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Cookham Rise Primary School

"We want all our children to SHINE"



We want our school community to SHINE as artists and creators.




Cookham Rise is committed to providing children with a rich and engaging artistic experience. Most importantly, we want our children to enjoy their art journey and be excited to engage in creative activities that develop artistic skills and allow exploration. We believe art is a vital subject within our broad and balanced taught curriculum that not only enriches our lives but also lays the foundations for future employment in creative industries.  We want to enable all children to feel able to think and act creatively and to be part of a community that celebrates the richness of artistic talent in our immediate locality, the wider world and from different periods.


We are committed to constantly developing our art provision. We look for opportunities to widen our knowledge and refresh our creativity, which supports us to approach our teaching with vigour and passion.



'Every child is an artist.

The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.'

Pablo Picasso



We have a topic based curriculum and where possible, teach art and design through these topics. Implementation of Art and Design at Cookham Rise Primary School is based on the National Curriculum and supported by further guidance from NSEAD (National society for Education in Art and Design) and Access art. This guidance supports us in delivering well structured and progressive creative content. Children are given exploratory opportunities as well as the opportunity to practise and develop skills in a range of mediums which include drawing, painting, printing, collage, textiles, digital media and sculpture. Within this, children examine the key elements of line, colour, texture, shape, form, space, tone and pattern.


The work of artists from a range of historical periods and cultures as well as contemporary art are used to help children learn to think critically as well as using to inform their own work. Children at Cookham Rise have the opportunity to periodically work with professional artists through a partnership with our local arts centre, Norden Farm. This enriches their experiences and supports the development of aspirations.


Cookham Rise is committed to evaluating and developing the art journey for children as they travel through our  school, reflecting on current research and  making adaptions and changes as necessary. As a School, we look for opportunities to widen our experience, refresh our creativity and enable us to approach our teaching with vigour and passion.


We have chosen three key drivers, which are reflected within each of the topics that we cover:

Opportunities - this encompasses our desire to introduce the children to as many possibilities as possible. We will enhance this through inviting speakers into school, as well as going on school trips. A recent example of this was a mosaic artist working in the school with children to create a group mosaic for the school grounds. Another example of this is the annual lantern festival held in Maidenhead where our children have the opportunity to work with professional kite makers and exhibit their work. During Covid restrictions, we created online opportunities to work alongside artists from Norden Farm. 

Community - we are at the heart of a lovely school community, but want the children to learn about and understand the wider communities they are part of, both in the UK and the wider global community. We believe we have a responsibility to help children understand and embrace diversity. Examples of this include taking part in the annual Cookham Arts Festival and the annual Children’s Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy.

Creativity - we aim to be as creative as possible in how we teach our children, but also want to encourage their creativity across the curriculum. The art curriculum allows children to take risks and apply their learning to their own thinking.


Teaching staff will summarise the art and design learning that will take place on a termly basis through our topic webs using our art curriculum and progression guidance. An example of what year 3 and 4 would be expected to cover over a year can be seen below. For full details of all other year groups, please scroll down.



Art and Design in years 3 and 4

To develop ideas

Develop ideas from starting points throughout the curriculum, collect information sketches and resources, adapt and refine ideas as they progress, explore ideas in a variety of ways, comment on artworks using visual language.

To master techniques


Use a number of brush techniques using thick and thin brushes to produce shapes, textures, patterns and lines, mix colours effectively, use watercolour paint to produce washes for backgrounds then add detail, experiment with creating mood with colour.


Select and arrange materials for a striking effect, ensure work is precise, use coiling, overlapping, tessellation, mosaic and montage.


Create and combine shapes to create recognisable forms (e.g. shapes made from nets or solid materials), include texture that conveys feelings, expression or movement, use clay and other mouldable materials, add materials to provide interesting detail.


Use different hardness of pencils to show line, tone and texture, annotate sketches to explain and elaborate ideas, sketch lightly (no need to use a rubber to correct mistakes), use shading to show light and shadow, use hatching and cross hatching to show tone and texture.


Use layers of two or more colours, replicate patterns observed in natural or  built environments, make printing blocks (e.g. from coiled string glued to a block), make precise repeating patterns.


Shape and stitch materials, use basic cross stitch and back stitch, colour fabric, create weavings, quilt, pad and gather fabric.

Digital Media

Create images, video and sound recordings and explain why they were created.

To take inspiration from the greats (classic and modern)

Replicate some of the techniques used by notable artists, artisans and designers, create original pieces that are influenced by studies of others.

Art curriculum and progression

At sea

Clay fish

Fish sculptures

Beetle art

A world of colour!

year 4 collage

Stick man sculptures

Frozen worlds art

Year 4 worked with watercolours and wax to create stunning batik effect elephants

Some lovely colour blending when year 3 and 4 created their Greek pots.