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“Art and design is not just a subject to learn, but an activity that you can practise with your hands, your eyes, your whole personality.” Quentin Blake, children’s illustrator

Art inspires wonder, develops imagination and creative thinking and encourages children to be curious and resilient. At Chad Vale, we believe that all children are artists. We aim to provide an art and design curriculum which both engages, inspires and challenges our pupils. We provide opportunities for our children to:

  • Explore and develop their ideas using a range of visual, tactile and sensory experiences.

  • Experience a broad range of art forms and media.

  • Become increasingly proficient in techniques by progressively building on skills as they move across the school.

  • Explore the work of both traditional and contemporary artists, designers and craft makers from a variety of cultures, thus developing their understanding of the value of art in the real world.

  • Produce and evaluate their own artworks, using the language of art and design.



Our art scheme of work is based on the National Curriculum and has been developed by our Arts Lead. Key skills have been mapped out for each strand in art, enabling progression.


These skills are revisited at certain points in each key stage, allowing the children to apply them to new contexts and thus deepen their understanding.

In the Foundation Stage, art forms part of ‘expressive arts and design’ and takes place throughout the year. Children learn key skills by participating in regular teacher-led art activities, whilst simultaneously having daily access to continuous provision. This allows them to build on the skills they have been taught, as well as giving them the freedom to experiment and invent. Staff also provide enhanced provision so that children have the opportunity to develop their interests through child-initiated learning.

In Years 1 to 6, children build on the learning that has taken place in EYFS. They complete three art topics a year, usually taught in half-termly blocks. Topics may link to other curriculum areas such as history or science and each unit of work has a distinct focus, such as drawing, painting, sculpture, printing, collage or textiles. Opportunities are also provided within some topics to produce digital art. Each topic is linked to an artist from a variety of cultures.

Children from Year 1 onwards use sketch books to record their creative journeys. At the end of each art unit, the work is evaluated by both the children themselves and staff. Sketch books follow the children throughout the school.

In addition to this, we run two Art Weeks a year, where every class produces artwork based on a particular theme, chosen by our Creative Art Council. This culminates in vibrant displays to showcase the children’s learning.

We supplement our curriculum with visits to galleries and collaborations with artists. Our ‘artist in residence’ is local artist and parent, Tereza Buskova, who runs our art clubs, as well as providing a number of whole-class workshops.

We believe that art should have no barriers; we use a range of strategies to support children with SEND, depending on their needs. This may include additional adult support, tools adapted to the child’s needs or learning broken down into smaller steps. This provides opportunities for all children to both enjoy the creative process and achieve to the best of their ability.


As a result of the teaching and learning in art, children will:

  • use a variety of media with increasing confidence and skill.

  • develop their proficiency in a variety of art forms, including drawing, painting and sculpture be inspired by artists from different cultures and historical periods.

  • use their knowledge, skills and imagination to produce creative artworks.

  • develop ‘cultural capital’ through exploration of artists and their work; by working with artists, including local practitioners, and by visiting galleries.

  • attain in Arts Award at ‘Discover’ level (usually at the end of Year 4).

  • develop the confidence to experiment and take risks when producing art

  • develop their creativity by attending extra-curricular art clubs run by local artist, Tereza Buskova.

  • develop pupil voice and leadership skills by becoming an art ambassador, part of our Creative Arts Council.

  • celebrate their artistic achievements through display, both in school and in the wider community.          



The impact of our art curriculum can be validated by the fact that we were awarded the prestigious Artsmark Gold award in October 2021. Artsmark is a nationally recognized award, accredited by Arts Council England.      


Art Ambassadors                              

Art Ambassadors 2021-22.jpeg

'I like the feel of getting messy! I enjoy blending to see how colours suddenly change. You don’t have to get it just perfect; sometimes it’s OK to do things differently. I like looking at the work of artists because they are adventurous. I enjoy being an ambassador because I like talking about art. It was fun to judge the competition because it made me feel like my opinion meant something.' Seren Y6

I enjoy art because it’s nice to get creative and show your real inside. I’ve always wanted to be an artist and designer! I enjoy being an ambassador because I can meet people and they can share their art. I like to discover other people’s art too and share my ideas. Aidah Y6

I like the meetings because it was funtalking about art. I liked being a judge. I wanted to see pictures from other classes. It was fun searching for ideas for Art Week. Art makes nice patterns. It’s fun and relaxing to paint and draw and using colours you haven’t seen before. I like making 3D stuff. Sehej Y2

You've achieved an Artsmark Gold Award!

We are delighted to inform you that your setting has been awarded an Artsmark Gold Award. Congratulations!

Your Statement of Commitment and Statement of Impact have been assessed and we’re pleased to share this feedback from our assessors with you:

Your firm commitment to providing rich arts and cultural opportunities for your pupils is impressive and is evidently enriching the learning for all pupils through exciting cross-curricular and extra-curricular learning opportunities, which are having a measurable impact on children’s enjoyment and achievement.


Through your Artsmark journey, you have strengthened your music curriculum by participating in projects such as 'The Big Sing Soul', led by professional singers and culminating in an opportunity to perform in the local community. Children and staff were inspired by their attendance at a 'Singmaker' workshop at Symphony Hall to form a school choir, supported by your partnership with Birmingham Music Service.


Pupils in Year 4 now receive specialised peripatetic instrumental tuition and have regular opportunities to showcase their talents at prestigious venues. Children's achievements have been recognised and celebrated through Arts Award Discover accreditation. It's great that you’ve been able to re-launch your inclusive 'Dancing Classrooms' project, where children have learnt and showcased Latin American dances, such as the Jive and Merengue.


Your arts ambassadors have evidently relished opportunities to develop their leadership skills by, for example, supporting younger pupils in music lessons; helping them to learn dance sequences during 'Dancing Classrooms'; and working with the staff Creative Arts Council to organise arts weeks.


Going forward, it would be good to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of the arts ambassadors' work through more detailed exemplification. You could consider how you will demonstrate children's involvement at a deeper level in planning and delivering authentic arts and cultural experiences and choosing professional partners. Pupils have benefitted from working alongside professional artists, such as the visual artist specialising in printing techniques, who also provided specialist training opportunities for the staff.


You have also judiciously capitalised on the artistic skills of a parent, who has led your weekly pottery club and taught the children ceramic skills. Although some of your plans have been stymied by the impact of the pandemic, you have been adaptive by using online platforms so that, for example, staff were still able to access drama and art continuing professional development remotely.


The appointment of a Creative Arts Lead, supported by the Assistant Head, has ensured that there is strategic leadership of the arts curricula. The newly appointed member of your TLR team is well positioned as a staff governor to liaise with the new arts governor and, in the future, to plan ways to demonstrate how school leaders may continue to advocate for the arts and culture, we are interested to learn how you get on with rolling out your new plans to develop cultural capital.


Your stakeholders recognise the contribution that the Arts can make to mental health, and we look forward to hearing how you will integrate the arts into your development plans as a means of supporting pupils with the effects of the pandemic and to promote emotional well-being.'


Art in EYFS

Art Progression and Skills

Art in Action

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