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To develop academic and technical capabilities through participating creatively in a wide range of art and design activities which ensure a depth of learning and provide opportunities for progression.


To enrich pupils’ and students’ sensory processing experiences and develop artistic awareness through the senses with visual, tactile, audio, olfactory and kinaesthetic experiences.


To promote in pupils and students a growing appreciation and understanding of the relationships between their own work and that of artists, designers and craft workers, working in their own and other societies. This will promote an awareness of cultural heritage, values and diversity promoting greater depth of learning in ‘British values’.


To give pupils/students the opportunity to use art to record their feelings and express their creative imagination. Pupils/students will explore art and design to develop and express themselves creatively and build personal emotional resilience.


To develop pupil’s/student’s ability to work both independently and in collaboration with others, communicating their ideas visually and verbally. Some will show initiative and a natural flair for art, some will explore communication through creativity and some will develop enterprise skills for vocational activities in their transition into adulthood.


To encourage pupils and students to select, experiment with and use materials, processes and technology confidently and appropriately in both two and three dimensions. Pupils/stduents will develop as confident learners and begin to see themselves as artists – someone who is able to represent a concept, view or a feeling as they develop as visual thinkers.


To raise self-esteem and foster and sense of achievement by helping pupils to develop ideas through to completion, to develop fine and gross motor skills including functional movements and to evaluate the effectiveness of their work.



The Art design Curriculum plays a powerful role in enabling our pupils to enhance their creative talents via sensory processing, functional motor learning and academic and artistic learning. We aim to develop successful learners who will be able to express themselves innovatively, explore imaginative solutions to problem solving and apply these broader thinking skills across the curriculum. The arts are used to encourage responsible citizenship, producing learners who understand or experience ethical

questioning, some will develop stances and views which will deepen their insight into cultural, social and personal identity. Art will also be used to explore the work of female artists who are commonly under represented.


Teachers are supported by the Specialist Art and Design teacher to support multiple modes of teaching and learning and a wide variety of teaching methods are used to reach students. Direct, indirect, whole group, paired work, individual 1:1, scaffolding / demonstrations, discussions, kinaesthetic experiential activities and peer support are some of the methods used.


The curriculum is mapped via a progression model to develop knowledge, skills and understanding, however in rare cases some complex pupils including those with degenerative conditions, may have planning which aims to sustain.

  • Imagination and Creativity:  Children can take their experiences of the world and transform them through art, making new connections and relationships through their inventive minds. Their knowledge, memories and fantasies all feed their imagination. Art allows children to explore, build on and record their own creative and imaginative ideas. Class teachers use art to do this across the curriculum.

  • Expression:  Making pictures allows children to express their feelings and ideas, both as a means of self-expression and to communicate to others. These may include reliving a happy event they recently experienced (a birthday party or a day out), or drawing out some sad feelings as a therapeutic exercise. Older children may use pictures for more conceptual purposes, expressing their concerns and ideas. Class teachers use art for self expression both in discreet art lessons and across the curriculum. This links to Wellbeing & ‘This is Me’, our year of ‘self expression’.

  • Visual thinking:  Pictures encourage us to think about and understand the world visually, instead of restricting learning and the acquisition of knowledge to words and numbers alone. Visual thinking helps children learn other subjects. Visual thinking through art is used by class teachers in foundation subjects to develop concepts and explore facts.

  • Observational skills:  Making pictures helps children observe the subject matter of the real-world scene they are drawing from more closely, and makes them better observers of detail in the world around them. Developing observational skills through picture-making facilitates the child’s visual sensitivity to the world. Still life observational skills are developed throughout the art curriculum.

  • Problem solving and analytical skills:  Pictures enable children to explore and test out ideas, while making decisions on how they choose to depict them.  For instance, children will learn problem-solving skills as they grapple with trying to create a three-dimensional scene from the world on a two-dimensional page. With practice, children learn that concentration and persistence allow them to get closer to the pictures they are trying to achieve. Pupils are encouraged to develop problem solving skills through art in all curriculum areas.

  • Autonomy:  A child’s picture is his or her own. It has worth in its own right, without having to be measured or judged by others as right or wrong. The child has the authority to say what the picture is of, or what it communicates, building up their confidence and self-esteem. All our pupils develop personal representation via mark making and emergent/ symbolic drawing plus drawing.

  • Creative Education:  Areas within the right hemisphere of the brain are the primary seat for processing and developing the learning gained through participation in art activities. Art education in Villa Real School teaches thinking skills not adequately addressed elsewhere in the curriculum. Our pupils/students need a broad education that includes the arts, and the continued development of our society depends upon a creative education as well as a depth of learning offered within a rigorous academic education. Creative arts, exploratory art and art as therapy / personal narrative are used alongside teaching technique and skill.

Personal choice allows the older students to be artists and gives them real choices for responding to their own feelings, ideas and interests through art. These students can participate in self discovery and build resilience and emotional literacy from having control over the subject matter, medium and techniques. Those pupils who do not have personal ideas and intrinsic motivation are provided with appropriate closed choices by teachers and support staff.


Students construct knowledge and meaning while creating art and are exposed to a variety of art concepts in short whole group weekly instruction. They are encouraged to try something new every topic during their art sessions. Materials are organized for easy access when choice is part of the process.


Most discreet art lessons are introduced on a weekly basis as well as through key stage topic work, however there are also exciting whole school events throughout the year.



Our Art and Design Curriculum covers the ‘Expressive Arts & Design and ‘Communication’ stands from the Statutory Guidance for EYFS.

Key Stage One

Art is taught on a weekly basis and follows a 3 year curriculum overview with key elements (line, tone, colour, pattern, texture, form) to be taught.


Key Stage Two

Key Stage Two pupils are taught on a weekly basis and follows a 3 year curriculum overview, enhancing prior knowledge by building on the elements taught in Key Stage One.


Key Stage Three

Students will build on previous knowledge and skills. Students will continue to be introduced to new genres, including artists, craftspeople and designers from different time periods and cultures.

Key Stages Four and Five

Students will build on prior knowledge, with activities and experiences that enhance and support other areas of learning with a focus on self-expression and design skills for later life. External Art Accreditation is offered through NCFE awards and ASDAN Sensory qualifications.

The curriculum is mapped via a progression model to develop knowledge, skills and understanding, however in rare cases some complex pupils including those with degenerative conditions, may have planning which aims to sustain.


Assessment at Villa Real School is continuous and of the whole REAL curriculum. Assessment is during and after learning and to ensure and assure progress for all. Assessment starts at each child’s unique starting point. Our assessment schedule focuses on moving our pupils/students onto the next stage of their learning and moving between key stages and pathways; and for life beyond school. Assessment is based on EHCP REAL objectives. Progress of all pupils’/students’ learning is recorded and monitored using B Squared, and examined in line with individual targets.



The Art and Design Coordinator monitors the planning, participates in a learning walk and moderates pupil/student work giving feedback to class teachers each term. The subject coordinator meets with other art teachers across County Durham to look at work from pupils in different schools and moderate work together.

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