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Water Mill

Primary School

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Art & Design at Water Mill

Water Mill Primary School

Art and Design



Our vision at Water Mill is for our pupils to be creative, independent learners. Creativity is also one of our key values. We believe that an important aspect of creativity is the teaching and learning of all aspects regarding Art and Design; we see this as a fundamental part of a creative curriculum. We believe that by providing an ‘Arts Rich Curriculum’ we can contribute to the quality of our children’s lives, both within and beyond school. The purpose of Art and Design education is to give pupils the skills, concepts and knowledge necessary for them to express their responses to ideas, feelings and experiences in a visual or tactile form and for pupils to use various materials and techniques to express and convey perceptions by means of visual language.



As a school and, in accordance with the National Curriculum’s expectations, we aim to ensure that all pupils:

  • Produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences.
  • Become proficient in drawing painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques.
  • Evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design
  • Know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and start to understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms
    Pupils are given opportunities to investigate the use of a variety of techniques and materials and to analyse the creative ideas and motivations of different artists, craft makers and designers. Cross-curricular links are made, where appropriate, so that their work in art and design adds to their knowledge in other areas.
    The teaching sequence starts with a study of an artist or a comparison of the work of several artists. This helps the pupils to gather ideas for their own work. Pupils are encouraged to generate, develop and communicate their own ideas, to create their own works, and to evaluate and improve on them. Subject specific vocabulary is introduced and revisited in subsequent years to ensure that a clear understanding of these terms is developed. We take every opportunity to develop links with outside agencies, to provide visits to galleries and museums and visits from experts, in order to enrich our Art and Design provision. Examples of art and design from a variety of cultures and countries are incorporated into our curriculum so as to reflect the nature of our own diverse community.
    Key Concepts
  • In art and design we plan and deliver art through the key concepts and vocabulary listed below:






This element is that aspect of art which relates to the way we see things: through line, tone, colour, pattern, texture, shape, form and space.


Short or continuous marks made using a variety of tools. Line can define the edge of a contour or shape and can be straight, curved, broken or continuous, thick or thin. Lines can be used to represent texture and form by hatching and cross hatching.


Shape is created by enclosing a space using an outline. The shape of an object or geometric pattern and the shape between objects.


This element is concerned with manipulating materials using appropriate technical skills, so that ideas and feelings are made visual through the use of media.


Description of 3D shape, form has volume and occupies space, it can be regular e.g. a cube or sphere or irregular e.g. a stone, shell or a fir cone. 


The unlimited 3-dimensional expanse in which all objects are located. The distance between two points. The illusion of space can be created through the use of colour, tone, linear perspective and scale.


We are surrounded by colour – take a look! There are three primary colours red, blue and yellow. They can be used to mix secondary colours: green, purple and orange.

Personal and conceptual

This element is the communication of thoughts, feelings and emotion. Pupils need to work both from imagination and memory (the inner world) and observation (the external world).


Differences in light and dark, tint or shade of colour to show effect of light on colour and form. Lighter/darker tones or tints can be made by adding black or white to a colour.


Describes how something feels, the surface quality of an object. Rough, smooth, hard, soft, prickly, spikey, furry.


The arrangement of shapes, natural and man-made, decorative design on surface. (Zebra, tiger, daisy petals, brickwork, wallpaper, wrapping paper, fabric designs, patterns from other cultures). 



  • Pupils can communicate their own ideas and meanings through a range of materials and processes, for a range of purposes.
  • They can adapt and improve their own work to realise their own intentions.
  • They can compare ideas, methods and approaches and talk about their opinions of the works of others.
  • They can understand and use subject specific vocabulary.

Through creative experiences our pupils will also improve:


  • Motor Skills: Many of the motions involved in making art, such as holding a paintbrush or making marks with a crayon, are essential to the growth of fine motor skills in young children, developing the dexterity that all children will need for writing.
  • Language Development: Making art, or just talking about it, provides opportunities to practice and extend vocabulary. For example; the use of descriptive words to discuss their own creations or to talk about what feelings are elicited when they see different styles of artwork.
  • Visual Learning: Drawing, sculpting and painting all develop visual-spatial skills. Even before children can read they are taking in visual information.
  • Inventiveness: When children are encouraged to express themselves and take risks in creating art, they develop a sense of innovation and also develop problem solving and critical thinking skills.
  • Cultural Awareness: Teaching children to recognise the choices that an artist or designer makes in portraying a subject helps them to understand the concept that what they see may be someone’s interpretation of reality. Sharing these examples helps them to value historical and contemporary artists from around the world and to appreciate how art can express cultural beliefs and inheritance.

Click on the link below for further information about our art & design curriculum


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Water Mill Primary School Water Mill Close, Selly Oak, Birmingham, B29 6TS
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