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Horizon Academy Trust is an exempt charity regulated by the Secretary of State for Education.

company number 08411590

registered office is C/O Biggin Hill Primary School, Biggin Avenue, Bransholme, Hull, United Kingdom HU7 4RL.

Enter Trust

Gillshill Primary


Art Curriculum Journey.pdfArt knowledge and skills progression.pdf

Art vocabulary progression.pdf

Art and Design EYFS - KS1 Foundational Knowledge.pdf

ART Policy.pdf


At Horizon Academy Trust, we value Art and Design as a vital part of the children’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. Art and Design allows curiosity, creativity and self- expression to develop whilst also providing the children with opportunities to improve their resilience, problem solving and critical thinking skills. We intend to provide our pupils with the skills, concepts and knowledge necessary for them to express individual responses to ideas and experiences in a visual or tactile form. 

Our art and design curriculum has been specifically developed to build on the National Curriculum 2014, giving pupils the opportunity to develop both the substantive (practical and theoretical) knowledge and specific disciplinary knowledge they need for their next stages in their learning journey. This helps to ensure that the children make meaningful links with other subject areas and allows for deep exploration and application of knowledge and skills.

Within each unit of Art children are taught and immersed in four phases of learning; Inspiration, Planning, Skills Development and Final Outcome. 

The art journey begins in Early Years where they are encouraged to explore and experiment with various media and materials. These solid foundations continue to develop in key stage one where children use their imagination and creativity to record their ideas whilst developing their knowledge and early skills. Exploration and experimentation of skills are further developed in key stage two through the introduction of sketchbooks where children are encouraged to think more critically when evaluating their own and other artists work. Sketchbooks should be at the centre of the child’s creativity and are a space for them to freely express, invent and develop their skills and knowledge often with limited guidance from the teacher.

To further enhance learning, the children explore various artists and designers from our local area, such as David Hockney, as well as Artists from different countries and cultures. We are very fortunate to have a wealth of museums, galleries and architecture on our doorstep which offer many opportunities for the children to experience different works of art, craft, design. In addition to this they will be shown the true breadth of art and how it has shaped our understanding of history and the narrative it has left. We believe that the primary function of art and design is to teach children to be creative, impacting on their future lives and careers.


Art and design at Horizon is taught in termly units throughout the year, so that children can achieve depth in their learning. Leaders have identified the key knowledge and skills of each blocked unit which are mapped across the school, ensuring that knowledge builds progressively and that children develop skills systematically.

Existing knowledge is checked and reviewed at the beginning of each unit. This ensures that teaching is informed by the children’s starting points and that it takes account of pupil voice, incorporating children’s interests.

Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners, in line with each school’s commitment to inclusion. At the end of each unit, key knowledge is reviewed by the children and rigorously checked by the teacher and consolidated as necessary.

Cross curricular outcomes in art and design are specifically planned for and these are indicated on the knowledge organiser for each unit of work. The local area and natural world are used regularly as a stimulus for artwork helped children to also develop a love of and appreciation of their community.


The art curriculum at Horizon is sequenced so that children develop skills across three main strands: Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. Within each of these three strands knowledge and skills are developed in three key areas: printing and pattern, collage and texture, and digital media.

The curriculum from Year 1 to Year 6 is designed to build on the starting points within Expressive Arts and Design in the EYFS.  This begins in KS1 with a drawing unit on portraits to ensure all pupils recognise the importance of observation within Art to draw more lifelike and realistic objects. As the children move further into school units on observational drawing, landscapes and still life build knowledge of techniques and application of skills so that all children progress within this strand as they move through the school.

The sequencing of painting through the trust is based on developing children’s knowledge of colour theory and applying this in increasingly complex ways. For example, building on the EYFS in Year 1 will mix primary colours to make secondary colours, before exploring tints and shades and tertiary colours in Year2. Through KS2 children will explore the effect of colours and mood and use them to express feelings in their work.

Building on the children’s learning in the EYFS sculpture is developed through the art curriculum beginning with exploring malleable materials adding texture and pattern with tools. This progresses through the medium of natural sculptures, such as leaves and stones.  In KS2 development continues through investigating paper sculptures, through the study of origami. Progress continues through the application of learnt skills through the medium of clay, and this concludes with the study of Giacometti sculptures of the human form.

The stimulus for all units of work within Art are based on famous artists and designers, many of these have links to our local area. This supports the: Inspiration, Planning, Skills Development and Final Outcome sequence to teaching that we have developed to enable children to apply their knowledge in their own creative ways.


The curriculum subject leader is responsible for monitoring and evaluating. The information gathered from this process informs the impact that the teaching has for that curriculum area. Judgements are based upon a triangulation of book scrutiny, pupil voice discussions, outcomes of assessments and the quality of teaching and learning. Governors undertake regular learning walks for their subject responsibility and receive a termly report from the subject leader identifying strengths and areas for development.  Each unit of work is assessed using our 1-3-5 Recap process. This means that the knowledge is revisited as part of the assessment process a week, 3 weeks and 5 weeks after the unit has been taught. The results of the recap are reported within Theme books.

Our aim is that at the end of each school year, pupils will have gained a deepening understanding and knowledge of individual artists, as well as individual works and art movements. They will have developed their artistic skills in the key processes of art: drawing, painting, printing, textiles and sculpture, and been given many opportunities to express their creative imagination. At Gillshill Primary School, we allow our children to experiment in a ‘safe’ environment where there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ results, thus, both self-expression and self-esteem may be enhanced.

Through discussion and feedback, children talk enthusiastically about their Art lessons and show a genuine curiosity and interest in the areas they have explored. Pupils use vocabulary they have a clear understanding of to describe and appreciate the work of artists, craftspeople and designers from a range of times and cultures and can apply this to their own work. They are able to review, modify and develop their initial ideas in order to achieve high quality outcomes. Children learn to understand and apply the key principles of art: line, tone, texture, shape, form, space, pattern, colour, contrast, composition, proportion and perspective.

By the time our children leave Gillshill Primary School, we will have equipped them with a breadth of knowledge, skills and artistic experiences to give them a secure foundation for their secondary school learning. Our Art curriculum will have instilled in them a love and enjoyment of learning about how to express themselves creatively using a wide range of media and situations, as well as contributed to the children’s personal development in creativity, independence, judgement and self-reflection.