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Art & Design


What are we trying to achieve through our curriculum…

At Ryhope Junior School, we seek to provide valuable and enjoyable creative experiences, where seeing, feeling, thinking, and making are combined and children are free to express themselves. This is achieved through a balanced approach in which we cover a range of different mediums and skills to provide a rich variety of artwork and appreciation of different artist and designers. The cross curricular nature of art inspires the children’s artwork while enabling them to develop their skills in drawing, painting, and sculpting. 


At Ryhope Junior School we foster a culture of enjoyment and understanding of art, craft, and design.   Our pupils experience a broad and balanced range of art activities and show progression within these experiences. They are encouraged to show development of ideas and their own skills using a sketchbook and practical art and design projects. Pupils develop their ability to observe, investigate, respond to, and record the world around them through a growing variety of forms and media and develop their use of a range of tools, media, and processes. Pupils develop an understanding of the work of artists, crafts people and designers and apply this knowledge to their own work.  We provide opportunities for studying historical, cultural, and religious art which in turn enriches other curriculum areas. We also work with local artists and the wider community on a regular basis.



How our curriculum is delivered…

Pupils are taught to develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity, experimentation, and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft, and design.  

• Create sketch books to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas.  

•  Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting, and sculpture with a range of materials e.g., pencil, charcoal, paint, clay. 

  • About great artists, architects, and designers in history. 


The National Curriculum emphasises the importance of children understanding how artists and craftspeople go about their work. Pupils are exposed to the work of artists and craftspeople, and some of this information is recorded in their sketchbook. Each pupil has their own Art and Design sketchbook which they can express and record their own artistic ideas, and this provides a record of the pupil’s learning and progress in Art and Design. 


The sketchbook is used as an initial way of exploring children’s responses to a variety of stimuli through mark making, colour mixing and pattern work. Sketchbook work may lead to a final piece or may be used as a reference point for future pieces. Pupils are encouraged to refer to their sketch book as a place to practice, develop and focus their work using a variety of media. The use of rubbers is discouraged to show the development of ideas. Work should be dated with a learning objective so that it provides a suitable record for both the teacher and the pupil.  


When possible, visiting artists are organised to work with children to give them the experience of working with a professional. Children should use a range of materials (2D and 3D), ICT and media and visits out into the local community to support their work. Children know that their work is greatly valued and celebrated. To create a stimulating environment that fosters creativity, we ensure that dedicated art spaces are available throughout the school for pupils and their peers to enjoy. Art displays celebrate and showcase pupils' creativity, encouraging pride and engagement in their artistic achievements.



The difference our curriculum is making…

Through our art provision, the impact of our curriculum offer is supported by high quality sketch books and displays, and the discussions children can have about their artwork and creations. Strong technical skills, artistic knowledge and critical thinking abilities are being developed in all year groups at an appropriate level. Children in our school can confidently analyse and discuss artworks using subject specific vocabulary. Children are continuously developing their ability to express themselves creatively and emotionally through artistic forms, promoting their personal, social, and emotional well-being. Pupil voice notes that children at our school are learning to have more self-confidence, resilience, and perseverance through the exploration of art challenges.


Memorable moments

Working with great artists and illustrators is always such an exciting experience for pupils and staff.


Liz Million (Illustrator)

The Feelings Forest

'I felt so happy and proud seeing my artwork. I know I have helped the whole school.' Bobby

'My portrait represents sadness. I made the paint look like teardrops falling.' Emily

'I am shocked at how beautiful this room is now that it is filled with the art.' Isaac

''My artwork showed boredom. I used reds and oranges to show this feeling'. Aliesha 

We are an Artsmark Gold School!