We believe that the learning of Art and Design encourages children to develop their creativity and understand their place in the world as a creative, confident being. Our spiral curriculum enables children to understand ‘what is the purpose of art?’ and understand how it connects us with our past and helps us embrace the present.


At Settle Primary School, we value Art and Design as an important part of the children’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. Art and Design provides the children with the opportunities to develop and extend skills and an opportunity to express their individual interests, thoughts and ideas. 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.

Our curriculum balances declarative knowledge with experiential knowledge, building self-knowledge and nurturing traits in learners which will hold them in good stead whichever direction their learning takes them.

We aim to:

  • To provide children with a broad and balanced experience in all areas of the Arts. 
  • To provide opportunity for children to explore why art is relevant to all our lives.
  • To encourage children to feel entitled to develop their creativity and understand their place in the world as a creative, confident being. To provide a safe place to experiment creatively.
  • Provide opportunities to explore and develop ideas.
  • To investigate and make art, craft and design and learn to evaluate and develop their work.
  • To learn about a diverse range of artists, craftspeople and designers of different times and cultures and localities.
  • To understand ‘what is the purpose of art?’ and understand how it connects us with our past and helps us embrace the present.


At Settle Primary School we follow a spiral curriculum by AccessArt from EYFS to Year 6 which enables us to provide a rich and exciting visual arts curriculum. This allows children to be exposed to a range of topics that build systematically upon one another and to learn through experience and build knowledge and vocabulary effectively. The scheme also emphasises an outward looking approach towards activities and artists, making the curriculum fully inclusive and relevant to all pupils.

The scheme is sequenced to active prior knowledge and is re-encountered across the curriculum and year groups. We have selected AccessArt to ensure in depth coverage and to allow time for over-learning when needed. We believe that The AccessArt Curriculum opens up what art is, giving pupils lots of different kinds of opportunities and experiences (media, techniques, approaches, artists), all underpinned by creative use of drawing and sketchbooks.  Please see our progression document below for a more detailed breakdown.

Children across school have a 60 minute lesson every week (flexible timings are encouraged depending on the lesson content) throughout the year. Each lesson is structured broadly as follows:

  • Revision of previously taught knowledge from the unit overview/previous lesson.
  • New knowledge introduced, with examples used as much as possible.
  • Artist study to inspire and learn new techniques.
  • Sketch book development to develop knowledge, skills and reflect on progress.
  • Sketch books will be used to help new knowledge to stick in pupils' long term memory.

Children begin each year by recapping key knowledge from the previous year; they will revisit lessons/previous knowledge as appropriate to ensure that children have a solid foundation for their Art and design learning for the remainder of the year. This may mean some units are adapted to meet the children's needs and to ensure the curriculum is achievable by all pupils.

Each of these pathways consists of approximately 6 lessons, culminating in a different outcomes- it is the journey that is important. The progression document below is our long term plan, the 36 path ways provide our medium term planning, and the pathways are used as our short term planning, and are adapted when needed to include previous learning.

Occasionally, we may use supplementary teaching resources. This may be in order to provide additional enrichment or variety of opportunities such as local artists to visit.


At Settle Primary School we aim that children continuously build their knowledge in Art and Design as well as their skills. In order to ensure that children’s understanding of the curriculum is progressing, the Art and Design subject leader and the Senior Leadership Team will undertake monitoring and evaluation to ascertain the following: 

  • That the AccessArt scheme of work is being followed and that all parts of the lesson are being delivered at the appropriate level for the age of the children, including sketch books and vocabulary.
  • That children are developing an age-appropriate vocabulary and skills in Art and Design.
  • That the training needs of teachers are being met, through occasional CPD or more targeted support when required. 

This monitoring and evaluation may take the form of informal drop-ins to lessons, or conversations with pupils and teachers and sketch book scrutiny.

In order to determine whether children’s skills and vocabulary are developing in line with the curriculum, children will undertake Knowledge Checks (Flashbacks) at regular intervals, usually at the start of most lessons. Sometimes they may be team quizzes or recorded in backs of books. These will always be low stakes and children will be encouraged to go back and find the answers in their sketchbooks if needed.