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Dartford Bridge Primary


All the pupils in the DBCPS community, including SEN and disadvantaged pupils, will participate and learn the following concepts and themes through studying different aspects of art throughout the school.

At DBCPS we aim to teach children to:

  • 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 leading artists, craft makers, and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms

We do this through the following five strands:

  • Generating ideas
  • Using sketchbooks
  • Making skills (including formal elements)
  • Knowledge of artists
  • Evaluating and analysing

Within our Art curriculum we cover the following core themes:

  • Drawing – including pencil, chalk, charcoal
  • Painting – including watercolours, acrylic, oil paint
  • Using materials – including sculpture, using recycled materials, collage

By connecting our British Values through the teaching of Art, we explore issues that affect us all in our lives and this helps inform decisions that will shape our future. An example is the right to have a different opinion and the need to respect the views and opinions of others.

We teach Art three times a year in short blocks. This creates a more immersive and focussed learning experience, enabling a rich knowledge to become deeply embedded. The pace of progress is increased because less time is spent recapping consecutive lessons. Our scheme of work is cyclical; pupils return to the key strands repeatedly during their time in primary school. Each time the strands are revisited, it is covered with greater complexity. Prior knowledge is utilised upon returning to each key strand so that children can build upon previous foundations. 

We use relevant props and resources to support children with SEN. Adult modelling is especially important and we use the I do, We do, You do techniques to ensure new skills are broken down and taught in easy manageable steps. These will be adapted to suit individual children's needs. Learning will be chunked or put into simple steps to allow learning to be more accessible.

In our EYFS children learn to explore and use different media and materials. Children experiment with media and materials finding out about their properties and testing how they can be modified and manipulated through a mixture of child and adult initiated activities. They explore sounds, patterns, movement as well as different tools and techniques. Children learn to be imaginative. Entering into the world of pretence, building on their experiences and turning them into something new through role play, small world play, music and block play.

In Year 1, the children explore colour mixing through paint play. They use a range of tools and work on different surfaces. They create paintings inspired by Clarice Cliff and Jasper Johns. Children develop observational drawing skills when exploring mark making. They investigate how texture can be created in drawings using a range of tools. Pupils then apply their skills into a collaborative piece using music as a stimulus. They look at the artists Bridget Riley and Zaria Forman. Finally children create simple 3D shapes and structures using familiar materials. They learn to develop their skills in manipulating paper and card as they fold, roll and scrunch materials to make their own sculpture inspired by the tree of life screen at the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque. There are opportunities to extend learning to make a collaborative sculptural piece based on the art of Louise Bourgeois.

Using storybook illustrations as a stimulus, children in Year 2 develop their mark making skills to explore a wider range of tools and experiment with creating patterned surfaces to add texture and detail to their drawings. In Term 3, children explore 'A life in Colour". They use their observational skills, learnt in Year 1, to look closely at colour, shape and pattern within their local environment. Using these observations, they make choices about which materials to use for a collage, experimenting with overlapping and layering materials to create interesting effects. Finally, children develop their ability to work with clay. They learn how to create simple thumb pots then explore the work of sculptor Rachel Whiteread and apply her ideas in a final piece that uses techniques such as cutting, shaping, joining and impressing into clay.

In Key Stage 2 children improve their mastery of art and design techniques learned in Key Stage 1, through applying them in a range of different contexts.

In Year 3, children investigate making their own paints, making tools and painting on different surfaces to explore prehistoric art. Children explore the techniques of artists such as Georgia O’Keefe and Maud Purdy to draw natural forms. They learn about the differences in the choice of drawing medium, scale and use tonal shading to create form. Finally children explore how shapes and negative spaces can be represented by 3D forms. They learn ways to join and create freestanding structures by manipulating a range of materials inspired by the work of Anthony Caro and Ruth Asawa.

In Year 4, children develop their colour mixing skills from KS1 using shades and tints to show form and create three dimensions when painting. Pupils learn about composition and plan their own still life to paint by applying chosen techniques. Using electrical items as a starting point, pupils develop an awareness of composition in drawing and they combine media for effect when developing a drawing into a print. Finally children learn about the techniques of Barbara Hepworth and Sokari Douglas-Camp, exploring the way different materials can be shaped and joined.

Investigating self-portraits by a range of artists, children in Year 5 use photographs of themselves as a starting point for developing their own unique self-portraits in mixed media. Developing ideas more independently, pupils consider the purpose of drawings as they investigate how imagery was used in the ‘Space Race’ that began in the 1950s. They combine collage and printmaking to create a piece in their own style. Finally children use inspiration from historical monuments and modern instillations to plan a sculpture to fit a design brief. They investigate scale, the display environment and possibilities for viewer interaction with their piece.

In Year 6, children identify an artist that interests them. They research the life, techniques and artistic intentions of that individual. Collecting ideas in sketchbooks, children plan for a final piece and work collaboratively to present what they have learned about the artist. They explore art with a message, looking at the famous Guernica by Picasso as well as the confronting works of Kathe Kollowitz. They develop their drawings to incorporate new surfaces and a range of techniques as well as an emerging personal style. Finally children use art to document the memories of their time at primary school. They select their favourite art and design skills and techniques and create 3D artwork to represent their memories.