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Curriculum – Art & Design


At Durham Dales Partnership schools we have created a curriculum which extends beyond the classroom and into the world around us, one that enables children to understand who they are and also the world they inhabit. A curriculum which ultimately gets children excited to learn and prepares them for the future.

We value Art and Design as an important part of our children’s broad and balanced curriculum. We believe that Art and Design provides children with an opportunity to express their individual interests, thoughts and ideas as well as learn about the rich tapestry of artistic achievements that have been produced by a range of cultures, communities and times. Our Art and Design curriculum enables children to develop and extend skills, giving all children an opportunity to develop their creative outlets.


Our Art and Design curriculum is planned to ensure coverage and progression within our mixed-age classes over a two-year rolling programme that is spiral in nature. This allows old knowledge and skills to be revisited and built upon thus allowing working memory to be embedded into long-term memory and mastery.

Pupils engage in many Art and Design projects with both local artists and local venues, such as the Bowes Museum. All staff are committed to 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 whilst learning about the work of other artists. Lessons are planned to stimulate curiosity and develop understanding, knowledge and skills. They are designed to be fun and engaging for all pupils and inclusive for all ages, starting points and abilities within the class.


Our children will leave Durham Dales Partnership schools having had access to a diverse set of art, craft and design skills with an understanding of how this can enhance and enrich their life. In turn, this can be used positively in the future as a career or a form of creative release and relaxation. They will be able to discuss and share their own thoughts, opinions and ideas about art, acknowledging, respecting and welcoming the diverse preferences that others will have.

Children’s artwork and creations are celebrated via school websites and newsletters, allowing parents and families to commend and enjoy the accomplishments. There are also opportunities for celebration and involvement at parents’ evenings and special assemblies.

As children progress throughout school, they develop their ability to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They also develop their understanding of how Art and Design reflects, shapes and evidences a multitude of histories and has made significant contributions to cultures from around the world.

Teachers use our Curriculum Map to plan and assess pupil progress from EYFS to Year 6, making intelligent adaptions to meet the emerging needs of learning as necessary. Understanding is evaluated through formative assessment methods such as questioning, discussion with pupils and evaluating work produced. At the end of each unit of learning, summative assessments are made against the objectives of that episode of learning so as to inform the next unit.


Gallery of Art & Design

The Squirrels learnt about Rimini Blu pottery and looked at a real-life example! We made drawings of the patterns on the vases, using fine-liner pens to emphasise the patterns. We made the different shades of blue and green by over-layering colouring pencils

The Squirrels have been busy exploring how to make patterns by imprinting into clay, similar to how the patterns were made on Rimini Blu vases. We took photographs and made collages on our iPads so we have a record of the patterns we made and can say what works well and what worked not so well. We will use this knowledge to help us make good patterns on our own pots later in the term.