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Art and Design


Our Art & Design subject leader is 

Miss Henry  


Our Art curriculum seeks to inspire and motivate a generation of Artists, to stimulate their imagination and generate originality wherever possible.  At Upperby Primary School, we want our pupils to become accomplished in developing their own ideas, choosing resources, making decisions and working independently or in teams.  We aim for our pupils to be able to communicate their thoughts and feelings about art, while appreciating other people’s views. With a focus in lessons on developing the skills, knowledge and understanding specific to the subject over time, our pupils will begin to understand the relevance to their own lives and communities within and outside our locality. 



Throughout the school art and design is developed through discrete and topic related lessons.  Our curriculum has well-planned topics that relate to pupils’ personal experiences, feelings, observations and where possible, interests to inspire their imaginations.  Our approaches to learning balances exploration with demonstration, whilst encouraging pupils to make decisions and use the approaches taken by artists and designers to improve their work. 

Pupils explore a range of media, improvise with materials and use their sketchbooks to review and refine ideas and skills.  They are encouraged to respond creatively to challenges set, make connections and sustain purposeful and independent activity.

We have identified the concepts which pupils should be introduced to, revisit and refine as they progress through our school and the artists and designers who exemplify the concepts.  Learning opportunities are enhanced through computer resources, images and artefacts, visits and workshops.



The pupils are assessed against the performance descriptors for each year groups which have been carefully mapped out.  Skills and understanding in Art are progressive and build year on year.   Assessment information is used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.  The subject leader monitors assessments and provides support for staff to ensure continued progress. 



Since the summer of 2021, Upperby Primary School has been using the Kapow Primary Scheme of Work to support our delivery of the Art and Design National Curriculum. 


Through Kapow children learn the building blocks to be successful in:

  • Generating ideas

  • Making skills in art, craft and design

  • Evaluation of their own outcomes and those of peers and famous artists

  • Knowledge of artists and processes


Upperby Primary School is bursting with artistic talent which we celebrate with whole school art projects, classroom and corridor displays and entering competitions such as the Cumberland Show. 



Sketchbook Gallery


Sketchbooks are a vital way of recording thoughts, developing ideas, sharing with peers and refining new techniques. 

Take a look through some of the wonderful work going on in our sketchbooks!


Whole School Project 2020

Celebrating the work of artist


Jimmy Nelson


'I take pictures. I make images. Unlike film, which overwhelms you with movement and sound, defining the ongoing moment, a photograph just sits there quietly while you decide what it is saying.'

Jimmy Nelson,


For our most recent art project the children were introduced to work of photographer Jimmy Nelson and his collection titled 

'Blink. And they're gone.'

With 'Blink. And they're gone.' Nelson is sending a warning of the risk of losing global cultural heritage by squandering the cultural identities of the last indigenous peoples. The photographer wants to help preserve cultural diversity by issuing the caution: 'BLINK. AND THEY'RE GONE'.





Nelson has made it his life's work to attain understanding and respect for the world's indigenous cultures through his photography. He presents these cultures in an aspirational and stylized way. 

However, Nelson believes that the beautification of indigenous cultures is an important message for greater humanity - and one that is needed now more than ever. 

Each year group was asked to create a response to the collection of images, to engage in thoughtful discussions about the intent of the images and the way they have been taken, how they been posed, the composition and the use of colour. 

The display shows a variety of different approaches from each year group. Inspired by the rich colours displayed in the images, our youngest children explored colour and colour mixing, repeating patterns and weaving. Other year groups were influenced by the head dresses and adornments worn by the indigenous people. 

After looking at the images of the indigenous tribes and their families, groups of our junior children explored the theme of our school as a community, our 'school family'.

Where would they choose to pose their family photograph and what items or clothing would they choose to best represent themselves to others. Through this approach they also experimented with digital photography and composition.


Our New Displays

Some of our work from Art Week is now on display in the Hall and in the Key Stage 1 corridor, and it looks amazing! 

ART WEEK- September 2019


This week we have been looking at the work of three artists and the children have been re-imagining their works. Once all of our work is complete, we look forward to celebrating it with a new display in the school hall.

The artists we have studied are:


Year 5 have reinterpreted his work using paper collages and an overlay technique, to create some striking colour contrasts. Year 1 have been exploring oil pastels, and how they can be used to create similar images. 

"You have to press them quite hard" (Harley, Neverland)   

Year 4 have been recreating the lines that appear in Martin's work, using tissue paper, magazine print and even PE kits! Lilla (Atlantis) has enjoyed learning about Agnes Martin "I don't really understand it but I like it". Year 2 have been making their lines whilst learning about using different pencils to create different shades.  

Years 3 and 6 have been creating some exciting art based on Alber's work, using various techniques including print. Pictures to follow.





During this week the children will be discovering the life, works and careers of Vivienne Westwood, Damien Hirst and Sir Terrence Conran.

Uncovering Carlisle's Textile History with Prism Arts

project funded by

The National Lottery Heritage Fund


Year 4 are currently taking part in a year long project working with Prisim Arts to discover and explore Carlisle's links to textile design and manufacture. To keep up to date with their activities go to Jackie's blog - - it really is worth a look! 

I popped into the printmaking workshop today where the children were exploring markmaking and  monoprinting. It was lovely to see the children so engaged and their delight when they lifted the paper to reveal their prints! 

Art in The Early Years


Nursery children have been doing still life pictures of flowers, they really concentrate on the details!



Year 1 have been busy creating pages for their own sketchbooks. They enjoy sketchbook challenges where they are given ten minutes to create a page on a given theme. They have also been learning how shade and make light and dark marks with a pencil. 

October 2018

Art Week! 

The whole school have been working together this week to create new displays for our school hall. This term’s theme has been inspired by author Katie Pankhurst and two of her books, ‘Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World’ and ‘Fantastically Great Women Who Made History’.