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Cedar Park School

Be Kind. Be Inspired. Believe.



At Cedar Park school our holistic curriculum is designed around the idea that art is far more than a series of technical skills. It nurtures creative thinking skills and helps ensure our pupils learn through art, as well as about art. Pupils explore many different aspects of making and a breadth of diverse artists. Through a range of activities, both product and process based, pupils are supported to understand the ways art connects us with our past, helps us embrace the present, and empowers us to shape our future. By exploring the purpose of art and why it is relevant to all our lives, we aim to make certain that pupils feel entitled and able to develop their creativity, and understand their place in the world as creative, confident beings.



Art is a valued and celebrated subject, taught by class teachers as a discrete subject each term, with each year group able to regularly work in a dedicated art room. The teaching of Art reflects the national curriculum and meets statutory requirements. Teaching in Foundation Stage reflects requirements of EYFS.



We use the ‘Access Art’ curriculum an exciting, rich, and forward-thinking visual arts education, to inspire and enable high quality visual arts teaching and learning. This empowers pupils to become confident creative decision makers whilst at the same time giving teachers the support, they need to feel confident and happy teaching art.


Learning is built through a weaving and layering and revisiting of experiences. From the Early Years to Year 6, pupils are given many kinds of opportunities and experiences using different media, techniques, approaches, and artists. Each term, Autumn, Spring and Summer, pupils follow a ‘pathway’ which builds understanding within progressive projects. These pathways connect both pedagogy and activity-based resources, with external links to websites to explore chosen artists/themes. There is a repeated rhythm to these, balancing practice with new experiences, quiet and dynamic activities, time to work alone and collaboratively aiming to create energy and momentum throughout the school year. 



There are no national standards in Primary Art and Design, however each pathway contains suggested “I Can…” statements to check understanding and ongoing assessment is based upon conversation, to discover intention and understanding, as well as looking at outcomes of the pathway journeys and any final pieces of each project. Our whole school progression map for each year group charts both substantive and implicit knowledge and skills. Both pupils and staff can see visual representations of their learning in their sketchbooks and in displays around the school.


What Does Art look like at Cedar Park?

At least one pathway is taught a term with added opportunities to develop drawing skills. The core pathways followed each year are based on - Drawing & Sketchbooks, Surface & Colour and Working in Three Dimensions. The pathways in each year are not sequential and where possible staff timetable them to make effective links and connections to support other subjects. Each pathway includes:


  • Warm-up and explorative activities
  • Critique and Reflection of Artists
  • Introduction of skill, process, or material techniques
  • Activity – a challenge, product, or a given brief.
  • Opportunity for final shared reflection of pathway.
  • Key emphasis is placed on expressive recording of pupils’ explorations, responses, and skill development, as well as a record of any artwork created in individual sketchbooks.



All the pathways offer a series of “Talking Points” resources, that introduce pupils to a wide variety of artists, designers, and craftspeople from across the world. Contemporary artists are juxtaposed with more traditional artists and the resources bank available is frequently added to, ensuring our art sessions are up to date and inspired. Artists, designers, and craftspeople are studied not simply to make copies or pastiches of their style, but so pupils can learn from the way they see the world.



Our EYFS art curriculum has seven areas with activities that enable an open-ended, playful exploration of materials, processes, and ideas, which in turn nurture dexterity skills, promote an early understanding of visual literacy skills, and begin to build children’s confidence in their ability to make a personal, creative response to a stimulus. These are -


  • What Can We See?
  • How Can We Explore Colour?
  • How Can We Build Worlds?
  • How Can We Explore Materials & Marks?
  • How Can We Explore 3d Materials?
  • How Can We Use Our Bodies to Make Art?
  • How Can We Use Our Imaginations?


During the year there is an after-school Art Club. There are also opportunities for the whole school to respond artistically to the same stimuli during enrichment and wider curriculum days.


Art for children with SEND


Our art education is accessible and inclusive for all. Potential barriers for individuals and ways to minimise them are considered to ensure participation. Where necessary our curriculum can be adapted e.g., to reflect sensory preferences, build dexterity skills, and explore materials and mark making in a playful way. For some learners, art can be a medium to break down barriers that may exist in other curriculum subjects. The nature of the subject allows freedom and flexibility in expression.


Role models of practising artists with varying educational needs can also be promoted and celebrated. This is beneficial, not only for artistic development, but for the growth of self-confidence and for the fostering of creative flair. At Cedar Park, wherever necessary we provide suitable learning opportunities for all pupils by adapting activities and outcomes to the individual needs and abilities of each pupil.


Useful Documents & Links