Art and Design

Art & Design Progression of Skills

Art & Design Progression of Skills

At Derwent Vale Primary School, we aim to inspire pupils and develop their confidence to experiment and invent their own works of art. Pupils should be given opportunities to develop their ability, nurture their talent and interests, express their ideas and thoughts about the world, as well as learning about art and artists across cultures and through history.

Our Art and Design scheme of work enables pupils to meet the end of Key Stage attainment targets in the National Curriculum. The EYFS unit provides opportunities for pupils to work towards the Development Matters statements and the Early Learning Goals. Our children will be taught this in a way that ensures progression of skills, and follows a sequence which builds on previous learning.


Pupils will develop practical knowledge and proficiency in methods and techniques, media and materials as well as the formal elements (line, tone, shape, colour, form, pattern and texture); generate ideas and use sketchbooks to develop their own artistic identity; gain knowledge of the history of art and artists; consider the meanings and interpretations behind works of art that they study and explore artists’ materials and processes; acquire knowledge to help them understand art as a discipline; learn how art is studied, discussed and judged, considering ‘What is art’, ‘Why do people make art?’. and ‘How do people talk about art’; and self-evaluate and reflect on learning at different stages and identify areas to improve.


The Kapow scheme of work is organized into four core units for KS1 and KS2. Each unit of lessons are sequential, allowing children to build their skills and knowledge, applying them to a range of outcomes. Key skills are revisited again and again with increasing complexity in a spiral model, allowing children to revise and build on their previous learning.

Early Years

Art and design falls under the ‘Expressive Arts and Design’ section of the Early Learning Goals. In nursery and reception, children use art and design as part of child-led play, whether painting pictures, building models, looking at artists and their work or experimenting with abstract creativity. Pupils have independent access to a wide variety of different mediums and creative provocations. Teaching staff enhance the standard provision throughout the year to consolidate children’s learning or in response to children’s expressed interests. Supporting pupils in this way allows them to express their creativity and emotions, build skills and reach a deeper level of artistic understanding.

Key Stage 1

At Key Stage 1, our pupils begin to develop their observational drawing skills, using a wide range of tools and media to create texture, pattern and detail to their drawings. Pupils explore colour mixing and create textures using different surfaces, tools and techniques. In their work on sculpture children will create simple 3D shapes by manipulating paper and card as well as developing clay modelling techniques of cutting, shaping, joining and impressing. Children will learn fibre art skills such as plaiting, threading, knotting and weaving. They will create pieces of art which represent their local area, working creatively with mixed-media, evaluating their design ideas and choosing the best to meet a brief.

Key Stage 2

At Key Stage 2, our pupils continue to develop their observational drawing skills, becoming increasingly aware of differences in the choice of drawing medium, scale and the way tonal shading can help create form. They will also develop an awareness of composition. In upper KS2, pupils will consider the purpose of their drawings and explore how artists use imagery and symbols as well as drawing techniques to convey a message. Colour-mixing skills will be further developed and children will use shades and tints to show form and create three dimensions when painting. Children will collect ideas in sketchbooks, and research artists. Pupils explore the way different materials can be joined to create free standing structures. They will take inspiration from historical monuments and modern installations and develop three dimensional artworks and sculptures to fit a design brief. In their work about craft and design, children will explore the techniques of papermaking, batik, printing, photography and digital media, make repeat patterns and create mood boards. Pupils will investigate the build environment through drawing and printmaking, learning about the work of architects and create their own building designs.

This knowledge can then be applied within our skills strands, which also run throughout each unit in the scheme:

  • language comprehension (Listening and reading)
  • language production (Speaking and writing).

Examples of Knowledge Organisers and Knowledge Notes:


Pupils should leave our school equipped with a range of techniques and the confidence and creativity to form a strong foundation for their Art and design learning at KS3 and beyond. Children will be capable of producing creative work, first exploring and recording their ideas and experiences before choosing a final product/piece. They will be proficient in skills and techniques in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques. They will be able to use a wide range of media and be able to select from these, based on their properties, to produce a desired result. Pupils will have an understanding of line, tone, shape, colour, form, texture, pattern, scale and composition and will use this and other subject specific language to evaluate and analyse creative works. They will have knowledge of a diverse range of artists and the historical and cultural development of art.