Skip to content ↓

Nottingham Primary Academy

Art and Design


At Nottingham Academy we believe that art is a vital part of children’s education, with children having the opportunity to develop a range of skills and knowledge throughout their art journey in school, allowing children to discover a lifelong interest and talent in this area. The art curriculum will develop children’s artistic abilities and creativity, as well as an understanding of a range of artists, styles of art and art periods. 
Children will develop their disciplinary knowledge around art as they are encouraged to think and talk like as artist, as they develop their own ideas and evaluate the own and other's work. Understanding of the seven elements of art and design (line, space, texture, colour, value, shape, form) will be developed by providing a curriculum which is progressive and well sequenced to enable children to reach their full potential. Strong cross curricular links ensure children have the opportunity to apply knowledge and deepen understanding through the context of art.  


Substantive and disciplinary knowledge

Substantive knowledge is the development of the formal elements (line, space, texture, shape, colour, form, value) by introducing and experiencing a wide range of media, using associated key vocabulary and knowing the work and techniques of a wide range of artists, craftspeople and designers. The children will work through a range of disciplines: drawing, painting, printing, texture, collage and 3D form/ sculpture in order to explore the 7 elements. Substantive knowledge is also the knowledge of known artists, their style and period of art. 

Disciplinary knowledge is creatively thinking of possibilities, making comparisons, questioning and critiquing, reaching judgements, addressing challenges and reflecting on the impact of works of Art and Design produced independently, collectively and by others. Children will also be expected to present outcomes verbally and in written form. 

Both substantive and disciplinary knowledge is detailed on our school progression documents. Teachers use this document to plan a well sequenced unit of work. 

  • The National Curriculum and GAT Early Years progression framework have informed the development of our detailed progression documents.
  • Art topics are based around the work of artist or linked to a theme in another area of the curriculum. For example, making Stone-Age jewellery using clay to support history or producing detailed drawings linked to evolution in Science. 
  • The understanding of technical and practical knowledge has been carefully sequenced to build year-on-year. This is clearly outlined in our Progression of the Areas of Art document below.
  • Children are taught to express their creative imagination as well as provide them with the opportunities to practice and develop mastery of the key processes of art.
  • Children study artists from a range of time periods from prehistoric through to contemporary art, with a range of art styles incorporated into this. The full outline of the artists studied can be found below.
  • Our Sticky Knowledge for art outlines the key knowledge that we want our children to know and remember from each unit of work, this incorporates the knowledge of artists and the knowledge of techniques and processes needed for the unit of work. The Sticky Knowledge for each year group can be found using the link below. 
  • As with all of our non-core subjects, teachers plan a sequence of learning following the structure below:

        LINK IT!  Using our school progression documents, teachers consider links to prior learning in order for children to build on what they already know.

              LEARN IT!  Teachers plan and deliver engaging and meaningful learning opportunities with explicit teacher modelling, opportunities for children to think and talk like an artist, practice a range of art skills, collaborate and think critically and creatively. 

             CHECK IT! Teachers plan for opportunities to review and check learning each lesson to ensure adaptations can be made to the next lesson. 

             SHOW IT! At the end of a unit of work, children will have produced a piece of art work linked to an artist or curriculum theme by applying the skills they have been taught within the unit. 

           KNOW IT! A short quiz or class discussion allows the children to demonstrate what they know and remember of their Art Sticky Knowledge. 

  • It is up to our teacher’s discretion, experience, and judgement to plan a block of lessons, a whole day of art or on a weekly basis, in order to ensure good coverage of the knowledge and skills in each unit of work. 

  • In EYFS the children have daily access to a variety of media and materials which they can explore to produce their own creative work. Provision is carefully planned to suit the interests of the children, whilst developing the necessary skills they are working on. Through on-going observations of the children, the adults have an in-depth knowledge about each child’s development. This ensures that the adults facilitating learning know each child’s next steps and can give the children the learning opportunity and experience they need to develop their skills in art.

  • Our Primary Art Gallery is developing, which celebrates exceptional art work produced across school and showcases the emerging talent of our pupils. 

  • Parents are invited to our regular curriculum showcase events, which feature the 'show it' pieces of work from year groups linked to their current learning- many of which are linked to art.

  • Our weekly assemblies begin with an Artist of the week, where children look at and share ideas and views on a range of artists and art genre.