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Marlow Church of England Infant School

Art & Design

At Marlow Church of England Infant School we embrace pupil’s natural curiosity and our aim is to ignite their passion for art & design through a curriculum that provides engaging and varied opportunities. 


Art & Design has a strong central focus within the school and this can be seen throughout all areas of the curriculum. Children are actively encouraged to have fun with art which results in confident pupils who are able to surpass many of their own expectations.

Our main aim is to develop confident, creative risk-takers who can persevere through challenges to become artists who are willing to try new approaches. They will think about using materials in new and exciting ways to create different effects, and who embrace the unexpected.  

Our creative art & design curriculum focuses on pupils becoming reflective learners who can consider their own art journey to identify their personal strengths and areas for development.

Throughout the art & design curriculum, the children will also develop the age-appropriate analytical skills to look at the works of others and to express their own responses and thoughts around this.


Across the school pupils are taught using a variety of art mediums that look at drawing, texture, colour, form, print, pattern, form and evaluation of art. Art lessons are linked to the relevant half-term topic to ensure that the learning is more meaningful for the pupils. In Reception, art is taught and available as free choice during play learning throughout the year. In Key Stage 1 art is taught every other half-term, through weekly lessons as a discrete subject. Each unit of work follows a clear sequence of Immerse (exploring the artist’s work and experimenting with the area of subject), Imitate (taking risks with the chosen medium and imitating the studied artist) and Invent (using knowledge from the term to create a new piece of art that is unique to each child).

The different areas within our art curriculum allow pupils to develop their physical use and manipulation of materials at an age- appropriate level. Each medium is used repeatedly in a clear, progressive way, throughout a pupils’ time at our school, to enable them to develop and refine their skills in each medium.  Art lessons are taught using a scaffolding approach, so each year the pupils will layer onto their existing experiences and abilities. Pupils will be given opportunities to extend their own learning through the use of skills challenges within the lesson.

Pupils are exposed to a variety of different methods of teaching art, from hands on exploration, looking at specific styles of art and working in collaboration with others. They are encouraged to take risks and try new ways to achieve effects and to share their experienced with others.

In Reception, there is a focus on process art to allow children the freedom to explore ways to use different mediums to create new effects and colours.  This provides them with different sensory experiences without the need to always have a finished product. Pupils will also have several opportunities to make their own creations linked to cultural and religious festivals and half-termly topics.

In Year 1, art lessons have a more formal approach of creating a planned effect as their focus, where children will draw upon their experience of mediums in Reception to consider ways to achieve a desired effect / colour / texture etc. They  still have opportunities to take risks and try new ways of combining materials and will learn to analyse their results and evaluate them against their set objective. In Year 1, pupils continue to explore process art and take on more varied techniques such as batik printing, and exploring shading and texture.

In Year 2, pupils refine their drawing skills and will look at shading and how to darken colours. They also explore more in-depth techniques, such as using mod rock, creating printing blocks, and fabric printing. They will also look at the works of famous artists across all artistic mediums and explore these styles through their own creations.


The impact of the Art & Design curriculum on pupils' learning results in them having the confidence to experiment and develop their learning independently. They will have experienced the work of different artists and sculptors in each year group and as a result, the pupils will have used the work of these artists to innovate their own pieces.

Pupils will have acquired the age appropriate knowledge and skills linked with the Expressive Art & Design curriculum for Reception and the Art & Design curriculum for Key Stage 1, which prepares them well to progress their skills and knowledge in their next stage of learning.

As confident, resilient and creatively ambitious art & design learners, pupils will have enjoyed their learning and will be inspired to express their ideas and experiences through a variety of media and art & design techniques.