Art skills progression


Early Years

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6



Pencil, charcoal, inks, pastels, ICT software

mark making process to understand lines and shapes

encourage using shapes for people and objects

using drawings to tell a story


Focusing on mark making to use lines to represent objects seen remembered or imagined.

Using a variety of tools; pencils, rubbers, crayons, pastels, felt tips, charcoal, chalk and other dry media.

Observe anatomy and use appropriate shapes for parts (faces, limbs)

Observe patterns in the natural and manmade world

Use a sketchbook to gather and collect artwork

Experiment line, shape, pattern and colour.

Experiment with tools and surfaces.


Use a viewfinder to select a view and then record what is selected in the frame.


Draw a way of recording experiences and feelings.


Discuss use of shadows, use of light and dark.


Sketch to make quick records.

Experiment with the potential of various pencils (2B-2H) to show tone, texture etc.


Draw both positive and negative shapes.


Make initial sketches as a preparation for painting.


Encourage accurate drawings of people – particularly faces.


Identify and draw the effect of light.


Introduce scale and proportion.  


Encourage accurate drawings of whole people including proportion and placement.


Begin to make quick studies from observation. 

Drawing familiar objects from a range of view points

Identify and draw the effect of light on objects and people from different directions.


Interpret the texture of a surface. 


Produce increasingly accurate drawings of people.


Introduce the  concept of perspective

Draw quick studies from observation recording action and movement with fluency.


Returns to work to improve accuracy/detail


Recap the concept of perspective.


Convey tonal qualities well and show an understanding of light/dark.



Painting,  ink, dye, textiles, pencils, crayon, pastels


exploring with paint; poster paint, watercolour, powder paint

naming and mixing colours

learn names of tools and how to use them safely

using tools to make coloured marks on paper


Children explore primary colours and can be mixed to make secondary colours.


They begin to work on adding white and black to create different shades.


Children use a variety of tools; different sized brushes.


Begin to match colour to artefacts and objects


Begin to describe colours by objects.


Make as many tones of one colour as possible (using white).


Darken colours without using black.


Mix colours to match those of the natural world.



Experience  using colour on a large scale.


Extend exploring colour mixing.


Make colour wheels.


Introduce different types of brushes for different purposes.


Begin to apply colour using dotting (pointillism), scratching, splashing

Make the colours shown on a commercial colour chart. 


Mix and match colours to those in a work of art. 


Work with one colour against a variety of backgrounds. 


Observe skin tone colours and begin to mix them. 


Select suitable equipment for the task.  


Colour to reflect mood. 


Experiment qualities tone, hue, tint, shades and mood.


Explore the use of texture in colour  colour for purposes (link to texture) add sawdust, glue, sand and so on on different surfaces. 


Consider colour for purposes.


Use colour to express moods and feelings.


Control and experiment particular qualities of tone, hue, tint, shades and mood.


Explore the use of texture in colour- very wet and thin or thick and heavy- add PVA to the paint. 


Colour for purposes. 


Colour to express mood and feelings. 


Consider artist’s use of colour and application of it.  




3D work, clay, dough, boxes, wire, paper sculpture, mod rock


Handling, feeling, enjoying and manipulating malleable materials.  


Constructing and building from simple objects.


Pulls apart and reconstructs.


Shape and model.


Explore natural materials.


Construct to represent personal ideas.


Use both hands and tools to build.


 Use materials to make known objects for a purpose.


Carve, pinch and roll coils and slabs using a modelling media. 


Make simple joins using modelling materials.


Collect and arrange natural materials.

Compares and recreates form and shape from observations


Children manipulates clay for a variety of purposes, e.g thumb pots, simple coil pots and models.


Children experiment with, construct and join recycled, natural and man-made materials more confidently and independently



Shape, form, model and construct from observation and/or imagination, e.g.clay pot.


Plan and develop ideas in sketchpads and make choices about media.


Have an   understanding of different adhesives and methods of construction.

 aesthetics .


Consider size of work.


Replicate work by land artists in school grounds.

Plan and develop ideas in sketchbook and make choices about media.


Experience surface patterns / textures.


Discuss own work and work of other sculptors.


Analyse and interpret natural and manmade forms of construction.


Use natural materials for sculpture.

forms of construction

Plan and develop ideas in sketchbooks.


Shape, form, model and join materials.


Work directly from observation or imagination.


Consider the properties of media being used.


Discuss and evaluate own work and that of other sculptors.


Create own land art compositions

Makes imaginative use of the knowledge they have acquired of tools, techniques and materials to express own ideas and feelings.  



Paint, pencil, collage, textiles, clay, printing

Imitate and create simple repeating patterns using concrete objects and photographing- buttons, stones, blocks.


Make irregular patterns based on real life- animal print.


Simple symmetry - folding painted butterflies. 


Awareness and discussion of patterns around them- pattern hunt.

Create own repeating patterns on paper drawing or printing of own design.


Experiment by arranging, folding, repeating, overlapping, regular and irregular patterning.


Look at  natural and manmade patterns.


Discuss regular and irregular patterns.


Search for pattern in the environment- pictures and objects.


Use the environment to make own patterns, printing and rubbings. 


Design patterns  using ICT.


Make patterns on a range of surfaces- clay, dough, on fabric, paper, chalk.




Explore environmental and manmade patterns


aboriginal art

Embellishes using a variety of techniques including drawing, painting and printing together

Create own abstract pattern to reflect personal experiences and expression

Create patterns for purposes

Further refine skills.


Create own abstract pattern to reflect personal experiences and expression.


Create pattern for purposes



Found materials, fruit/veg, wood blocks, press print, lino, string

Make a range of rubbings showing texture and pattern. 


Print with variety of objects- leaf, hand, onion, feet, junk, bark, modelling clay etc. 


Produce simple pictures by printing with objects.


Imprint onto a range of textures- newspaper, coloured paper, clay, dough etc. 


Print with block colours.


Create patterns and pictures by printing from objects using more than one colour.

Develop impressed images.

Relief printing- string, card etc.

Use equipment and correctly to produce a clean image, e.g. monoprint.  


Use printing as a means of drawing.

Create order, similarity and irregularity.

Extend repeating patterns- overlapping, using two colours.

Still prints  with a growing range of objects.

Identify the different forms printing takes- books, pictures, wallpaper, fabrics, etc.

Use relief and impressed printing processes.


Use sketchbook for recording textures/patterns.


Explore images through  monoprinting on a variety of papers. 


Explore colour mixing through overlapping colour prints.

Use sketchbook for recording textures/patterns.


Interpret environmental and manmade pattern and form. 


Modify and adapt print as work progresses.


Explores images and recreates texture through deliberate selection of materials.






Combining prints taken from different objects to produce an end piece.


Design prints for fabrics, book covers and wallpaper. 


Make connections between their own work and patterns in their own environment.


Discuss and evaluate own work and that of others 

Builds up drawings and images of whole or parts of items using various techniques.


Screen printing.


Collagraph printing.


Explore printing techniques used by various artists





Textiles, clay, sand, plaster, stone



Handling, manipulating and enjoying using materials.


Simple collages using paper, pasta, beans etc.


Selects, sorts, tears and glues items down. 

Sorts, collects, discusses cloths and threads

Simple weaving using a card loom

Add objects to weaving, buttons, twigs etc

Explore colour in weaving

Discuss how textiles create things – curtains, clothing etc.

Cutting and sewing a range of materials e.g plastics, tissue paper, magazines and crepe paper. Children learn how to thread a needle and trim an edge.


Develop skills of overlapping and overlayering to create effects.


Use large eyed needles – do running stitches with a range of threads.


Simple appliqué work attaching material shapes to fabric.  

Start to explore other simple stitches




Use smaller eyed needles and finer threads.


Use colour weaving to express an idea in weaving.


Awareness of the nature of materials and surfaces- fragile, tough, durable.


Tie dying, batik- ways of colouring or patterning materials.

Use a wider variety of stitches, develop pattern and texture, e.g. chain stitch, zig- zag stitch.


Observation and design of textural art.


Experimenting with creating mood, feeling, movement.


Compare different fabrics. Look at fabric from different countries. 

Use stories, music, poems as stimuli.


Select and use materials for a specific outcome.


Embellish work using a variety of techniques including drawing, painting and printing on top of textural work. 


Consider methods of making fabric.


Look at work of other artists using textiles. 


Develops experience in embellishing and pooling together experiences in texture- applique. Drawing, sticking, cutting, paint, weaving and layering.


Applies knowledge of different techniques to express feelings.


Work collaboratively on a larger scale.


Use found materials.

Digital skills


Computer programs, photography, printing, animation, digital video 

Talk about photographs they see.


Choose and arrange photographs onto paper.


Begin to use an art program, exploring tools.

Can select photographs for a theme, creative purpose or to provide ideas for their own work.

Can open and use an art program, selecting simple lines, shapes and fill shapes/spaces with colour.

Can control the size of mark and select colours and use predefined shapes, motifs and stamps.

Can hold and use a camera to select and capture with clear intention. 


Begin to control focus, or zoom settings or move closer composing their image.


Can save and print a digital image. 


Can copy and paste areas of the image (drawn or photographed), save and print it. 


Can open and play time based media program files. 


Can plan the use of a camera to take specific photo or set of photos.


Begin to modify an image on a computer to achieve the best quality print.


Can confidently use a painting program to make an image linked to their work in other art media.


Can create a motif in lines and shapes and copy and paste this to make a pattern. 


Begin to change the camera settings such as flash.


Can use the zoom to best frame the image. 


Discuss other photographs, saying how they show mood/ emotions.


Can combine digital images and work in a drawing program. 


Begin to animate a simple sequence of marks over several frames to make a time based presentation. 

Begin to use a DV camera to make a simple film.

Can plan, take and digitally process photographs for a creative process.


Begin to cut and paste their images to create a digital collage. 


Can cut and paste and superimpose their photographs into other photographic images.


Can use a DV camcorder or tablet. 

Can collaborate and use a DV camera/device and editing software to pre-produce film and edit a short sequence of narrative film.


Can create a virtual work of art using digital photography and an art program.


Can animate a simple sequence of drawings/ photos to make a time based presentation with sound.


Talking about potential ideas

Learning to share and listen to other ideas

Learn to praise others work


Exceeding ELG:

Talk about ideas and processes

Talk about work and others work

Recognise strengths in others

Develop own ideas


Children say what they like about their own/ another child’s work.

Children annotate their sketchbooks to learn to identify what they might change or develop for future work, can they make links from artists work into their own work?


Identify what they might change in their own work next time. 

Directly annotate own work, sketches and drawings prior to creating final piece or work. 


Evaluate the work of artists

Identify what they like and dislike about artists work

To generate an explanation, why they like specific features of an artists’ work/techniques

To explain why they have

chosen a specific media, style or technique and the impact this has on their final outcome.