Art and Design Technology

In EYFS, art and design technology are integrated into a topic-based approach, both explicitly taught and in continuous provision. At Key Stage 1, we teach a creative theme on a two-year rolling programme which encompasses the subjects of geography, history, science, art and design and design technology. Meaningful and relevant links are made to enhance children’s acquisition of knowledge, skills and fundamental understanding without losing any of the rigour of the individual disciplines. In Key Stage Two, a block of art or DT teaching follows each humanities unit, often taking two afternoons a week for five weeks.  

Please find here the primary national curriculum for art and design. 

Please find here the primary national curriculum for design technology. 


In art, we teach units incorporating drawing, painting, sculpture, mouldable materials, textiles and digital technologies. Our art units take a wide theme, such as fruit, and include a variety of art techniques. This ensures children have multiple opportunities in each phase to master using materials and techniques in different contexts. There is a careful balance of exploring the effects that can be created with different media and explicitly taught art techniques. Children keep sketchbooks for each unit of work. They are very different from our other school books: there are no dates or titles, sometimes they’re full of attempts to use materials in different ways and feedback is given on post it notes.  

We are fortunate to have received expert support from accessart, the art team at the Exceed Academies Trust and local art specialists when planning our curriculum. Our art store is a treasure trove of goodies and resources! In the summer term of each year, we hold an art day. Each class is assigned an artist whose work they study and explore. The study of key artists is also integrated into each art unit. This ensures that by the time children leave Kirkstall Valley, they can recognise a variety of artistic styles and movements.  

In DT, we teach units incorporating structures, mechanics, electronics, resistant materials and food technology. Our DT units are provide by the The Design and Technology Association (DATA) and are taught discretely. The design process is taught through all units. We are fortunate to have received support from the DT team at the Exceed Academies Trust and DATA (The Design and Technology Association) in planning our curriculum. We have a fully functioning DT area in school with kitchen equipment, resources for materials technology and even a kiln!  

Reception Foundation Subject Long Term Plan

Meeting the National Curriculum in Art and DT at KS1

Meeting the National Curriculum in Art and DT at KS2

Assessment in art and design technology is completed formatively, lesson to lesson, to reshape planning and teaching. Summative assessments at the end of units take into consideration children’s work in all aspects of the design cycle as well as their final pieces.  

For further information about our art and design technology curricula, please speak to Miss Otley.