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Art and Design

           Mrs Oliver                           Mr P Hesketh

      Art Subject Lead                  Subject Governor

Intent - What do we want children to learn?

Birchwood’s Wheel of Wisdom (WOW) is a thematic curriculum, driven by key literary texts, that is highly motivating (promoting a passion for learning and incorporating pupil voice and collaboration), with a focus on contextualised learning through play and first hand experiences, creating time to work in depth rather than being driven by ‘coverage’, and enabling children to have respect for themselves and high self-esteem in order that they can self-reflect critically to improve the quality of their work.


Quite simply, it is our intention that every pupil, irrelevant of needs, develops such a passion for Art and Design that they seek out and embrace amazing opportunities to develop their creative and imaginative passions in school and at home. We want all our pupils to experience a wide and varied Art and Design Curriculum, which leaves them artistically curious. We wish for every pupil to develop their skills in all areas of art and design through becoming inspired by others, designing and developing their ideas and evaluating their finished pieces.

Through Art and Design we aim to support this philosophy by:

  • Teaching the skills of Art and Design through Birchwood’s Wheel of Wisdom (WOW)
  • Fostering the development of art ideas and concepts to help educate the ‘whole’ child emotionally, aesthetically, spiritually, intellectually and socially.
  • Encouraging and developing the art approach that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to create a piece of art, therefore allowing all pupils to gain confidence and a feeling of achievement from whatever the end result may be.
  • Encouraging and celebrating pupils’ sensory exploration and development.
  • Enabling practical learning experiences that make the learning accessible to all pupils.
  • Encouraging pupils to use knowledge and understanding from across the curriculum and apply them in practical activities.
  • Showing children how they can benefit from seeing their own progress and taking greater responsibility for their learning as they begin to evaluate the quality of their work.
  • Encouraging pupils’ personal involvement with practical tasks enabling them to improve their attention span, persistence and commitment.
  • Ensuring that the learning is matched to the differing needs of all the children as well as specific groups, such as SEND, pupil premium etc. Extra support and additional/ adapted resources to be provided to those children where it is required.  

At Birchwood we know that children learn best when the curriculum is well sequenced to enable revisiting of core knowledge, skills and understanding to deepen conceptual awareness before demanding application across the whole curriculum. Please see the Art and Design Progression of Skills documents (held in school), which outline how the key skills are developed, revisited, assessed and built upon during Year 1 to Year 6. See Food For Life Policy for additional cooking and nutrition progression.

Bespoke Curriculum:

Wherever possible we use physical and human resources that are bespoke to our school to enhance the teaching of Art and Design. Most years the whole school creates work linked to a topic to enter into a local art competition. The money raised goes towards Cancer research and the artwork if selected is in an art gallery in Aldeburgh. The competition is called Young Art East Anglia. The opportunity to have your artwork judged by a local professional artist and see your work in a gallery amongst hundreds of other artwork from children is such a super experience.  We have also created our own artwork and then had a company called Images come and frame the pieces and then created our own gallery in school that is open to the local community to come and look at. A local professional artist and sculptor has been into school and led workshops with the children to create 3D sculptures made using recycled materials. The children also have many cookery experiences with Caterlink but also teachers and often use lots of the produce that has been grown in the school gardens. Through the use of our local resources, children’s interest and enthusiasm is enhanced, as is their knowledge of the area in which they live. 


Implementation - How are we going to achieve our intent?

Art and Design is taught every week in all year groups. The teachers refer to the art long term plan for their skill progression. Each year the children will focus on developing all of the 6 key skills. (3D and sculptue, collage, drawing, painting, printing and textiles)

Art and Design through Birchwood’s WOW curriculum offers opportunities to:

  • Value and assess their own and others achievements.
  • Stimulate creativity and imagination, exploring and experiencing different techniques, materials, processes and textures.
  • Explore a tactile and sensory experience and provides a way to understand and respond to the world and communicate to others.
  • To learn about the place and role of art in life today as well as in different times and cultures.
  • Make choices and be involved in sensory and communication activities within a practical learning experience.
  • To consider the needs and preferences of others, as well as themselves, so helping to develop their social awareness.
  • Work on personally motivated design tasks where they take ownership of their work and of their own learning.
  • Communicate using a range of methods avoiding over reliance on the written word.
  • Carry out practical tasks in which they can make a contribution to the development of individual or group projects, rather than working to predetermined goals.
  • Work within a flexible range of contexts and topics that can be adopted to suit individual interests and motivations.
  • Work at their own pace and level, with appropriate staff support and intervention.
  • Experiment with and use colour, form, shape, texture and pattern.
  • Respond to and communicate what else they see, feel and think on their own and working with others.

Impact - What will it look like when we have achieved our intent?

There are literally hundreds of ways we can demonstrate the excellent impact our curriculum design has on our pupils. In a nutshell, here are some examples:

  • The whole school enter into regional competitions such as Young Art East Anglia. The competition raises money for Cancer Research and allows the children to create a piece of work to be judged by some creative, inspiring and professional judges. Some of the selected art is then displayed in a gallery in Aldeburgh. The displayed artwork is created into postcards that also further raises money for charity. We have had a child win for their age category before and had many children be awarded Highly Commended. The competition always has a broad theme for the children to base their art upon.
  • We have entered into larger National Art competitions, such as Global Art Canvas. In 2019 we entered a collaborative competition. As a school we created an exhibition around the theme ‘Habitats of the World’. Each class had a part in the creation and we chose to explore our local habitat-the woodland. The exhibition was displayed in school for the children to enjoy and then photographs and a PowerPoint was submitted for the competition. This time we were not selected as finalists, however it was an excellent experience and a great opportunity to see the artistic progression as you travel through the school.
  • We have hosted a Birchwood Art Gallery in school. Each child created a piece of art that was then been framed to create the most amazing gallery in our atrium. The governors and children had the opportunity to peruse the gallery and then the parents were invited at the end of the day to view their child’s art too. The parents could then purchase their child’s framed artwork to take home with them. 

The Year 6 children helped to create this incredible mural in the Kesgrave underpass with a local artist. Their work now looks incredible in our local area.

Whole school Art competition with The Suffolk Punch Trust

Look at our incredible Art and Design work across the school! 

Art and Design at Birchwood

Click here for our Progression of Skills, Knowledge, Understanding and Vocabulary documents. These sequencing documents show how knowledge builds from EYFS year by year to the end of Y6 so that children know more and remember more.

Art Week September 2021!