“Art has the role in education of helping children become like themselves instead of more like everyone else”

Sydney Gurewitz Clemens


What we teach

At Mersey Park Primary School, the children’s journey as artists starts in the Foundation Stage where they progress through the EYFS curriculum: Expressive Arts and Design and on to the National Curriculum in Key Stage One and Two. Our curriculum has been developed through Kapow Primary resources enabling us to provide a progressive curriculum that values Art and Design as an important part of the children’s entitlement.  We believe that a high quality art education shapes well rounded and confident individuals, so our aim is to provide pupils at Mersey Park with unique, holistic opportunities to unlock their innate creativity and develop their creative competence through artistic expression. In order to do this, we plan for and deliver experiences which allow our pupils to learn a collection of skills; develop their proficiency to use a range of media; and have knowledge about significant artists and art movements, whilst subsequently developing their design skills by expressing their individual interests, thoughts and ideas. At Mersey Park, we pride ourselves in providing all pupils with inclusive, accessible learning experiences which is evident in our art curriculum due to the very nature of the subject. We ensure that all pupils, wherever they start in life, have a high quality cultural education as we believe this should be a right, not a privilege.

A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works in this subject. As pupils progress along our skills ladder, they become more independent in thinking critically and creatively and develop a more rigorous understanding of the subject. They also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our natio


How we teach it

We have adopted the Kapow scheme of work for art and have ensured the planning matches our whole school plans for foundation subjects.

Art and Design is a natural form of expression and source of great pleasure for most pupils. As a school, we encourage our pupils to have a growth mindset in all curriculum areas as it promotes a positive learning attitude. We feel this approach to learning is particularly important during our art lessons as exploration is encouraged and mistakes are reflected upon consistently as we perceive them as important parts of the learning journey. This is evident in the children’s sketchbooks; a space where they can take risks and explore creatively and critically. Without this process they would not produce the individualised outcomes which we believe exhibit the learning that has taken place.

Art days and art weeks are often embedded within topics but can also be delivered discretely. These themed days/weeks allow the children to work both independently and collaboratively and become fully immersed in a variety of high quality creative activities where they get the opportunity to develop their skills and express their creative ideas in a supportive and inclusive environment. The children are also given the valuable opportunity to visit local galleries as we feel this experience contributes to a high quality cultural education and teaches them the aspirational aspect of the subject.

The children are taught a variety of techniques and given a range of materials and tools which they are then encouraged to explore in their sketchbooks. Sometimes class sketchbooks are also used for collaborative work and to record a variety of finished pieces. This is clearly set out in the Progression of Skills planning document, which has been carefully structured to allow lots of opportunities for children to practise and embed key skills and concepts.

A strong focus for teaching is the use of correct technical vocabulary. Teachers carefully plan the language they use during their sessions and model, through discussion and subject specific vocabulary to help embed this language in the children’s long term memory. This is also reinforced through the use of lesson specific word banks which support the children to appraise their own work and respond to the work of others.

Teachers are provided with opportunities to develop their own subject knowledge through sharing good practice and peer observations. The children are taught art, discreetly and as part of their termly topic work. These can be found in our long term plan.


SMSC through Art

Through the study of Art and design, the children are able to explore ideas, feelings and meanings, making personal sense of their own creative work.

The children study the work of artists, designers and other sources. Through discussions and critiques they are able to explore moral issues, make value judgements and express personal views. Through group work, discussion and displays they have the opportunity to share and value each other’s ideas.

The art curriculum provides the children with the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of past and contemporary issues by exploring this through theoretical and practical activities. They are taught to recognize how images and artefacts influence the way people think and feel and understand the ideas, beliefs and values behind their making, relating art to its cultural context.



Through our engaging art curriculum, we give our pupils many opportunities for creative success and feel confident that they leave primary school with the skills and knowledge necessary to progress to the next stage of their art education.  We assess the subject holistically and over time. To do this, we use the Kapow assessment of knowledge and skills spreadsheet. Teachers use this information to inform future lessons; ensuring children are supported and challenged appropriately. This data is analysed to inform and address any trends or gaps in attainment. Further information is gathered through pupil voice; highlighting strengths and achievement and any improvements, knowledge and skills that still need to be embedded.

Final end of year assessments are made using teacher judgements and assessment criteria that has been developed in line with the National Curriculum and Kapow. This identifies the level in which the child is working. Class teachers record assessment outcomes using the tracking grid and the subject leader analyses gaps in knowledge and skills. Actions are identified and followed up.

Children in Foundation Stage are assessed within Expressive Arts and Design and their progress is tracked termly. Age related expectation levels are reported to parents at the end of the reception year.

By the end of KS2 we aim to have produced pupils who feel able to express themselves artistically and feel assured in their own abilities, skills and knowledge. We aim to provide our children with the ability to appreciate, appraise and discuss the works of art of a wide range of artists, crafts people, sculptors and designers using technical language, and feel confident in their own opinions and views.


Long Term Overview for Art



Art and Design at Mersey Park

Autumn Term

Foundation 1

In Foundation 1 the children explore making things with different materials, they create closed shapes and begin to use these shapes to represent objects. They explore colour and colour mixing and are introduced to the work of famous artists. They create art pieces inspired by the autumn treasures that they see around them.



Foundation 2

In Foundation 2 the children refine their colour mixing skills to create skin tones which they use to paint self-portraits. The children build on their previous learning and mix colours for other purposes, for example, to paint pumpkins. They complete an observational drawing of Autumnal objects which they collect from the outdoor classroom area. They find out about Vincent Van Gogh and talk about his ‘Starry Night’ painting. They create their own ‘Starry Night’ using paint, oil pastels and collage.


Year 1

In Year 1 the children explore craft and design in their artwork. They learn key skills such as knotting, plaiting and weaving. They also explore the work of Cecilia Vicuna to inspire their own art.


Year 2

In Year 2 the children have developed their understanding of colour mixing. They have been naming primary and secondary colours and describing what happens when they mix two secondary colours together. Next they chose materials and tools to make textures with paint and arranged their materials to create a collage effect.



Year 3

In Year 3 the children build on their skills of weaving using the weft and warp. They use paper first to weave and they use material that they have dyed to create their final piece of weaving using material. This links to their Victorian topic as they use to weave different clothing.


Year 4

In Year 4 the children use charcoal to draw observational life drawings with a focus on proportion. They also use crayons and paint a black background with soapy water. They use scissors to draw and scratch to make a pattern. They experiment with the water colours and test different shades to find the right match for their painting.



Year 5

In Year 5 the children explore a range of drawing processes and create a mixed media collage linked to their Science topic – Space. They also look at Retrofuturistic art based on ‘The Space Race’.










Year 6

In year 6 the children develop their photography skills and learn new techniques. They study the art work of Hannah Hoch,  Edward Weston and Chris Plowman, and learn how a new image can be created using a combination of images. For their final piece, they use a grid to translate a photograph into a correctly proportioned image that creates a photo-realistic effect.










Spring Term

Foundation 1

In Foundation 1 the children paint, print, drizzle and drip to create different marks on paper. Through a variety of activities they explore the effect of each of these techniques and begin to understand when to use them. They use these different paint styles to create portraits of themselves. During this work they begin mixing colours to match their skin and hair colours.










Foundation 2

In Foundation 2 children notice that they wear warm clothes during Winter. Therefore, they draw and label pictures of themselves wearing them and discuss why they are suitable. They also begin to look at some of the flowers seen during Spring. The children look carefully at the shape and colour of hyacinths and create some fabulous observational drawings.










Year 1

In Year 1 children learn how to create different types of lines. They explore line and mark-making to draw water, develop an understanding of mark making and apply an understanding of drawing materials and mark making to draw from observation to look closely and reflect surface texture. They also begin to give opinions on their work and the work of others and explain these thoughts.










Year 2

In Year 2 they further develop mark-making within a greater range of media, demonstrating increased control. They develop observational skills to look closely and reflect surface texture through mark-making experimenting with form, drawing light/dark lines, patterns and shapes. They learn to explain their ideas and opinions about their own and other’s artwork, giving reasons and begin to talk about how they could improve their own work.










Year 3

In Year 3 the children use simple shapes to form the basis of a detailed drawing and shade to demonstrate a sense of light and dark in their work with a reasonable degree of accuracy and skill. They generate ideas mostly independently and make decisions to compose an interesting frottage image. They understand how to apply tone, with some guidance about where to use it and blend tones smoothly, following the four shading rules.










Year 4

In Year 4 the children explore different painting techniques using paint brushes, sponges and glue spreaders. They put PVA glue and salt in their colours to change the texture. After this, they look at still life and compare compositions, then create their own plan for a finished still-life painting. Having experimented with painting techniques, they paint a still life that showcases their own unique style.










Year 5

In Year 5 the children learn about installation art. They look at and justify their opinions about existing installation art. They plan and make an installation model or space and describe how their design portrays a particular theme or message. They explain their choices about materials used, arrangement of items in the space and the overall display of the installation. They explore the work of Cai Guo-Qiang and discover how our life experiences can inspire our art and investigate how scale, location and interactive elements affect the way visitors experience installation art.










Year 6

In Year 6 the children explore a selection of paintings through art appreciation activities. They collect ideas in sketchbooks and plan for a final piece after researching the life, techniques and artistic intentions of an artist that interests them.

Summer Term

Foundation 1

In Foundation 1 the children collect sticks to print with and make their own Stick Man.

Foundation 2

In Foundation 2 the children enjoy pretending to be the characters from the story, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. They act out the story together using lots of familiar story language. They carefully draw Pirates after finding out about how some Pirates look and dress. They add lots of detail and use oil pastels to add colour.

Year 1

In Year 1 the children complete a unit on painting and mixed media. They look at what happens when you mix primary colours together, how to create different texture effects and add to paintings with different materials to create texture.

Year 2

In Year 2 the children plan and create their own clay medals. They design and plan how to create the key features in clay. They are able to flatten and smooth their clay, rolling shapes successfully and making a range of marks in their clay. They join at least one clay shape onto the side using the scoring and slipping technique.



Year 3

In Year 3 the children sketch pictures of Queen Victoria to learn the skill of drawing portraits. They use different shading techniques by changing the grip of their pencil.

Year 4

In Year 4 the children immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of the rainforest. They draw a rainforest animal from four different perspectives. They learn how pattern designers work in the creative industries and the children create their own repeated rainforest patterns.

Year 5

In Year 5 the children have a go at creating outdoor 3D art sculptures. They focus on bringing the inside (world) to the outdoors. They use everyday objects to create 3D sculptures in the outdoor classroom.

Year 6

In Year 6 the children create layered pieces of art work using different mixed media to represent their different memories of primary school. They use corrugated cardboard to layer their memories and use semi-abstract shapes to create a three-dimensional assemblage sculpture in the style of Louise Nevelson.

KS1 Art Club

During KS1 Art club they explore different artists and their work who inspire them to create a variety of arts and crafts including mosaics, watercolour and clay art.



We were awarded the Silver Arts Mark in 2019, celebrating our ambitions for high quality arts and cultural provision.

The seven Quality Principles of the Arts mark Award are:
1. Striving for excellence and innovation
2. Being authentic
3. Being exciting, inspiring and engaging
4. Ensuring a positive and inclusive experience
5. Actively involving children and young people
6. Enabling personal progression
7. Developing belonging and ownership



Art Governors Report