School of Education

  • Placing Art and Design at the Heart of Your Curriculum
  • Placing progression at the heart of your art curriculum

    In primary schools, we found that a focus on literacy and numeracy was sometimes at the expense of creative, artistic and practical education.

    So far, around one in ten of our new inspections have had a deep dive into [the arts] …The framework is allowing us to recognise the value of a good music and drama education and we hope that it is encouraging you to think deeply about the purpose and design of your arts, drama, music and performing arts curricula and the essentials they should involve.

    Ofsted Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman speaking at the Royal Opera House, January 2020

    The Oxford Brookes CPD programme encourages you, as a primary art coordinator to “think deeply about the purpose and design of your art curricular” (Spielman 2020). All are welcome; no matter what level of experience you have in art and design education. 

    Our intent is to support primary art coordinators to:

    • Understand progression of learning in the art curriculum
    • Understand progression of skills across the key stages
    • To be able to collate and disseminate new understandings confidently to a range of audiences including colleagues, senior leaders and Ofsted

    You’ll design an effective art and design curriculum which supports progression, learning and assessment across the key stages. 

    We will implement this through:

    • Six twilight sessions which combine theory and practice
    • These will occur once a month: September – November 2020, January – March 2021
    • They will run from 13:00-18:00 at Oxford Brookes University, Harcourt Hill Campus Art Studios
    • Session will be delivered by Dr Rachel Payne, Senior Lecturer in Art Education and President for the National Society for Education in Art and Design.

    The programme impact and outcomes include:

    • Developing a continuum of learning across the primary phase
    • Preparing for Ofsted deep dives
    • Helping you to create a vibrant school environment
    • Developing your subject knowledge
    • Applying effective pedagogy and assessment to your school setting
    • Understanding how the content relates to other topics and/or curriculum areas.

    Cost: £450 for the six day package

    Resources will be provided at no extra cost although participants must wear old clothing. Refreshments will be provided.

    Book early!  Only 20 places available.

    Offers: The following bespoke offers are available to CPD attendees:

    • A free artist workshop and celebratory lunch at Oxford Brookes University
    • A discount on materials bought from Specialist Crafts and Heart Educational Supplies
    • 10% discount for the first 12 months of membership for individual membership to the National Society of Education Art and Design (NSEAD), the teachers’ subject association for art and design education.

    Partners: Oxfordshire Hospital Schools; NSEAD; Specialist Crafts; Heart Educational Supplies; St Mary and St John Primary School, Oxford.

    Sessions are underpinned with the following values and aims:

    Making art is many things.  For example, it can be difficult and demanding, it is about experiences and thinking, and it can be joyous and exciting.

    Art, craft and design education is an entitlement for all children whatever age, experience or background. 

    Art, craft and design education should be embedded into the primary curriculum as both a discrete subject and in cross-curricular projects. 

    Children learn lots of amazing things through art, craft and design education including risk taking, problem solving, verbal reasoning, collaborating, communicating, experiencing things they cannot express verbally, and developing new relationships. 

    Art, craft and design provides opportunities to examine the world, not in relation to what is perceived as right or wrong, but from multiple positions.  It can help children to develop their voice, understand how to negotiate complexities, and incorporate their social worlds into school contexts.

    New knowledge develops through making art; pupils do not just reproduce existing knowledge.  For example, learning can emerge out of a conversation between the maker and the materials they make with.  To make art results in making new meanings. 

    Workshops will not include prescriptive activities or a single template for devising curriculum mapping or design.  This is because we believe that one size does not fit all and it is more appropriate to adapt the content to suit your school environment and your pupils. 

    We will support you to:

    • Build a programme of study for progression of learning, taking account of pupils’ ages and abilities.
    • Increase staff’s confidence to deliver training to colleagues, and justify the intent of art in your school.
    • Increase your subject knowledge of art, craft and design through making art and learning about other makers.
    • Explore how to create a safe learning environment that fosters risk taking and increases pupils’ confidence when experimenting with art materials.
    • Each session will also examine different kinds of literacy (including visual literacy), numeracy and SMSC.
    • Build relationships between workshop experiences, curriculum design and the new Ofsted inspection framework.
    Date Time Session Lecture Room Location
    28 September 2020 1 – 6pm Drawing Rachel Payne MG.13 Harcourt Campus
    19 October 2020 1 – 6pm Painting Rachel Payne MG.13 Harcourt Campus
    23 November 2020 1 – 6pm Printing Rachel Payne MG.13 Harcourt Campus
    25 January 2021 1 – 6pm Sculpture/ 3d Rachel Payne MG.13 Harcourt Campus
    22 February 2021 1 – 6pm Digital Rachel Payne MG.13 Harcourt Campus
    22 March 2021 1 – 6pm Continuum design and supporting staff Rachel Payne, Helen Edwards and Dionne Freeman MG.13 Harcourt Campus

    You'll explore a range of drawing techniques and skills which examine, for example,  pupils’ ability to draw expressively, spontaneously, create intentional marks and symbols, experiment with media, and represent and record memories and experiences.

    You will achieve this by experimenting with materials which can be adapted into classroom resources, and in the process you will understand how to develop a range of skills (physical, emotional and cognitive) including dexterity when using tools and media, selecting and composing, observing, serious playing, responding, describing visually, and working from imagination.

    Examples of other people’s drawings will be explored in relation to these activities, and we will consider the different types of language being developed.  You will be asked to consider how these activities can relate to other areas of the key stage 1 and 2 curriculum, including possible opportunities for cross-curricular activities and discrete projects, and there will be designated oportunity to map progression of learning across the key stages.

    NB: these foci are embedded in each session, but adapted accordingly.

    Painting skills are developed from the foundational drawing skills and techniques examined in session 1.  Building on the September session as a starting point, you will experiment with colour mixing in inventive ways, construct painted marks using a range of tools and implements, create different painted effects for backgrounds, mid-grounds and foregrounds, consider relationships between colour, emotion and mood, and experiment with mixed media through paint.  Opportunity to play, invent and respond using different kinds of paint will be available, as well as experiencing more controlled responses.

    We will combine different materials, methods and approaches together including textiles, print and collage, to experiment with skills and techniques that can be applied to craft practices. This will involve a multi-sensory approach explored through 2 and 3 dimensions. Building on session 2 we will consider the use of colour in textures, surfaces and patterns. The workshop will revolve around printing including imprinting, monoprinting, rubbings, and creating pattern through deliberate and random repetition of shape and colour. Printing will be applied to different surfaces and embellished into using sewing techniques and weave. We will explore multisensory relationships between seeing, touching and feeling. We will consider skills such as selecting and differentiating between textured surfaces, and cutting, ripping, shaping and joining materials and surfaces together with intent. 

    The sculpture workshop incorporates skills and techniques learnt in the previous workshops, and in addition provide opportunities to make in 3 dimensions using a range of accessible media (clay, card, wire, papier maché). You will model and construct using malleable materials to create shapes, and represent or communicate experiences. This will develop from simple sculptural forms to large scale installation or site specific experiences. You will create marks, textures and shapes on 3d surfaces moving from some initial control to thoughtful application. Skills developed through this approach including designing, modelling, shaping, constructing, joining, building and combining materials to create sculptural forms. In the process you will consider scale, weight, space, form and balance in relation to environment.

    In this workshop you are encouraged to bring technology that teachers and children in your school have access to, for example, iPads and smart phones.  We will explore how to develop digital media literacies and visual communication through technology that is readily available and that can be developed by pupils both inside and outside school.  This builds on ways that children can use the visual to engage with their environments explored in session 4.

    Techniques experienced include developing an understanding of capturing and creating still and moving images.  This will include taking photographs, creating short films, and making simple animations, starting with making intentional images through spontaneous responses and developing to more deliberate compositions.  A focus will be on making intentional images through spontaneous responses developing to more deliberate compositions.  Technical skills include focusing the camera, zooming, cutting, editing and manipulating images and films to communicate new meanings.

    Bring in key resources, planning and notes from the previous five workshops to aid planning during the session, which will be run by two external experts:

    The first half of the workshop will be delivered by Helen Edwards who is the arts coordinator at St Mary and St John Primary School, Oxford and an Oxford Brookes artist teacher from the MA Education programme.  Helen will work with you to map your new understandings of art, craft and design across the curriculum for Years 1 – 6.  This will take account of the Ofsted expectations for intent, implementation and impact in curriculum design.

    In the second half, Dionne Freeman, artist tutor and artist in residence at the Oxford Hospital Schools, will model how to support colleagues who may have limited confidence and subject knowledge, and so find planning, delivering and assessing art and design pedagogy challenging.  Dionne will help you develop strategies to deliver CPD to colleagues and ensure your curriculum design can be implemented across the school.

    At the end of the CPD programme we invite you to attend a workshop delivered by an artist at Oxford Brookes University. This free addition is designed to celebrate the end of the CPD event, and is sponsored by Specialist Crafts. We hope it facilitates new ideas for curriculum development in the following academic year.

    Our Partners and Collaborators

    Oxfordshire Hospital School
    Oxfordshire Hospital School

    OHS is a special school with a special responsibility for preparing the young people we teach for their futures, whatever they may bring and regardless of the challenges that face them. OHS is a school where time is precious and where every learning opportunity must count.  We consistently transform learning opportunities for the young people who come to us from the community of Oxfordshire and surrounding areas, providing them with access to teaching and learning resources that maintain their academic progress.


    The National Society for Education in Art and Design is the leading national authority concerned with art, craft and design across all phases of education in the United Kingdom. We offer, for a single subscription, the extensive benefits of membership of a professional association, a learned society and a trade union.  Our aim is to advance art, craft and design education through our values and with our community of members and supporters, and to create a vital, articulate, well-informed professional community of committed art, craft and design educators and practitioners.  We provide an essential forum for the dissemination of ideas, practical developments and research findings in art, craft and design education.

    Specialist Arts
    Specialist Crafts

    Specialist Crafts are the UKs largest supplier of Art, Craft and Design materials to schools across the UK. The offer over 16,000 products specifically chosen in conjunction with teachers for use in the classroom. Employing experts in every core discipline, they are available for advice on any product in their educational supplies catalogue.

    Heart Educational Supplies offer comprehensive ranges in both Sewing & Textiles, as well as Design & Technology educational products. Renowned for excellent service and an unbeatbale range of specialist products selected by secondary school art teachers, they are a one stop shop for textiles and D&T departments.

    Contact us

    If you have any questions please contact us via email