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Art & Design

Art, design and creativity are integral to the delivery and ethos of our LEAP curriculum. Children are introduced to a wide range of artists, techniques and rich experiences, which enable them to develop their knowledge and skills progressively throughout their time with LEAP. 

Our art curriculum introduces children to the artists of the past, who have had a profound impact on current arts and artistic ways of thinking. These artists are from a variety of art movements and allow the children to explore new vocabulary, styles of working and a knowledge of art history. Our creative lessons mean that children develop their observation, line-work and artistic skills from an early age in painting, drawing, mixed-media and printmaking. This is developed as they go through the school, leaving us in Year 6 as confident, knowledgeable and well-rounded artists.

National Curriculum

At LEAP, we ensure that our lessons are in line with the National Curriculum (see link below.)  Art and Design lessons are linked to the History and Geography units of work throughout the year, which ensures a balanced programme of study and exposes the children to a wide range of art from different periods, cultures and locations.

Link to National Curriculum (England) Art and Design

Curriculum overview

  • Art is taught across 6 weeks in the year, and is embedded into our Humanities curriculum, to ensure purposeful and productive learning
  • Each year, we work in partnership with the National Gallery’s Take One Picture to develop a Creative Project over a week.  Past projects have been based on Paolo Uccello’s, 'The Battle of San Romano', and George Bellows’, 'Men of the Docks'.  This year we will be looking at Orazio Gentileschi’s, 'The Finding of Moses'.
  • Progression and skills are evident from EYFS to Year 6, and is recorded in sketchbooks and displays. Art lessons are both knowledge and skill based to re-inforce the learning of knowledge about both great makers and creators of the past, as well as supporting the cross-curricular learning.

Cultural Capital

We are fortunate to live in a thriving international art capital and at LEAP we take full advantage of this!  We have links to outside institutions and galleries include:  The National Gallery: Take One Picture, The Estorick Collection, The Barbican, The Guildhall Art Gallery, The Cell Gallery, Artburst, The Tate, Hackney Music Festival etc.

Gayhurst has developed #TAG (our very own art gallery), with local art educators Art Hoppers. #TAG is a professional art space within the grounds of the school designed specifically as a showcase venue for the exhibition of student’s artworks. Three exhibitions a year are held in the gallery, with each exhibition focussing on a different year group’s work. The children really take ownership of the exhibition – hosting a special Private View for family and friends, where they serve refreshments and explain their work to visitors. You can find out more about #TAG at the dedicated website .


Steve McQueen’s ‘Year 3’ at the Tate Britain

Our year 3’s participated in a unique opportunity to be part of Steve McQueen’s exhibition ‘Year 3’.   


Decolonising the curriculum

We are actively decolonising our art curriculum by exposing the children to a range of artists from ethnic minorities and how they have shaped and contributed to art history.  Art is taught through the humanities curriculum and our holistic approach is designed to develop children’s understanding of the multitude of different people and cultures in our world.  Children will look at influences from around the world, such as the importance of pattern in Islamic art and the influence of African masks in the paintings of Picasso and Modigliani. 

Fundamental British Values

At LEAP, we believe in threading Fundamental British Values throughout our curriculum.  In art, we are particularly focused on Individual Liberty and every child’s individual right to express themselves freely and right to have an opinion.  We teach this through discussion and learning around artists and creatives globally and of the present and the past.  British artists are taught in the classroom, include (but are not limited to) David Hockney, Joan Eardley, Henry Moore, Andy Goldsworthy, Peter Doig, John Riley, John Hayls, Eileen Agar, Paul Nash and Chris Ofili.


We are in the process of applying for Artsmark.

Art at Home

Observational drawing is one of the hardest skills we can learn in drawing and painting, and it takes practice. It is about using your eyes to follow the shapes and angles in nature/of an object, using what you can actually see, rather than what you know is there. Going to museums, galleries, local parks you can find a huge variety of objects you can practice drawing using your observational skills. All you need is a paper, pencil and your eyes.

Here is a list of museums and galleries which are free to get into, and who have a lot of very interesting artefacts and artworks you can draw.

Tate modern

Tate Britain

Guildhall Art Gallery

British Museum

Natural history Museum

Science Museum