At Ark Blacklands we believe that art is a vital part of children's education, with a significant and valuable role in the taught curriculum, as well as the enrichment opportunities we offer our pupils. We believe that it is through the exploration of these medium, as well as the appreciation of the work of key artists, that the children can explore their creativity, develop key skills and express themselves artistically.

Art Overview

Curriculum Approach

Children’s creative journey begins in Early Years, where they and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. They are often also invited to share their creations, explaining processes they have used and reflecting upon their choices and considering alternative approaches.

In Key Stages 1 & 2, the children have the opportunity to develop four key skills: understanding colour, drawing and mark-making, printmaking techniques and sculpture, with a particular emphasis on clay. The art curriculum at Blacklands has been carefully designed so as to offer both a range of medium and subject matter, as well as, a clear progression of skills; with each subsequent unit building on and extending previous learning. Within each unit, the children develop their knowledge of colour, line, form, texture, composition, tone, impact, mood, scale and perspective.

In addition, throughout the curriculum, children take inspiration from the work of a range of diverse and influential artists and designers how Art and Design has contributed to our culture and understanding of our history and the world. Children are encouraged to develop their ability to appraise artwork and discuss their individual response to art and design. This is supported by the teaching of key vocabulary as well as through providing opportunities for children to evaluate their own and each other’s artwork.

Developing Artistic Skills:

By the time the children leave us in Year 6, the children will have become proficient in drawing, colour, printmaking and clay sculpture and will therefore be confident to express themselves through a range of chosen medium.

In addition, children will understand the language of art and design, both being able to evaluate a variety of artworks and also describe their individual responses. Through this exposure to the work of a range of artists and designers, they will also have deepened their appreciation of a variety of cultural and historical contexts whilst developing understanding and empathy of others.

PDF iconArt Curriculum



Design and Technology at Ark Blacklands provides children with the opportunity to use creativity, problem solving and critical thinking to design, create and evaluate products for a variety of purposes.

DT Overview

Curriculum Approach

Children’s discovery of world of Design begins in the Early Years where they are provided with regular opportunities to safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. Children are encouraged to be imaginative and use what they have learnt about media and materials to represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings in original ways through design and technology,

Throughout Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, Design and Technology education helps develop children’s skills through collaborative working and problem-solving, and knowledge in design, materials, structures, mechanisms and electrical control. They are encouraged to be creative and innovative and are actively encouraged to think about important issues such as sustainability and enterprise.

There are three core activities children engage with in Design and Technology:

  • Activities which involve investigating and evaluating existing products;
  • Focused tasks in which children develop particular aspects of knowledge and skills;
  • Designing and making activities in which children design and make 'something' for 'somebody' for 'some purpose'

Teachers ensure these three activities are combined in sequence when planning a Design and Technology project. Design and Technology lessons are taught with a mixture of short, focussed tasks and a longer block of time to allow children to become immersed in the making and evaluation of their products.

  • Year 1: Baking, Making a buggy, Creating a moving picture
  • Year 2: Tudor House, Textile Greetings Card, Fruit Salad
  • Year 3: Making Pizza, Create a Pop-up Book, Picture Frames
  • Year 4: Catapult, Make Pretzels, Sew a purse/pouch
  • Year 5: Bake Bread, Electric Buggy, Slippers
  • Year 6: Ration Cake, Shelters, Fairground Ride

Design Technology projects are often made cross curricular - linking to other subjects taught particularly in the humanities and science.

Developing Design Technology Skills

Key skills and key knowledge for Design and Technology have been mapped across the school to ensure progression between year groups. This also ensures that there is a context for the children’s work in Design and Technology; that they learn about real life structures and the purpose of specific examples, as well as developing their skills throughout the programme of study.

PDF iconDT Curriculum