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John Clifford Primary & Nursery School ‘Be your best. Celebrate success. Together we will be successful.’


Art at John Clifford


"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see."

‒ Degas

Why do we teach Art?


At John Clifford School, we believe that high-quality Art lessons will inspire children to think innovatively and develop creative procedural understanding.

Our Art curriculum provides children with opportunities to develop their skills using a range of media and materials. Children learn the skills of drawing, painting, printing, collage, textiles, 3D work and digital art and are given the opportunity to explore and evaluate different creative ideas.


Children are introduced to a range of works and develop the vocabulary to describe their work and the work of others and knowledge of the styles used by famous artists. The skills they acquire are applied to their cross-curricular topics, allowing children to use their art skills to reflect on and explore topics in greater depth; for example, by sketching historical artefacts in detail, researching geographical locations to support their work on landscape painting or using art as a medium to express emotion and thought to enhance their personal, social and emotional development.

Many areas of art link with mathematical ideas of shape and space; for example when printing repeating patterns and designs and thinking about 3D shapes to support structures and use of architectural photographs enhances our teaching of angle and line.


It is paramount that art work be purposeful; be this as a means of expression or to explore the styles of other artists that inspire our own work. Pupils should be clear what the intended outcomes are and have a means to measure their own work against this.


In Art, children are expected to be reflective and evaluate their work, thinking about how they can make changes and keep improving. This should be meaningful and continuous throughout the process, with evidence of age-related verbal and written refection. Children are encouraged to take risks and experiment and then reflect on why some ideas and techniques are successful or not for a particular project.


How do we teach Art?


Teachers are expected to plan their curriculum for art using the LTP and scheme of work developed across the school.

As part of this planning process, teachers need to plan the following:

  • A knowledge organiser which outlines knowledge (including vocabulary) all children must master;
  • A cycle of lessons for each subject, which carefully plans for progression and depth;
  • A low stakes quiz which is tested regularly to support learners’ ability to block learning and increase space in the working memory;
  • Challenge questions for pupils to apply their learning in a philosophical/open manner;
  • Trips and visiting experts who will enhance the learning experience;
  • A means to display and celebrate the pupils’ artwork in their class and around school.


What are the outcomes for our children? 


Our Art Curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

- A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes;

- A celebration of learning or display for each project which demonstrates progression across the school;

- Pupil discussions about their learning; which includes discussion of their thoughts, ideas, processing and evaluations of work.


Take a look at our Art curriculum below

Some of our amazing Art work!


Broadgate Park Art Project 2019 

A group of 10 children from John Clifford had the amazing opportunity to take part in a Street Art project with the support of Broxtowe Borough Council and the Beeston District and Civic Society.  The children took part in a stencil art session with the amazing Nathan Parker (professional street artist). They then created their own stencils ready to use on the wall. The children showed creativity and enthusiasm for this project and their artwork is a true reflection of this.


This wall aims to give all children at John Clifford a sense of pride in their local area and to encourage respect for their local environment. Please take a look at our wall the next time you take a walk through Broadgate Park. 


Art Links