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‘Every artist was at first an amatuer.’

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Art is an essential component in offering children a broad and balanced curriculum. At High Halden Primary School, we believe Art has the power to provide children with the opportunity to express their individual interests, thoughts and ideas. Art embodies some of the highest forms of creativity, and should engage inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their owns works of art. 


Art teaching has two strands: 

  • The making of art, in which pupils use a range of media and styles to create their own pieces.
  • The meaning/knowledge of art, where pupils are introduced to significant works of art that enrich their understanding of history and of the world they inhabit.


At High Halden Primary School, students will participate in lessons that focus on both making and appreciating art. Pupils in Reception will learn important artistic skills such as colour mixing. They will look at works of art by famous artists such as Van Gogh and will think about the processes artists undertake to complete a work of art. Pupils will explore a wide range of materials and will make choices about which materials they will use for different purposes. Pupils continue to practise using colour in their art works and are taught how to create tints and shades to enhance their use of colour. Children study architecture and sculpture, looking at the design of famous buildings and how art can be created in three dimensions. 


In Years 1 and 2, pupils become familiar with the terms we use to describe different kinds of paintings. They focus on portraits and self-portraits. Children have the opportunity to create their own works in the different ‘genres’ and learn language used to describe works of art including: line, shape, colour, texture, detail. This supports them to express what they can see and to share their ideas. Artists studied include Miro, Rousseau, Van Gogh and Hogarth. We teach our pupils about wonderful works of art, giving them shared knowledge to which they can respond with individual creativity.  


Art in Key Stage Two builds on the knowledge and skills pupils have developed in the previous years. Across Years 3 to 6, the concepts of light, space and design are introduced through the works of Caravaggio, Vermeer, Matisse and Turner. This enables pupils to understand or ‘read’ a piece of artwork, and to use that knowledge to develop artistic skills of their own.

Our pupil rationale for Art

This document shows the Art curriculum coverage and progression at High Halden. As a school we have more in depth documents which detail the essential knowledge and skills children are expected to acquire by the end of each unit of work.