Market Drayton Infant & Nursery School

‘An excellent, happy school, where we enjoy learning’

Art and Design


Our art curriculum introduces children to a variety of media, vocabulary and artists. Children are provided with a range of opportunities to build and revisit their skills and knowledge through which they will develop their confidence, resilience and competence as individual artists.

The breadth of our art curriculum, is designed with three goals in mind:

1. To provide appropriate experiences to develop as confident, responsible citizens;

2. To provide a rich ‘cultural capital’;

3. To provide a coherent, structured art curriculum that leads to sustained mastery for all and a greater depth of understanding for those who are capable.


Our Values in Art

At Market Drayton Infant School, we are committed to providing our children with inclusive and enriching creative opportunities through our Art & Design curriculum and beyond. This links closely with our school values.





  • Collaborative pieces: e.g. working together to create large scale artworks.
  • Links across subject areas: using art across the curriculum e.g. geography, stories in literacy, history.
  • Discussion promoted in all art lessons: talking about our learning e.g. sharing ideas and opinions, peer review/evaluation, class galleries.
  • Working together: pairs, groups, class, and year groups e.g. setting up a gallery to display work.
  • Problem solving: using different tools/ media/ materials/ techniques to explore ideas and work creatively.
  • Links with the wider world: we explore why we need to learn about art and how this will help us in the future e.g. visiting artists/workshops.


  • Appreciation of own and others’ work & opinions: respect for different points of view in art, particularly when evaluating our learning.
  • Respecting great artists: exploring the work of great artists and the impact of their work on our world.
  • Resources & equipment: respect for all artistic equipment we use and look after it to make sure others can use it too.
  • The world around us: respect for the importance & impact of art throughout history and supporting cultural capital.
  • Making mistakes: celebrating them as part of the learning process (You might hear us say “I can’t do it… yet!”)




  • Working as artists: thinking about the future - knowing how art can link to jobs and what we do can help to shape the world in the future.
  • Visiting artists/workshops/clubs: we love exploring art beyond the classroom to see how it helps shape our world.
  • Vocabulary: understanding the artistic language and using it correctly.
  • Inclusion and equality: for all children to access the art curriculum.
  • Art is all around us: appreciating its integral role in our world: exploring the importance throughout history, in contemporary life and different cultures.
  • Interleaving: returning to our ideas & building on learning gives us confidence as individual artists.


  • Positive mind-set: positively approaching all aspects of art, developing competency, confidence and resilience, embracing challenge
  • Expression: we love being able to find ways to express our unique sense of self and explore our ideas.
  • Wellbeing: We enjoy using creative outlets to support our wellbeing.
  • Celebrating our achievements: We enjoy displaying and sharing our work with others to celebrate our progress as artists.
  • Love of learning: our learning in art is fun & exciting because we can explore a range of materials, media and techniques to develop as individual artists.

As Artists we want children to:


How Do We Deliver the Art Curriculum?

Our Art and Design Curriculum is based on the Chris Quigley Essentials curriculum and threshold concepts. Through our three clear threshold concepts children will experience and become immersed in a deepened understanding of artistic aspects.

The ‘threshold concepts’ are what pupils should understand and the skills they should develop.  In Art and Design, these are returned to again and again across all year groups, they are what develops us as artists.  These include:

  • Develop ideas
  • Take inspiration from the greats
  • Master techniques

This returning to the same thing again and again is called interleaving. A detailed progression can be found in the document below.


Art in the Early Years

Our children begin their journey as artists in the early years, where they are immersed in a creative, explorative environment and given the confidence to develop self-expression within expressive arts & design. Having been exposed to an environment rich in different materials, colours, patterns, textures and tools, our youngest artists begin to develop their own ideas and select how they would like to express them. Children develop their artistic and cultural awareness that helps to build firm foundations for the next stage of education in KS1.


Each pupil has their own sketchbook that remains with them as they move up through the school. This display of their developing ideas and techniques further allows them to reflect on their artistic progress and revisit prior learning. Children’s work outside of their sketchbooks, as well as further observations to capture pupil voice (including photographs) are displayed within the class floor book.


Art in Key Stage One and beyond

In KS1 (Years 1 and 2) children are encouraged to make links between their learning within a current, or previous blocks, e.g. the children may use the skills and techniques developed when working with a particular material (such as clay) within the different cycles. For example in cycle 1, children encounter this material during their work on Vincent Van Gogh, and then again in cycle 2 when studying Clarice Cliff. Safe and correct use of equipment is frequently addressed within lessons. Beyond discrete lessons, children are provided with the wider opportunities such as artist workshops and local competitions to explore their individual artistic talents.


Year 1 and Year 2 cover the same threshold concepts but at different levels. We expect Year 1 to achieve a basic level of these concepts by the end of Year 1. We expect all children to be at an advanced level by the end of Year 2 with many reaching a deep level of understanding. As they progress into KS2 (Year 3-6), children will build on the skills and knowledge covered in KS1 to continue their journey as artists.

The road map below gives you a really good overview of our art curriculum from nursery to Year 6.


Art Curriculum Pathway and Progression Map

Art Learning Pathway and Progression

Year 1 and 2 Planning Overview

Cycle A

Van Gogh


Observations, tints and tones, sculpture, sketching, painting



Henri Rousseau


Tropical Storm Painting, taking inspirations, watercolour, sculpting using a variety of materials


Cycle B

Lucien Rudaux



Take inspiration from the greats, observational drawing, exploring shadows and shading, tints and tones, colour mixing


Clarice Cliff



Women’s role in ceramics, pattern, sculpture



Special Educational Needs and Art


How do we ensure all children can access art lessons?


Our art curriculum celebrates the inclusion of all pupils including those with special education needs and disabilities, ensuring that all children can reach for the stars. Whatever a child’s prior attainment, teaching sets out high expectations and ambitious targets to allow each child to realise their creative potential. Any potential barriers to learning should be identified and subsequently, lessons should be planned to address these areas of difficulty to inspire pupil achievement.

Challenge and support specific to art may include:

  • Pre-teaching of key vocabulary, concepts and processes
  • Adapted materials or tools (For example, to support children with difficulties in fine motor control)
  • Use of the pupil knowledge organisers (Shared with parents/carers prior to teaching)
  • Accessible and engaging visual displays (reducing reliance on memory/cognitive load)
  • Multi-sensory approaches
  • Smaller steps

Pupils not secure within a lesson sequence are noted and adjustments made to the differentiation or level of support given. Similarly, added challenge is given if pupils are identified as requiring it. Using an ‘interleaving’ approach means that pupils continually revisit their learning, gradually building a deeper understanding.

Links to other subjects

To raise children’s aspirations as artists, we always look for opportunities beyond the classroom.

Annually, all children have the opportunity to take part in a community calendar competition. We are very fortunate to have local practitioners that visit the school and demonstrate wider creative opportunities beyond the classroom; upholding the notion that Art & Design plays an integral role both within the classroom and society.



How Art may be linked


Stories:  Often used to give a context for the children. 

Communication:  Children learn to communicate their opinions, views and share their ideas as they develop.

Vocabulary: Artistic vocabulary is taught to the children throughout each new skill and concept taught. This helps them to develop what we call tier three vocabulary.

Writing: As children progress through school, they may start to communicate their thoughts and ideas in writing. In art, this may be in the form of reviewing/evaluating their own or others’ work.

Illustration: Children often explore the illustrators of the books they encounter through literacy or love of reading.


Shape/ pattern/ proportion/ length: Children can use their knowledge of 2D & 3D shapes/repeated patterns/ length within their compositions.


Scientific diagrams: The children draw a number of scientific diagrams. Drawing can also be used when making predictions, observations and record findings.


Local community: Following local walks & exploration of human/physical features within the community children draw pictures of their own houses in comparison to ‘The Yellow House’ by Vincent Van Gogh. They will also study a famous resident from Stoke-on-Trent whilst comparing our local area to the wider world (Clarice Cliff).

Observational drawings: Children often use the local community as inspiration for their art work (For example, the use of leaves within the school ground when developing their collages inspired by Henri Rousseau).

Investigating places: As the children learn about the artist whose work they are studying, they look at where in the world the artist may have gained their inspiration from.


Artists: The children explore local, famous artists including the history of the great artists they are studying.

Observational drawing/ historical sources of evidence: For example, during their work on the moon landing & space race, children will use historical sources such as photographs as inspiration for drawings during their learning about Lucien Rudaux.

Design Technology

Sewing/construction: The children use works by famous artists as inspiration for their work. For example, when sewing the children use ‘Starry Night’ by Vincent Van Gogh’ to inspire their stitching pattern.


Digital art: Within computing, children often use the purple mash program that involves creating digital art.

Home Learning

Below are links to websites and activities that you may wish to share at home.


Disney Magic Moments - Learn to Draw with Disney     Louvre Kids


     Sesame Street Art


Smithsonian Institution     Tate Gallery for Kids


Working with the Community

To raise children’s aspirations as artists, we always look for opportunities beyond the classroom.


Annually, all children have the opportunity to take part in a community calendar competition. We are very fortunate to have local practitioners that visit the school and demonstrate wider creative opportunities beyond the classroom; upholding the notion that Art & Design plays an integral role both within the classroom and society.


How Do We Help Children Get to a Deep Level of Understanding?

Through the explicit teaching of skills in Art and Design, both the teachers and the pupils assess their learning continuously throughout the lesson. To help children get to a deep level of understanding we return to the threshold concepts again and again. 

Children develop each concept over time and it takes a two-year period to get to a deeper level of understanding at the appropriate age.  For example, in year 1, children will have a basic understanding of art and design at an age appropriate level, but by revisiting this they should have a deeper level of understanding and have developed their skills by Year 2.  Progression in their work as artists is shown in their sketch books.

Pupil Voice

Take a look at some of our learning