I was observed today by the local authority. I told them I had been engaging the less interested boys in my group with your Media Art project. She was very impressed and thought it was amazing as it linked very well to culture and PSHE. During my feedback she said she had never seen that used before and that it I should patent it, so thanks for that, the students have found it challenging but are really kicking off with it now.
Amanda Skilton 




































Art lesson plans for ages 7 - 11 (Primary Key Stage Two, Elementary & Middle)

picArt in the Primary school is a very mixed picture. Where the leaders of schools in the Primary Elementary stage value the contribution art can make to learning and take positive action to embed it, it quite literally transforms a school into a positive, creative environment. But in some schools the core skills of mathematics and english take precedence and creativity is often seen as a luxury that cannot be afforded. I am not a school leader and it's not my position to criticise whole school strategies, but I do think that creative learning is too valuable to ignore. These resources are the result of years of Primary practice and I hope they make life a lot easier for Art Coordinators and colleagues who are expected to be master of all things.

ALL my units (except the drawing units) contain full lesson plans that cover; Learning Objectives, Success Criteria, Differentiation, tips and hints, handouts for students, assessment guidance, artist links and cross-curricular links where appropriate. They also contain a full teaching Powerpoint presentation for you to use and full colour instructions and supporting pictures where relevant.



Drawing Advice

By the age of seven most young children have very strong opinions about their art ability. They will define themselves as belonging to one of three ability groups; good, ok or useless. This definition is very powerful and long lasting and is formulated by observation of peers and classroom, playground conversation. Quite paradoxically, most children still enjoy art immensely despite their anxieties. In a child's mind drawing IS art, they believe wrongly that if you can't draw you aren't good at art. And their definition of drawing is limited too. They usually aren't taught that there are a range of drawing styles; graphic, abstract, contemporary, sculptural, realistic, technical, architectural, digital, the list goes on. Nor do they receive comprehensive drawing tuition in these styles to find which one suits them and how to improve. Opportunities to draw are often restricted too and so my advice is simple:: provide time for pupils to draw for creative self-expression, teach them about different drawing styles and if you don't have the ability to teach drawing skills yourself then my drawing tutorials should help.

Too few pupils develop creativity through confident drawing

The Ofsted report, Making a mark: art, craft and design 2008-2011, shows that weaknesses in the teaching of drawing have not been addressed since Ofsted’s last report. Too few pupils developed creativity through confident drawing.

Ofsted Director of Education, Jean Humphrys, said: ‘We found that children often began well, drawing adventurously and imaginatively at the very start of their education, but too few made consistently good enough progress to flourish creatively, especially boys. This was masked by their enjoyment of the subject even when teaching was barely satisfactory.

draw download

FULL How to Draw Programme

The full observational drawing programme contains all four drawing units so that your students can learn to draw from observation from their very beginnings to an advanced stage. They contain full windows format videos and Powerpoint presentations plus all associated worksheets. The download even contains an Assessment system to make marking the results easy, even for a non-specialist.

This is more traditional classroom teaching where the teacher controls the learning

  • Foundation Stage

  • Beginner Stage

  • Intermediate

  • Advanced Stage


ONLINE How to Draw Programme

Get both the FULL Drawing Programme download with additional ONLINE access! For just a small additional cost you can get a unique log in and password to accompany your drawing programme.This allows your whole school to access it from home so they can teach themselves how to draw or you can set an exercise for homework! You will get the download and instructions for the online version.

Contains download of all four stages + ONLINE access


Flip the classroom learning and empower your students to teach themselves to draw! This is the way I prefer to teach students.


Foundation Stage Drawing

Foundation Stage for unconfident, SEN or younger artists.The download contains: Basic Tips in drawing, Drawing Simple Shapes, Shading Part 1a, Flat tones, Shading Part 1b, Light to Dark, Cartoon Drawing. Also provided are worksheets, baseline test and assessment sheets. Contains 5 Windows format videos, 5 Pwpt presentations


Beginner Stage Drawing

Beginner Stage for students approx 7-11 age This stage contains lessons in: 3D Shapes. Shading a Cube/Cylinder, Shading a Sphere, Still Life Drawing, Lettering, Perspective, Cartoon Shading, Plus worksheets and assessment sheets. The download contains 3 Windows format videos, 8 Powerpoint presentations plus all supporting work sheets  

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Intermediate Stage Drawing

Intermediate Stage for more advanced KS2 or younger KS3 students.Contains: Shading, basic Measuring, Drawing details, practical exercises

Contemporary Drawing

Contemporary Drawing

The Ebook features 12 modern drawing activities that stimulate creative and unique approaches to drawing and do not require realistic drawing skills.

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Many schools spend a fortune buying expensive sketchbooks but with budgets being so tight it's worth making your own. You don't need expensive materials, it's dead easy. Simply fold a piece of packaging card in half and fill it with a few folded envelopes, junk mail, scrap paper, magazines and anything else you have lying around. Then put an elastic band around the middle. That's it!

Look at these fantastic examples from Gomersal Primary School and check out their brilliant blog for more art ideas. Better still, why not create your own blog and link to theirs? Sharing good practice is awesome!



Mark Crilley

Mark Crilley's superb Youtube channel is a great place for young people to develop their drawing skills by drawing things they love.


Blind Hand Drawing

All ages

Another lovely starter activity that focusses students' attention on something very familiar to them.


Describing Drawing

All ages

This exercise can be a great literacy activity and is excellent fun too! I use this a lot in class.


Object in a Bag

All ages

Drawing from visual memory and recall, this exercise is a real test of memory and imagination/.


Blind Contour Drawing

All ages

Making 'blinds' to go over the drawing hand is a great way of teaching young artists to really study hard.

Free to Download Free to Download Free to Download
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mark making

Doodle Bugs

All ages

A great starter activity to get your students warmed up for drawing. Pass the doodle to the left hand side.

Memory Drawing

All ages

This staple drawing exercise was used by Henry Moore during the war to draw in the air raid shelters. It is an essential!

the Language of Drawing

Age 7-13 Abstract Drawing

Fully revised! This 2-3 hour lesson challenges students to invent a language then write secret words using brush and ink methods,

Mark Making

All ages

I love this lesson. It's so simple to do, such fun and so expressive. Students love it too and I've seen it done in Early Years through to GCSE


UK Art Curriculum

My resources are carefully designed to meet the requirements of the new UK National Curriculum and contain relevant lesson plans, but to be honest they are just good practice and can be used in any country.

Subject Content Key stage 2
Pupils should be taught to develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design.
Pupils should be taught:
• to create sketch books to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas
• to improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials [for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay]
• about great artists, architects and designers in history.


Drawing & Painting CPD Workshop

I run a drawing and painting skills workshop CPD full training day which is great fun and inexpensive. Why not contact me to come into your school?

Email Me


Bespoke Consultancy Service

I am also available to do in-house CPD for schools as full day training sessions, half day or twilgiht sessions. It's a cost effective way of doing teacher training and it can be tailored to meet your schools'needs.

Email Me

Primary Elementary ART PROJECTS


Primary Lesson Pack

Aged 5-11 Contains all of the Art lesson plans and resources for KS2:

  • Drawing Unit Foundation Stage
  • Drawing Unit Beginner Stage
  • Clay animals
  • Alien Landscape
  • Funny Fish
  • Language of Drawing
  • Macro Art
  • Birds of Paradise
  • Contemporary drawing
  • Mask Project
  • PLUS Art Teacher's Handbook (Which includes assessment)


Macro Art

Age 7-16 Photography Mixed Media

Suitable for most age ranges, this very flexible project combines digital photography with the art of Photoshop and drawing. Gets great results.

Clay Animals

Clay Animals

Age 7-12, 3D Clay or modelling clay

This Lesson Plan and Powerpoint presentation shows you in a clear, step-by-step guide how to make animals....


Birds of Paradise

Age 5-7, 3D Craft Project

Learn about the fabulous birds of New Guinea and how they have evolved into some of the most stunning.

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Funny Fish

Age 7-12

Complete with beautiful supporting illustrations, a teaching Powerpoint and detailed Lesson Plan with full instructions

Alien Landscape

Alien Landscape

Age 7-16

Fully revised! The Alien Landscape Lesson is a 2-3 hour lesson comprising of Lesson Plan, Powerpoint resources


African Mask Making

Age 7-11, 3D sculpture

More than just a mask project, this unit delves into the real reason why masks are made. Tons of stuff

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Giger Photoshop Project

Age 10-16 Digital

This powerpoint lesson provides students with images of Gigers aliens and a powerpoint set of instructions on how to produce layers, transparencies, masks, type and design effects.


Healthy Eating

Age 10-16 design project

This Food based project is a Vocational project complete with Scheme of Work, Design brief, photographs of food and examples of students work.


Using computers in art

For teachers

This is a free pdf download that was written for the specialist schools trust. It looks at practical examples of how computers can improve learning in art and is still highly relevant


Alien Design

Age 7 - 13

Perfect to go with the Alien landscape project! Design an Alien creature to live on an inhospitable planet. This works great in conjunction with Science!


Paper Folding Download

Age 7-16, 3D sculpture

This is a pdf set of paper folding instructions that reflects my love of paper folding. It's a great reference and learning sheet that shows you how to make a variety of shapes and folds.


the Environment

Age 10-16

A very topical project with strong cross-curricular links, it has a Scheme of Work and examples of students art work. This topic asks deep questions!



iPads Tablets in art

For Teachers

Ipads are the hottest thing in schools but they are just a useless tool unless you know which apps to use in art and more importantly how to use them to improve learning. Contains information about great apps to buy too!


Natural Form

Age 10-16

The classic Natural Forms Project Pdf has a Full Scheme of Work, lesson plans and photographic source material to help you to deliver the project. A staple project!

----- Painting -----

paintPainting in the Primary school is of huge importance to art and design education in later years. If children are taught colour mixing and properties, control, dexterity and skills they will make the transition to Secondary High School art with ease and may just develop a lifelong love. Get it wrong and it's all too familiar to hear the cries of; "I hate painting!"

Of course you will already have some fabulous painting practice going on in your school and I'm sure your pupils get some great experiences. But teaching painting is not easy. You need a lot of technical know how and even then you need to be able to translate that into simple terms the children understand.

Things like handling the brush, painting straight lines, mixing tones, blending from light to dark, watercolour washes, acrylic paint are all important. This is before you teach colour expression, mood, technique and depth of field etc. Painting is a specialist area but don't panic. You don't need to be an expert yourself, just provide opportunities to paint and follow some of these simple exercises that are free to download.


Basic Skills

All ages

A powerpoint that outlines basic principles and housekeeping of painting. Great to print out andf post near the sink!


Colour Theory

Age 7-14

Some teachers prefer to embed colour theory into projects but this stand alone worksheet & powerpoint is great to have.


Tints & Shades

Age 7-14

Improve your student's painting techniques by completing this range of worksheets for tints and shades.



Age 7-14

A lovely project that teaches colour mixing by practical application. The students study famous paintings by the Impressionists.

Free to Download Free to Download Free to Download Free to Download


Pop Art

Age 7-14

A traditional Pop Art project that works well and gets great results. Save yourself loads of time and get it here!



Age 7-14

Sometimes the simple things work best! Working from imagination is often under used in the art room due to its unpredictable outcomes.


Jungle Project

Age 7-14

Improve your student's painting techniques by learning depth of field, size and proportion. This can be adapted for cutting out plants in collage style.

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Music Kandinsky

Age 7-14

Many art rooms use this type of project where students study Kandinsky and listen to music to create abstract art. Here it is for you to download.

Free to Download Free to Download Free to Download Free to Download

Apps for iPads and Tablets

I'm not going to mention the obvious painting apps and more common stuff. Here are some others:


It's a question that art teachers always ask; "How can I differentiate effectively?" It used to be that art teachers would just put 'differentiation by outcome' on their schemes of work but that is seen as being very poor practice now. You simply cannot expect every student to be able to access the work you have planned because you have such a myriad of abilities in every class. For every activity you plan you need to think about how you can make it more accessible for the less able and how to extend it for the more able.

For the less able: Have you checked the text can be read by your less able? You should check your presentations and handouts here on read-able.com Next, can you simplify the task to make it easier to do? Can they copy, trace or work from simplified diagrams and illustrations? People work from illustrations of things more easily than photos or life because the information has already been translated. How can students who haven't got the skills become successful at this? Are there alternative ways of doing it? Can they use different materials?

For the more able: Use questions to put the learning emphasis back on them; Why might I be disappointed that you have finished so quickly? What else might you add to create more detail/tone/texture/pattern/colour? What do you think you should do next? What do three other pupils think you should do next?

3D gallery decide

3D Gallery

£2.29 by Caweb iPad

Create a 3D art gallery from your own photos. Take photos of children's work and show them off in a virtual gallery.

Not available in Android but there is a similar one available

Real Photo Gallery 3D by Mobility Arts

Decide Now

£0.79p by Catforce Studio iPad

How much will teachers LOVE this app! It is an awesome wheel spinner that allows you to input your own content, then randomly select options. So many teaching uses, conect to the whiteboard for real classroom excitement.

On Android search for Spin the Wheel by Purveyingplanets

Art Supplies

Here is a list of the stock I think you should buy for your art store

brushesWhite cartridge paper: cheaper stuff at weights between 80-100gsm for general use. Buy A4 and A3 size and some large rolls if you can.

Better quality cartidge paper at 120-160gsm in A4, A3 and larger sizes if you can for 'best' work.

Rolls of cartidge paper can be bought from DIY Hardware stores in the wallpaper section and are great for art.

Poster & Acrylic paint: brilliant red, blue and yellow then yellow ochre, cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, a dark red, white and black. I always buy double quantity white and half quantity black.

Paint brushes: watercolour brushes for powder paints, inks, dyes, watercolour paint in tubes or pans (disc paints) Size 2, size 10, size 16. I buy cheap decorating paint brushes for watercolour washes as they are much cheaper.

Bristle brushes for poster, acrylic or painting on textured, 3D surfaces in size 2, 10 and 16.

Water pots and paint palettes. These can often be saved from the recycling bin; yoghurt pots, paper plates, plastic coffee cups etc. are perfectly fine.

Sugar paper: I usually just buy buff, black, and a colour such as blue or brown. I don't buy colours because I use poster paper which is brighter.

Poster paper in packs of bright colours.

Tissue paper in packs of assorted colours.

Other decorative papers you wish to use.

Brown parcel paper in large rolls is cheap and great for painting onto.

Willow charcoal in different thicknesses, white chalk

Plasticene for modelling and for press moulding

Chalk Pastels in packs of 24. I buy short stubs not the long sticks because these always get broken, mixed up, lost and messy.

Oil pastels or crayons in chunky sized class packs. These can be grated and melted with an iron for cool effects.

Spray fixative or you can just use cheap hairspray. Don't use this near children.

Tracing paper, acetate and acetate pens, posca pens are great for working on a multitude of surfaces,

Black fineliners, black markers.

Black Indian Ink, dip pen barrels and nibs. I buy resealable, shallow containers for indian ink and water it down so that spillages can be easily cleaned up.

Class packs of coloured pencils.

Class packs of felt pens

PVA glue in 5 litre containers. I use disused drinking cups for glue or acrylic containers with resealable lids. Use spreaders or glue brushes but stand them in water and teach the pupils the difference between a glue brush and a paint brush.

Mounting card. I buy cheaper types in black, white, buff and grey but also mount onto poster paper.

Masking tape one inch, sticky tape.

Scissors, rulers.

Pencils: HB, 2H, 2B, 4B and 6B. Cheap rubbers and pencil sharpeners.

Glue Sticks

Other equipment you might need:

An overhead projector, these are great for photocopying drawings onto acetate then projecting large scale for tracing. They are also great for light and shade lessons and shadows. Save the brown card boxes that stock deliveries come in, they are perfect for craft activities and making sketchbooks. Pizza boxes are great for making. If you can find a local Packaging company they usually give you their offcuts for free! Aprons, I used to ask pupils to bring in an old shirt of Dad's. Newspapers and magazines are always in short supply so I always ask staff to bring their old ones in. I send a letter out to parents to ask them to bring in old toys, empty bottles, fabrics, glassware, crockery, cutlery, mirrors etc. If you decide to do 3D making you may need: modelling clay, chicken wire, modelling wire, wire cutters, strong white card, craft knives, metal rulers and craft mats, Mod-Roc, plaster of Paris, pipe cleaners and this is before I get to making willow sculptures, clay or printmaking, textiles, crafts or digital art!



Teaching Art History

One aspect of the new curriculum for Primary that has changed from the old one is the emphasis on studying the work of other artists. Of course, this has always been a feature of art, but the new curriculum places much more emphasis on your pupils looking at, appreciating and enjoying art, craft, design and architecture. To do this effectively of course they need to have a good understanding of visual literacy and be able to use the correct terminology of art. Hopefully these exercises will help. For further guidance on how to teach the language of art view the art teacher's handbook!


Body Language

Make stuffy old paintings fun again by interpreting them through body language. Great fun.

Free to Download


Describing Art

All ages

This exercise can be a great literacy activity and is excellent fun too!

Free to Download


Art Timeline

Teach the whole history of art in one lesson with a fun game. This is a great group activity

Free to Download


Fact Finder

Help to focus your students research on the important areas so they gather meaningful information.

Free to Download



If you are lucky enough to have a creative rcycling centre like the House of Objects in your county then use it! This place is a goldmine to ALL teachers.


BBC's Your Paintings site has some great images of the nation's paintings and cross-curricular links full of inspiration and ideas.


Arty Crafty is a great blog run by an artist and educator. It is well worth checking out!


Colossol is a daily source of inspiration with some superb contemporary artwork. I show examples from the site as a starter or plenary. Fabulous.


Tate Kids is an awesome art education site. Watch videos, play games & upload your pupil's art.


Access Arts is a UK charity specialising in art resources for all ages this is a brilliant low cost site where you need to become a member.


Culture Street has so much excellent content, for all of the arts and has tutorial videos, lesson plans and loads of other content.


Google Art Project is just out of this world. It helps you to look at art in incredible detail. One for the iPad methinks!


Skills & Techniques
charcoal wax ink texture


In this project students will learn about tones when working with charcoal.

Wax Resist

Uses oil pastels and powdered ink. The technique in this lesson are great for sketchbooks.

Indian Ink

Shows you the basics of using Indian Ink. It can be done by students at any level, & usually goes down well


I put this together as an introduction to using cut out shapes and textures. Good sketchbook activity.

blogging podcast lesson plan template baseline test


Blogging is a huge global phenomenon and is a brilliant way for students to take ownership of their work and interact.


Shows you how to make a free podcast. Great for revision notes or guidance. Great way to make mp3's.

Lesson Plan Blank Template

This lesson plan blank template is a Word document and is based on the old AQA template much favoured

Baseline Test

You cannot measure pupil progress if you don't accurately assess where your pupils are starting from!

Free to Download Free to Download Free to Download

KS2 Assessment

primaryI am not exaggerating when I say that art at this stage is the most important stage of art in the school calendar. At a time when the poor Primary/Elementary teacher is being run ragged with targets and progression in a whole host of subjects, art is often left low down the list or is used as passing treat. And yet this is the stage when students form lifelong opinions and decisions about their ability. In this phase of education the students with natural talent shine like a beacon, leaving all others to feel inadequate and substandard. What is really happening is that the students don't usually have 'expert' art lessons and so those who can draw realistically and with dexterity stand out. When art is taught by specialists at this Key Stage they are able to help the students see that there are many forms of art and that realistic drawing is just a small fraction of what we do.


Online Art Gallery

This powerpoint shows you how to set up an online art gallery where you can instantly upload images of students work.

Free to Download

The Art Teacher's Handbook

The art teacher's handbook contains 265 pages of advice on how to teach art and is great for new art teachers, art coordinators, primary, secondary art teachers or even heads of department:

handbookChapter 1 - Teaching art, skills & techniques, drawing, contemporary drawing, painting, Ink drawing, wax resist, ciaroscuro, lino printing. Creativity & Imagination: unleashing the power of the mind, independent learning. Knowledge & Understanding: becoming a thinking artist.
Chapter 2 - Planning Projects Planning overview, Universal themes, Curriculum Mapping, Progress and assessment, Pulling it all together, Evaluation, Starter Activities, Plenaries
Chapter 3 - Personalised Teaching & Learning the Current Climate, Differentiation, Extending & Enriching, Supporting, Inside the mind of the less able, Changing your student’s minds, Behaviour Management, Classroom Design, Sketchbooks, lesson observations.
Chapter 4 - Assessment Assessing without Levels, Four areas of assessment, New National Curriculum. Linking attainment targets to learning, Success criteria, Developing learning steps, Awarding grades, Summative reporting, Formative assessment, Class Critique, National Curriculum Levels, PLT’s, FAQ’s
Chapter 5 - Computers in Art Teaching ICT, Software, Interactive Whiteboards, Mobile Phones, Internet Art Galleries, Twitter, iPads, Blogging, Computers as a learning tool, Podcasts
Chapter 6 - Art History Timeline in Art, Formal Elements, Art Essay, After Studies, Body language, What are you thinking?, Describe and draw
Chapter 7 - GCSE art Data, Create a team, Getting the best students, Strong systems, Art materials, Planning projects, Assessing work at GCSE, Standardisation, Intervention, Getting high grades, C/D borderline, Target setting, Monitoring, The big picture, The art exam, Moderation
Chapter 8 - Coordinating art in a Primary School The store, Your art budget, Art Materials, Painting, Acrylics, Brushes, Dry art materials, Art audit, Curriculum mapping,
Chapter 9 - More Able and Talented Students
Introduction, More Able Students, Teaching strategies, Baseline testing, MAT Gallery
Chapter 10 - Special Education Needs
School Action, School Action Plus, Literacy, ADHD, Autism, Dysgraphia, Discalculia, Dyslexia, EBD, MLD, Hearing Impairment, Visual Impairment, SEN Gallery, SEN exercises
The book also contains many extras!


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