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Visual Art Overview

The Primary Art programme aims to give all students the opportunity to explore a range of art materials and media. Developing control and confidence in these areas and exploring the work of other artists will enable students to express ideas and make individual responses to stimuli.

Art is taught both as a discreet subject and as an integrated part of the units of inquiry; teachers may also use the PYP Organizing Theme: How We Express Ourselves to explore the arts in an inquiry-based research context.

The expectations for each age group are:

Early childhood

The students will be given opportunities to find out about the world they live in. These experiences might include:

Exploring colour, texture, shape, form and space in natural and made objects, including resources from different cultures, western and non-western, and in their environment.

Being stimulated to think about and respond to what they see, touch and feel, in different ways.

Using their imagination and expressing their ideas, thoughts and feelings through the use of a widening range of materials and suitable tools for designing and making.

Being imaginative and creative making connections between one area of learning and another.

Reception paintng
tree  Reception class
painting table in Year 1
Ages 5 - 7 years

Continue to explore the visual, tactile and sensory qualities of materials and processes and begin to understand and use colour, shape and space, and pattern and texture to represent their own ideas and feelings.

Develop skills in context, e.g. mixing primary colours to make secondary colours; how to manipulate clay.

Gain more control over tools, including information technology, and make more considered choices of material.

Work with an increasing amount of concentration on a piece of work.

Make out-of-school visits as a starting point to their work, including the immediate environment.

Focus on the work of artists, craftspeople and designers, western and non-western, by making out-of school visits, by looking at images and artefacts and by asking and answering questions like: “What is it like?” “What is it made from?” “How is it made?” “What do I think and feel about it?”

Develop observation skills and the ability to use artistic vocabulary in appropriate contexts.

Develop a positive attitude towards art and an awareness of how it can be used to enhance and extend other areas of the curriculum.

Year 3 color tones with paper
Computer drawing of acid rain year 3
art created during the study of Paul Klee's work
Ages 7 - 9 years

Continue to improve their control of materials, tools and techniques and become more confident in using visual and tactile elements, materials and processes to communicate what they see, feel and think.

Develop skills in context, e.g. mixing paint with sensitivity to obtain tertiary colours; to manipulate clay for chosen and specific purposes with increasing control.

Choose tools, including information technology, according to the task and be able to work cooperatively as well as independently.

Develop initial drawings, sketches and designs using other media and also use first-hand sources as starting points.

Observe both the natural and man-made world more closely and use a sketchbook to record ideas and observations.

Become aware that time, thought, effort and revision are required when producing a piece of art and use artistic vocabulary when discussing art works.

Increase their critical awareness of the roles and purposes of art in different times and cultures, western and non-western, by commenting on works and asking questions like: “What is this work about?” “How is it different to…?” ”What visual and tactile elements are used?” “What do I think and feel about it?”

Have a positive attitude towards art; make out-of-school visits as a way of enhancing and extending other areas of the curriculum and use prints and artefacts as links with other curriculum areas.

Self portrait Year 4
research on human body as art form Year 5
Modern Art portrait
Ages 9 - 12 years

Continue to build on previous skills and experiences and continue to develop confidence, sensitivity, skill and understanding when working with materials, e.g. when mixing paint colours.

Continue to observe both the natural and man-made world more closely, to use a sketchbook to record ideas and observations and to use first-hand source materials.

Make more sensitive and informed choices of tools and materials, including information technology, according to the task.

Look after tools and materials, be aware of safety implications and be aware of the needs for an organized approach to work.

Be able to extend drawings and sketches, where appropriate, with other materials so that they show different elements.

Show involvement and motivation when working on a project, both as an individual and as part of a group and reflect on own and other’s work and discuss intentions and necessary modifications.

Develop critical awareness of their environment and be able to discuss elements and principles of design using appropriate vocabulary.

Continue to increase their critical awareness and sense of chronology of art history through looking at the roles and purposes of art and artists, both male and female, in different times and cultures, western and non-western.

Be aware that artists have used art work as an expression of their feelings and reactions to a situation and will develop a sensitivity to the artist’s intentions.

Be aware of the possibilities of art, artefacts and outside visits for extending other areas of the curriculum.

Look upon art as a method of communication and as an expressive language in its own right.

Working in the developmental work book on line
pencil drawing of fir cone
Toning and Shading Year 6


Demonstrations of deeper learning in responsible behaviour through positive action and service; a manifestation in practice of the other essential elements

Powerful ideas which have relevance within and across the disciplines and which students must explore and re-explore in order to develop understanding

Significant, relevant, subject matter which students are expected to explore and know about

Click here to find out more about the 6 themes

Click here to find out more about the 6 subject areas

Those things which the students need to be able to do to succeed in a changing, challenging world

Dispositions which are expressions of fundamental values, beliefs and feelings about learning, the environment and people



updated 15 fÈvrier, 2007