Peter Gladwin Primary School, Brighton and Hove



At Peter Gladwin Primary, we value art and design education as part of the children’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. We believe that engaging art lessons enable children to think creatively, take risks and to acquire the skills and knowledge to experiment and create their own work. Through engaging with the work of a wide range of artists, craft makers and designers, children are inspired and develop their own ideas, but also have opportunities to explore different cultures and ideas, to ask questions and to develop a visual literacy, which enables the children to understand and respond to the world. 

They consider how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our society.

Our aspiration is for children to emerge from their primary education at Peter Gladwin as visually literate, with a passion for exploring creative art and design through a range of media.

We are so passionate about art and design that we are working towards the ‘Artsmark’ award - the only creative quality standard for schools and education settings accredited by Arts Council England.


Art is fundamental to Peter Gladwin. The knowledge, skills and understanding of art & design are taught explicitly in art lessons. The key aspects are organised into two strands: art skills & techniques and exploring & evaluating, to ensure that pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding are built upon through successive years towards clearly identified year-group learning outcomes.

Our art & design scheme of work ensures a carefully planned progression of skills from drawing, painting and printing through to collage, textiles and 3D work. Wherever possible art activities and outcomes are linked to termly topics, which excite, engage and inspire passion through purposeful learning.

A child’s sketchbook stays with them throughout their school life, demonstrating their cumulative knowledge and development of skills from Year 1 through to Year 6.

 If you walk into an EYFS classroom you will see the continuously changing ‘Creative area’ where children are encouraged to select their own materials to construct and create; this adapts to the child-led learning that individual children are interested in. Children may join a member of the teaching team for an adult-led task (such a drawing a self-portrait), where skills are modelled and supported by the adult and new skills are learnt.

In KS1 and KS2 the art work is skilfully fitted into the termly topics, with teachers modelling new techniques and showing other artists’ work as an inspiration or scaffold for children to adapt and use to create their own works of art.

Art activities may be differentiated by outcome, for example in Year 1 a child may make a simple Arctic collage made up of different blue textures, whereas another child may make a more detailed collage using wider range of tonal textures and embellishing with pen detail. Lessons offer opportunities and resources to support those who are finding the learning challenging, whilst offering additional challenges to stretch and deepen understanding for others.

We are fortunate to participate in some of our city’s vibrant arts opportunities, including visiting museums and participating in Brighton Festival’s Children’s Parade. We make use of our school’s outside areas and nearby woods and parks to look for different stimuli and inspirations, particularly as the seasons change through the year.

We are proud to have developed our own PGS Annual Art Exhibition since 2015, whereby each year we put together an entire themed collection of art work from every child in the school. We then open our doors to the public at the weekend and the children get to experience, celebrate and be proud of their work on display. It is a very special event! We also link up yearly with our neighbouring secondary school PACA to display our children’s art work alongside their exhibition of GCSE students’ final pieces.

Staff training and INSETs have been carried out by the subject lead and by art specialist adviser Judy Graham. Judy has not only worked with many of our children on different exciting art projects but also delivered excellent training on ‘Using sketchbooks’ and ‘Printing techniques’ where we explored different techniques of printing (polystyrene, lino, card and string)


Our art & design curriculum ensures that children leave Peter Gladwin:

  • with a passion for exploring a wide range of arts media.
  • able to apply the key principles of art: line, tone, texture, shape, form, space, pattern, colour, contrast, composition, proportion and perspective. 
  • able to review, modify and refine their work.
  • able to create high-quality work for display and in sketch books that demonstrates effective lesson-sequencing and progression of knowledge and skills as pupils move up the school.
  • with an understanding of the work of a diverse group of artists, craftspeople and designers.
  • able to express their opinion of the work of others, using increasingly precise art & design vocabulary.