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Pilsley C of E School


Art Curriculum Statement



Why are we teaching the subject? What do we want our children to gain from learning the subject?


The intent of our Art curriculum is to deliver a curriculum which is accessible to all and that will maximise the opportunities for each child’s right to be creative in their learning. It aims to help them understand how their art skills can develop over time, and to tackle problems through practise, patience and resilience. Through Art, the children are given the opportunity to use their imagination and creativity to celebrate and understand the wider cultural and diverse society in which we live; whilst truly appreciating the wealth of beauty of the Peak District National Park that surrounds Pilsley School.


Art helps our children to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes that are key to understanding the need to keep their wellbeing balanced. Children are encouraged to develop a balanced approach to life and learning, working through problems together to eliminate barriers to learning. The Art curriculum at Pilsley enables the children to explore their own skills and appreciate differences that others will bring. We provide our children with opportunities for them to learn about the lives and work of established artists over time and appreciate that creativity can be expressed in many ways. Through Art, we seek to inspire and celebrate high levels of self-belief and self-esteem, encouraging positive achievement in both academic and non-academic outcomes. Our curriculum seeks to promote the children’s interest in exploring how they can express themselves imaginatively using a range of different media, whilst drawing on our nation’s rich, cultural heritage. Our children are encouraged to develop their sense of self-worth by playing a positive role in contributing to school life and the wider community.


At the core of our Art curriculum is the NC programme of study, which is personalised for our pupils. We work alongside and ensure the staff and children have regular opportunities to use the rich resources created by the Chatsworth Estate. This underpins a unique understanding of our local heritage, alongside those provided by the Peak District National Park. This opportunity gives us a continuous access to a range of artists of national importance, as well as local craftspeople and designers who have had a national impact. Progression is ensured by the teaching of specific skills that are practised in small steps throughout the school and built upon. Effective assessment of impact includes the appraisal of their own work and the work of others. This curriculum prepares our children for their future education and life beyond.






How is the subject taught? How is the subject organised throughout the school?


Art is taught in class groups in regular weekly sessions throughout the year, so that children can revisit and build on their learning.  Art is interwoven through our termly class projects, whilst specific skills are taught. This structure allows children to develop a depth of understanding, as well as enabling them to retain the knowledge through consolidation and progression. At Pilsley, we use the Cornerstones scheme of work, which is amended to include the work of artists and craftspeople within our local environment, and to include regular visits to the Chatsworth Estate to ensure the children have access to artwork significant on a national level.


Sketchbooks and a range of materials are used to teach the key artistic techniques of:


  • Colour
  • Patten
  • Texture
  • Line
  • Shape
  • Form
  • Space


These are taught through imaginative and observational drawing, painting, collage and 3-dimensional work and sculpture using a range of materials including:


  • Paint
  • Pencils
  • Pastels and Chalks
  • Textiles: Fabrics and Wools
  • Clay and other Malleable Materials
  • Charcoal
  • Collage Materials
  • Printing Materials


The children regularly see and explore the work, and find out about the lives of established artists, architects, designers and craftspeople. They use the techniques, methods and materials listed above to interpret this work.


The techniques and methods are taught over a two-year cycle, whilst the children have continuous access to the range of materials. The subject lead and class teachers work together to identify the key knowledge and skills of each technique, enabling progression in art skills whilst ensuring a cross-curricular approach through their topic work. The content of each technique is considered in the long-term planning. At the beginning of each taught technique, children are able to convey what they know already as well as what they would like to find out. This informs the programme of study and also ensures that lessons are personalised and take account of children’s different starting points. Consideration is given to the accommodation of our greater depth learners as well as to the support pupils may need to access the programme of study. Our local area is utilised fully to achieve personalised outcomes, with opportunities for outside learning embedded in practice.


Art is taught through class projects across the school and is embedded in school life at Pilsley. Our school PRAISE vision is fully implemented through daily acts of worship as well as being brought into our class learning and life around school continually. These key values are:













How do we know what each child has learnt? What evidence do we have?


Whilst teachers keep a photo-log of classwork produced, sketchbooks are used as a personal reflection of each child’s work. At the end of each class project, the children spend time evaluating their work, comparative to their starting points. This may be done orally, and allows class teachers to assess any need for revisiting learning for individual children and ensures sticky knowledge. Assessment for Learning is embedded in practice, with both staff and children continually reflecting on their learning, allowing for support and extension in both knowledge and skills. In every area of school life our pupils are given very high expectations about the presentation of their work.

The children are encouraged to present their work with creativity and imagination in each of the curriculum areas.



Welcome to our school website. We are a 3-11 year old school and have our own nursery. Please call to book a visit on 01246 583203

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