‘To strive for excellence in learning and all that we do’


Art and Design is a subject full of opportunities for children to develop their creativity and skills. At Great Dunmow Primary School, we aim to engage, inspire and challenge children, whilst equipping them with the knowledge and confidence to experiment and create their own works of art, craft and design. As children progress through our school, we encourage them to think critically, reflect on their own work and the work of others to enable them to grow and further enhance their creativity.   We want all our pupils to feel able to experiment and take creative risks with their work and to understand that all children are ‘good at art’, feeling proud of their individual outcomes.  


At GDPS, we use a ‘Scholastic’ planning framework, which encourages teachers to adapt and develop ideas and activities within the units of work. Each year group covers three units of work in Art (one unit per term with a D&T unit being covered in the other half of each term) and over a two year cycle the children will have developed the required skills and understanding, experiencing a range of teaching and learning approaches. These key areas of learning are: drawing, painting, printing, sculpture, collage and textiles.                                                                                                                             

Our Art and Design curriculum reflects and reinforces the aims of the National Curriculum by ensuring all pupils:

  • Produce creative work, explore their ideas and record experiences.
  • Review, modify and develop their initial ideas in order to achieve high quality outcomes. We promote this creative journey through the use of sketchbooks.
  • Become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art and craft techniques.
  • Gain knowledge, ability and confidence when working with a range of different media, using a variety of techniques. This is supported over time by effective lesson sequencing and progression between year groups and continuity throughout the school.
  • Evaluate and analyse creative works using the correct vocabulary/language of art and design.
  • Know about great artists, craft makers and designers from a range of different cultures and backgrounds, understanding how they have influenced ‘art’ in the past and present.
  • Gain a sense of pride in their work, celebrating their creativity through high quality classroom and school displays, as well as whole school events.

At GDPS, we ensure that through carefully planned and well-resourced art lessons, the children will have the opportunity to experience a wide range of creative activities. Through our systematic approach to the development of artistic skills, we ensure that children are given opportunities to express their creative imagination, as well as to practise and develop mastery in the key processes of art. Knowledge and skills are mapped out progressively through each key stage, providing children opportunities to build upon previous learning. 

The aims of our Art and Design curriculum include to:

Explore and CreateChildren are taught how to use and then experiment with a range of different materials during their art lessons across each year group. They will use their sketchbooks to record their work and develop ideas and, where appropriate, will produce a final piece of art to conclude their unit of work. 

Children will also have the opportunity to use what they have learnt at the end of each unit in a free ‘Expression session’, to express their own individual ideas using the skills and techniques they have been taught to produce a unique piece of work. These sessions have been very well received by the children and they have been really engaged, especially being able to have complete free range to create whatever they wanted. Two Year 3 children commented that: “It was nice to choose what I wanted to paint and use different mediums.” “I loved painting whatever I wanted with the watercolours!”

Skills and techniquesThe children in Early years and throughout the school right up until the end of Year 6 at GDPS will be developing techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space using different materials at various scales.

The school also offers a number of extra-curricular opportunities for art and design through our after-school clubs and enrichment opportunities. We further celebrate the importance of a creative and memorable curriculum through our ‘Arts Focus Week’ where a special emphasis is placed on Art and Design and children will be given the opportunity to try out new skills and express their individual ideas as independent learners. We have developed close links with a local art project which has given us the chance to invite some local crafts people to come in to school to work with the children on a sewing project and on another occasion to try out a new technique of silk painting. 

Evaluate and analyseThrough the use of sketchbooks in both KS1 and KS2 the children are able to record their work, discuss it with others and review or revisit their ideas.

Study influential Artists as well as work alongside local artists and crafts people within our community – During the units of work we will encourage the children to recognise the value of art and creativity in the wider world, celebrating cultural diversity. As well as how this relates to their own work and their local community.


  • At GDPS, we are proud to have links with a number of local organisations who regularly give us the opportunity to showcase our work within the community through competitions, local exhibitions and town events. We have been involved for many years with the ‘Rotary Club’ and have celebrated success at local, regional and even national level with the ‘Young Artist’ and ‘Young Photographer’ annual competitions. We share this news with the children and parents through our weekly newsletter the ‘Burgundy Broadcast’, celebration assemblies and the local press.
  • Regular ‘Pupil Voice’ discussions to listen to how children feel about their art lessons and find out about what they are learning now and what they remember from previous learning. As a result of these talks our ‘Art Expression session’ was introduced, as some pupils felt they would like a greater opportunity to express themselves more freely.
  • We want children to leave GDPS as confident and creative pupils who can express themselves using a variety of different types of art media. We hope to inspire them to want to continue their artist journey into the next phase of their education.


Mrs K. Lock – Art Lead