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Key Stage 1 art explained

Girl painting
Do you want to support your budding artist? You can with these lesson examples and top tips for enjoying art together at home.

In art lessons in KS1, your child will learn:

  • to use a range of materials creatively to design and make products
  • to use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination
  • to develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space
  • about the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and similarities between different practices and disciplines, and making links to their own work.

KS1 art lesson examples

Here are the kinds of lessons children will experience at school:

  • Year 1 children experiment with a variety of papers and fabrics to create different effects, like folding, scrunching, tearing, cutting, deconstructing, pleating and joining. They colour their designs with dyes made from beetroot, brown and red onion skin and blackberries.
  • Year 1 children bring in pictures of themselves for a project on self-portraits. After discussing the pictures, the children investigate a range of drawing media and marks they can make to show, for example, textures of hair or pattern on clothing. They explore how marks can help communicate ideas about themselves and how they would like to be seen by others (for example, big and bold, quiet and thoughtful).
  • A Year 2 class is taught how artists create storyboards to show the sequence of events in a story. They then create their own frame-by-frame illustrations to tell the story of an event from their lives or favourite television programme.

Nurturing artistic talent at home

  • Visit local art and craft events, such as exhibitions and workshops to build an early appreciation for paintings, ceramics, textiles and other art and design objects.
  • When looking at artefacts, buildings and designs, ask your child questions similar to those they'll ask in class, such as “What do you like best about this?”, “Why do you think it's this colour / has this particular feature?”, and “What is it made from?”
  • Encourage your child's creative curiosity through cutting, tearing and sticking stuff. Invest in simple art and craft books and kits and help your child to collect art materials – recycled paper, fabric, empty containers and resources such as glue, tape and paints. They could keep them all in their own special art and craft box, which they can personalise with their own design.
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