Art Intent

At Marlborough, we aim to deliver a rich and varied visual art curriculum that evokes a love and appreciation of art. We aim to expand children’s creativity through the deepening of knowledge and understanding of different artistic skills and practices along with the acquisition, mastery and independent application of the skills themselves. The children will explore the work of different artists both past and present through Art gallery visits, exploration of physical artefacts, art work and digital representations of art work. Through the chance to work with an artist in residence at school and the links we have with the Falibroome trust, during creativity week the children will have the opportunity to extend and gain links from experts in the field of art.

They will use exploration as a starting point to build their own artistic skills through direct teaching workshops in each unit. Our key focus is to develop the children’s ability to apply a wide range of artistic skills effectively as artists, working creatively on a range of scales, reflecting and adapting their work as they go.  Therefore we have planned our curriculum accordingly, focusing on the links to actual works of art and the build-up and layering of specific taught skills. A heavy focus on drawing and mark making will ensure the progression of knowledge, confidence, application and creativity between year groups. Pupils will be introduced to skills during the units in KS1 and FS, these skills will then be built upon and refined during the units taught in LKS2. Within UKS2 it is our aim that children in UKS2 have mastery of these skills and are able to choose which mediums and techniques to use to produce effective and creative pieces that are individual and reflective.  Producing pupils who are not only knowledgeable about Artists and designers and the many processes and skills that can be used to produce visual art of a high standard but are also creative, reflective and confident in expressing their intent; independently working on small or large scales individually or collaboratively.

Art linked  to History, Geography and Science Intent

Art is a powerful means of embedding and deepening understanding of many other subjects through discussions and acquisition of skills.  History, Geography and Science have meaningful links which will deepen the children’s knowledge and understanding. Therefore, where appropriate, we have linked our art curriculum accordingly. For example during the in depth study of the 1969 moon landing in Y1 children will also look closely at what we discovered about the surface of the moon and how we are able to reflect that using different mark making techniques and equipment developing our drawing skills.




Children begin their time at Marlborough by exploring making marks freely in many ways using a variety of different materials and media eg pencils, paint brushes, printing, chalk, water and sick drawing in mud and or sand. They also experience working with playdough daily. They will explore freely and will be taught the specific skills of flattening, rolling, balling and pinching the playdoh. This exploration grows confidence, stimulates creativity and strengthens the hand muscles to enable children to be taught how to hold a pencil, pen or paintbrush using three fingers. This skill remains a focus throughout the Foundation year. Through adult support and gentle intervention children in the foundation stage are encouraged to explore materials, tools and newly acquired skills to produce self-chosen creative art, generated through their own interests and play. This is enhanced and moved on through, ‘in the moment’, teaching of new skills and the addition of new and varied materials or a copy of a piece of artwork by an artist.

Alongside this continuous exploration and experimentation, the children in foundation stage are taught how to draw and paint; for example, by creating their self-portrait. They are taught to look carefully at themselves using a mirror, identifying shapes and attempting to use lines to create those shapes. They are encouraged to identify the colours they can see and choose appropriate colours to use in their work. Through the exploration of James Rosenquist fireworks painting, children will be taught how paint and tools can be used in different ways to create their own firework paintings and how materials can be added to paint to change the texture or add effects. As their fine motor control and pencil grip develops the children will use fine liner pens, pencils and crayons. They will use these to create outlines of buildings from observation and linking to the images of the London Skyline they explore. The children will further develop these through the creation of images of animals, flowers, fruit and mini beasts with increasing independence and detail as the year progresses.

The children in FS will be encouraged to cut, tear and scrunch paper when creating collages and they will be taught how to create a concertina fold to create arms and legs for their models. Through the introduction to Andy Goldsworthy work the children will use natural materials to create their own sculptures. These sculptures involving loose parts will be revisited in the summer term when children will create loose part and mixed media sculptures of mini beasts applying their observation skills more independently. They will create salt dough sculptures linked to stories building on the skills of rolling, pinching and flattening; they will use simple tools to create detail and textures.

Children will be introduced to the discussion of Art pieces identifying what they can see, what they like and how it makes them feel. This will enable them to identify what they like about their own work and identify what they liked about the process. They will become aware that the work produced by others can be a source of inspiration for their own work.

Year 1

In year 1 Children will be given a sketch book to use to explore, record, practise techniques, reflect and revisit ideas and use of different media and techniques. This book will accompany them throughout their time at Marlborough as a record to refer to and a prompt as well as a celebration of progression.

Building from their work exploring what objects create a print on paper in Foundation Stage, Year 1 will be continuing exploring different press prints using objects found inside and in forest school. They will discover what printing is and why prints are made. Linking to the exploration of the 1960’s in history they learn about the artist Peter Green and explore how he creates patterns, and this will inform their own printing. With time and freedom to explore and play with printing using different objects, they will be encouraged to reflect on Peter Green’s artwork and their own prints to discover that simple shapes with clear lines make the most effective prints. Children will use an art pencil to plan their print and the technique for using tools to create a plasticine printing block. The children will be introduced to the process of using a roller and taught how to apply paint to the printing block and use the roller to produce a print.

Linking to their learning in History about the moon landing the children will look at digital images of the moon’s surface. Building on their exploration of drawing materials in EYFS the children will be given the freedom to explore drawing pencils, charcoal and chalk on black paper to sketch the moon surface. They will be introduced to mark making techniques for instance using lines, dots, and smudging to create the idea of texture.  Building on the children’s experience of working in 3d forms the children in Y1 will be introduced to the work of the sculptor Henry Moore. After discussing his work children will extend and build on their experience of creating 3d sculptures through exploration time and specifically taught sessions. The children will then apply their drawing skills to plan a sculpture of their choice applying their new knowledge and skills. Teachers will scaffold the reflection and evaluation process encouraging children to identify what they are enjoying and how they are feeling about their artwork.

Observational drawing skills will be extended to exploring landscapes linked to Geography. Through the exploration of Kandinsky’s art, children build upon their prior knowledge of altering the appearance of paper through the teaching of techniques such as scrunching, twisting, tearing, folding and curling and the combining of different materials. Through the development of a large-scale class pieces the children will explore how different glues and tapes can be used effectively.

Year 2

In year 2, the children develop their observational drawing skills further by developing fluidity in their drawings using continuous lines and ‘squiggles’ and looking more closely at detail within objects. They will be taught that different pencils can have different densities and the reason we would use a hard or soft pencil. The skill of continuous line drawing will be taught directly, and children will use this skill to draw natural objects found in forest school, considering simple shapes, shadows and position. Revisiting the work of Andy Goldsworthy after their initial introduction in EYFS the children will gain an increased understanding of the process and intention of his sculptures and how textures, shapes and colours are chosen and placed. They will explore forest school to create their own sculptures. Children will then be taught how to include more detail in their observation drawings of leaves, drawing what they can see rather than simplified shapes. Reflecting on their work and techniques will be scaffolded by comparing and discussing their sketch book drawings of the two different styles as a class. They will then be introduced to the work of Mary Gibbs and will discuss the detail and use of colour in her work in addition they will be introduced to the technique of combining media creating detailed observational sketches in wax crayon and then washing different coloured watery paints, inks or brusho to create mixed media observational works for a whole class large scale piece.

Building on painting skills acquired in Foundation Stage through the exploration of mixing paint and their discussions about which colours went well together in Y1, the children in Y2 will learn about the different types of paints and why and how they can be used. They will draw on the previous knowledge that when two or more colours are mixed new colours are created and will learn how to mix their own colours effectively. They will be taught the concept of primary and secondary colours and through exploration and the creation of a colour wheel children will be encouraged to reflect on what they have discovered and enjoyed. After this exploration the focus will turn to technique. Children will learn that different brushes are used for different purposes and will have time to experiment with different paints and brushes. This will enable the children to gain the skill of using thick brushes and smooth fluid strokes to cover large spaces and thinner brushes to paint detail. Through the exploration of Van Gogh’s paintings they will embed these new skills.

Using their work on Christopher Columbus the explorer to inspire the children to consider what animals and birds might have been discovered in new lands, children will extend their mark making techniques to include long and short lines, dot, dashes and squiggles. They will begin to explore the texture and patterns found on animals, birds and feathers using digital images and images in books. The children will have access to different drawing materials including, pens, pencils, pastels and crayons and a variety of paper to explore different techniques and combinations for their sketches of animals, feathers and birds.  Children will further develop their ability to reflect, adapt and develop their own ideas through the collaboration and discussion with others. Children will then develop their 2d representations into 3d through the use of card, folding and cutting. The children will be given the opportunity to apply their mixed media and mark making skills to individualise their 3d artwork.


Year 3

In year 3, children will be encouraged to take more ownership of their sketch books and exploration can be done at home or during break times or golden time. They will be introduced to the concept that artists have a purpose and intention for their work and children will be prompted to discuss and reflect on the choices they have made giving reasons reflecting their growing knowledge. Many skills that were introduced in FS and KS1 will be revisited, built upon and refined during units of study in Y3 and Y4.

Through the exploration of the designer William Morris the children will deepen understanding behind why and how prints are made. They will learn to identify, detail, colour, shapes and symmetry and the effect they have. Children will develop the ability to draw objects from observation, drawing from their prior knowledge to select the correct pencil to use. They will use both continuous line drawing and sketching and will be encouraged to try using dots and dashes to add detail.  Through peer and whole class collaboration children will be supported to make evaluations and adaptations to their drawings to create a plan for a print. Printing skills acquired in year 1 will be built upon as children are taught how to create a stencil and use a pencil to use indentation to create a polystyrene printing block. Knowledge of printing techniques will be deepened through the introduction of two-layer press prints. Children will independently apply and build upon their prior knowledge of complementing colours and applying paint correctly to create individual prints. This knowledge will be expanded through the exploration of printing onto different surfaces. The children will work together to create a large-scale collaborative piece using fabric and appropriate paint taking into consideration the ideas of others and complementary colours.

Linked to the exploration in History of the Stone Age, the children will consider how art can provide a narrative and evidence of what has occurred in history. Through the study of cave art, pupils in year 3 will expand their mark making skills to create sketches of figures and animals. They will be taught to build on their knowledge of looking for simple shapes and combing these together with a greater awareness of proportion. Through the application of mark making skills such as, shading, blending, and dashes and cross hatching, children will be taught to give the impression of form and texture. Time for exploration and experimentation of mark making techniques and drawing materials such as charcoal, sketching pencils, pens, water and pastels will allow the children to create their own individualised drawings that tell a narrative. They will reflect on their work throughout the process, adapting and sharing their thoughts.

Moving on from their sketch work exploring form, the children in year 3 will expand these skills further through paint. Building on the knowledge gained in Y2 about paint and creating new colours the children will be taught to refine this further by exploring the skill of creating different shades of colours through the gradual introduction of either white or black paint. They will explore the works of different painters to see how colours and shades can be used to make a 2d image look 3d. Children will have the opportunity to revisit and embed the knowledge and skill of choosing and using the correct brushes. They will be encouraged to revisit past work in their sketchbooks to produce paintings which convey the impression of a 3d image including detail or lettering added with a thin brush.  Children will reflect on their exploration using the correct vocabulary and share what they have enjoyed, top tips they have discovered and things they will try on another occasion.



Year 4

The art covered within year 4 does not fit into three separate units of work it all interlinks through the exploration of buildings and the decoration found within them. This begins in the autumn term with architectural design, continuing through into spring with mosaic, tessellation and relief tiles with the final task of applying paint effectively to their tile to be completed early in the summer term. There will then be a short unit taught linked to computing and animation where the children will create moving drawings later in the summer term

The children will be introduced to Architecture as an art form, linked to the study of the ancient Greeks in History. They will investigate the shapes, angles and spaces used and consider the intent of the Greek architects. Building on prior knowledge and skills in Y3 drawing and sketching skills will be further developed with the continued exploration of using shading and other mark making skills to create the illusion of 3d. Pupils will also be introduced to perspective and proportion. Children will be taught how this can be achieved within their drawings and how sketches can be transformed through the mixing of media.  Through the introduction of buildings and spaces, designed by the Architects Gaudi and Hadid, pupils will discuss and explore the intent of these buildings. This will provide the children with ideas and inspiration to enable them to design their own buildings. They will consider their intent and make decisions reflecting on buildings they have explored. They will create an armature of their building using paper, card, adhesive tapes, string, straws and wooden sticks. The children will be encouraged to consider purpose, form and the emotion they want this building to evoke. Children will apply their knowledge and skills gained in previous units, relating to how to manipulate and join the materials, with increased independence and will be supported to evaluate, adapt and give reasons for their choices.

Flowing from Greek Architecture to Roman artefacts and Gaudi’s work, the children will explore the technique of mosaic and tessellation identifying pattern, shapes and the striking effect contrasting colours can have. The children will look at mosaics Ancient Greeks’ and Romans have left and explore the transformation into the tessellation work of Escher and new mosaic photography apps available. They will build on their knowledge and skill of using shapes and colour for striking effect and be taught to use the skill of tessellation to create repeating patterns. This will link to and reinforce the learning in history.

Continuing through the exploration of mosaics the knowledge and understanding of sculpture will be expanded to introduce relief tiles as sculpture. The pupils of year 4 will look at examples of Michelangelo’s relief sculptures and a collection of relief tiles produced by modern day artists. Drawing skills with deepened through an in depth study of fruit (cross sections, enlarging certain parts and the whole fruit will be explored) . Children will be given time and freedom to explore, reflect and refine while working with a range of drawing materials, surfaces and applying and combing the mark making techniques they have been taught with greater independence. The children will then use clay to create their own relief sculpture, gaining new skills and knowledge of tools. Painting these sculptures will provide the children with the opportunity to apply their knowledge gained previously about the properties of different paints and the brushes suited best to each part of the design enabling them to further develop their knowledge of blending colours and the use of colour and shade for effect.

To complete year 4 the children will turn their mastery of drawing skills to animation. They will use mark making equipment and techniques to draw characters or animals and then deconstruct them and then put them back together. Using tablets, the children will photograph their drawings in different positions and put the stills together to create animations of their drawings.

Year 5

As the children enter UKS2 the focus shifts to the mastery of the skills acquired in previous units and the development of the child as an independent artist. Children will be expected to use their reflections and prior knowledge to independently select the materials and techniques they wish to use to create their artwork and give reasons for their choices using vocabulary accurately.

Linking to the study of Britain’s settlement by the Anglo Saxons and the Scots in the autumn term, the children will explore the jewellery of this time. Looking at the differences between the Anglo Saxons Jewellery and the jewellery designed today the children will consider how the designers were influenced by the time and events and how jewellery is influential. They will further develop their accuracy in observational drawings by using a view finder. The children will be encouraged to draw from prior knowledge to identify different techniques and styles used in the jewellery e.g. pattern, tessellation and colour and texture to create striking, subtle or tactile effects. They will be taught the technique of embossing onto foil or other materials. The children will design their own jewellery considering the intension of the piece and independently selecting materials and techniques they wish to use for their piece. They  will be expected to amend and reflect on their designs as they work.

In the spring term, year 5 will study the Mayan Civilisation they will study the intent and uses of masks and further develop their knowledge of materials and their qualities by working with Modroc to create a 3d mask combining texture and form. Reflecting on their intent the pupils in year 5 will consider what they have learnt about colour, pattern and a mixture of textures and apply them effectively creating masks that are visually striking and fulfil the intent.

Following on from this the children will use their exploration of North and South America as an opportunity to explore the work of different American artists from different times. The children will be encouraged to enjoy, appreciate and discuss the art and consider its intention. They will be challenged to articulate what the artist may have been influenced by and consider what may influence them as artists.   Through the exploration of Jordan Casteel, Frida Kahlo and John Singer the children will further develop their mark making skills to create portraits, selecting the media and techniques they wish to use.  Then they will study the landscape photography of Ansel Adams and will be taught to see how landscapes are captured through photography. The children will use digital cameras/tablets to capture landscapes and objects. Following on from their exploration of photography the children will be taught how digital images can be printed, shaped, moved, arranged and overlapped to create new landscapes. They will apply their own judgements to consider adding different media or mark making to their piece and give reasons for their choices.

Year 6

Pupils at Marlborough will use their first term in year 6 to use their mastery of observational drawing and mark making skills to study LS Lowry linking with the local history study project of Macclesfield and Manchester, exploring how is art was influenced by what was happening in history. This will provide the opportunity for them to apply their knowledge and skill of drawing figures and expand this further adding the skill of perspective to their sketches. This exploration will lead onto how Art is used to represent our local area of Macclesfield and Manchester now, exploring what the symbol of the bee represents and the intention of different local artists who use the symbol. They will use their sketch books to revisit and experiment confidently. Independently selecting the mark making skills and prior knowledge to create observational works focussed on bees .They will select and combine different drawing materials and surfaces to achieve different effects, for example oil pastel and black ink pens brushed over with water, a range of sketching pencils, felt tip pens, permanent markers on plastic or stones etc. Building on from these sketches’ children will begin to use other materials to create 3d representations of bees, articulating how and why they are choosing specific materials and processes. Throughout this project they will be encouraged to use empathy to collaborate in groups to support one another to reflect and adapt their work. Sharing their knowledge of processes and materials and using relevant vocabulary correctly.

As a focus in the spring term, children will revisit their knowledge of landscape paintings and will explore the work by Monet and Turner. They will explore paintings and discuss the intent, paint and the techniques he has used. They will compare the detail of the sketches they did last term on bees with the impression of poppies Monet adds to his landscapes. The children will experiment with watercolours creating their own poppy fields, mixing paint, colours and using brushes effectively. They will look at other representations of poppy fields and talk about how they were influenced, linking with the study of wars through time that have taken place in Great Britain throughout history.

To end year 6, children will explore the strength of art as a means of raising awareness and sharing a powerful message through studying crime and punishment from 1066 until present day. They will discuss that art can be influential to society and other artists and how printing images and slogans can be a powerful means of sharing ideas. The children will explore Andy Warhol and his use of bright colours and simplified shapes within his prints. Continuing their work on perspective and how measurements and maths can be used within art the children will explore works by Picasso and Cubism. They will learn the techniques of screening and blanking to use this design as their base layer for their t-shirt screen print. Revisiting their work linked with the Manchester Bee pupils in year 6 will work in groups to create an image and slogan to print on top of their initial print linked to a message they feel strongly about. Here children will further develop their knowledge of different fonts, sizing and position.