine visual and tactile qualities to express mood and emotion. Combing pattern, tone and shape in one collage is important to the outcome of the work. Children also learn how to overprint on their collage using skills learnt in lower KS2.

In term two, the focus is on the local area with the local architectural piece, the Jodrell Bank Telescope, and it’s architect Sir Bernard Lovell. Opportunity to compare and contrast this architect with the architect Arthur Timothy is also provided here. Children learn the role of the architect and apply drawing skills to create and architectural design.

In the final term of Year B, year five and six children learn about the work of William Morris through the Industrial Revolution. Printing is the genre focus and children are now able to use several different colours in their work using overprinting. Evaluation of their printing methods takes precident as children develop their artistic voice and opinions over their skills and artistic choices.



By the time our children leave Sandbach Primary Academy, they have studied the work of a range of artists and designers from a range of artistic genres. They have increased their knowledge of artwork by local, National and International male and female artists, from a range of cultures and throughout time. Children have met and appreciated different techniques and skills whilst developing their own skills and commenting on the effectiveness and impact of these upon themselves. They are able to share their opinions and have views on other artist’s work, including that of their own and their peers.

A range of cultures have been explored through the varied artists considered, connecting children beyond the classroom and into the world they live in.

Most importantly, our children see themselves as an artist. They can express themselves artistically and are prepared to continue this into Key Stage Three and beyond.

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Contact us..

Crewe Road, Sandbach, CW11 4NS
01270 918922