Harpur Hill Primary School & Nursery

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Our vision is for all our pupils, on leaving Harpur Hill, is for them to have the confidence to produce creative work, explore their ideas and record their experiences via a range of different media including; drawing, painting, printing, textiles and sculpture. Children will also be able to talk confidently about a range of media, art works and artists.  Kindly scroll down to view our pupils' art work. 

Curriculum Intent

At Harpur Hill, we aim to provide an engaging Art & Design curriculum that allows all pupils, from Nursery to Year 6 to become confident artists. Our aim is to deliver the EYFS Framework and National Curriculum by providing a broad and balanced curriculum that ensures progressive development of practical, theoretical and disciplinary artistic knowledge and skills.  All pupils will be given the opportunity to create artworks that build on first hand experiences and imagination.

Children will gain practical knowledge and skills by teaching them artistic skills and techniques outlined in our ‘Skills Progression’ document. They will become more confident in controlling materials and tools in; painting, drawing, sculpture, pattern & printing and textiles.  They will also become proficient in various art and design techniques and processes whilst developing an awareness of the visual and tactile elements including; colour, pattern, texture, line and tone, form, space and shape. 

Children will gain theoretical knowledge through studies about great artists, craft-makers and designers. Theoretical knowledge of art will include;

  • facts about artists and their artwork
  • meaning and interpretations
  • materials and processes
  • journeys and connections through time

Pupils will gain disciplinary knowledge through participation in discussions and critiques about artwork. They will explore, among other things, concepts of quality, value and purpose.

Children will be provided with a breadth of opportunity to engage in the arts, we aim to develop children’s cultural capital by allowing them access to the arts on offer locally and globally. Through our enriching art and design curriculum, children will be cognitively challenged by their experience of the arts, encouraged to think and reflect more deeply about the arts and to ask questions. They will gain confidence in their abilities and strive towards achieving excellence in their own practice as artists and performers, as well as valuing musicians and artists from all walks of life as role models in the arts. They will also begin to understand the varied professional roles in the arts.

Staff are aware of the importance of individuality and encourage and nurture the development of each child’s imagination and creativity.

Curriculum Implementation

  • All children, from Reception to Year 6, are taught a block of art lessons each half term. Art lessons may be delivered by their class teacher or art specialist.
  • In the Early Years (Nursery/ Reception), children have free access to good quality art provision all day.  Art knowledge and skills are taught through quality interactions with children in the provision as well as small group and whole class learning.
  • All teachers plan art lessons that cover the national curriculum objectives and build on children’s prior knowledge. Our ‘Harpur Hill Skills Progression’ document maps out the skills taught and learnt at Harpur Hill from Nursery through to Year 6. Our focus skills include; drawing, paint & colour, sculpture & design, pattern and printing and textiles.
  • The curriculum is further enhanced by participation in year group workshops delivered by specialists.
  • All children are taught about the ‘Austin’s Butterfly’ approach to allow them to understand the importance of perseverance and skill development.
  • Teachers have high expectations for all pupils, including pupils with SEND.  Where appropriate, teachers will make subject- specific adaptations to activities e.g. isolating the important aspects when teaching the works of artists, craft-makers and designers to avoid cognitive overload.
  • We provide children with the opportunities to experience art in different forms through various gallery and theatre visits throughout their time with us.
  • Teachers ongoing assessment informs teaching and skill development in the moment and throughout the year.
  • Our assessment approach is based around dialogue between teachers and pupils. This is particularly beneficial when pupils learn practical knowledge/ skills. This type of feedback focuses on improvement in the immediate task. It identifies ways that pupils can modify and refine the way they are applying component knowledge. Effective dialogue between teachers and pupils is timely, frequent and bite size.
  • Teachers also check pupils’ theoretical and disciplinary knowledge and understanding through discussion and written work. 
  • Teachers report progress in art to parents at the end of each academic year. 

Curriculum Impact

The impact of this curriculum design will lead to good progress over time that is relative to a child’s individual starting point and their progression of skills. Children will therefore be expected to leave Harpur Hill Primary School reaching age-related expectations for art and design. Our art and design curriculum will also lead pupils to be enthusiastic art and design learners, evidenced in a range of ways, including pupil voice, displays, exhibitions, online galleries, sketchbooks, discussions, critiques and our skills progression evidence document. Achievements are celebrated in school through assemblies, exhibitions and classroom & corridor displays.  By building increasing connections with local artists and galleries, we aim to develop our future artists and their appreciation of the art around them.