Initial Teacher Training - Trainers Pack and Programme


Concepts, Content and Processes

Teaching and learning in the primary school art, craft and design curriculum

Trainee's prior knowledge and experience, on entering the course should be audited in order to make the limited contact time relevant and appropriate to their needs.

The content of the primary art, craft and design curriculum is made up of concepts, processes, media and skills.

Trainers should refer to the Philosophical Dimension section above and, in addition, to the National Curriculum for Art.


Time is required to experiment and explore media and techniques.

Breadth and balance on content needs to be considered:

  • Starting points for practical work (Good examples are in the START; magazine for primary and pre-school teachers of art and design magazines)
  • Ways of working
  • 2-D, 3D, Different scales
  • Media, Digital technology
  • Range of materials and processes
  • Making connections with artist, artist's work and art from different cultures (Refer to Watkins, M. (1998) Artworks; A Scheme of Work for Art from Early Years to Key Stage 2: BBTH Learning Designs – NSEAD Book list)

Trainees should be encouraged to undertake enterprising and entrepreneurial initiatives, for example:

  • Explore alternative ideas
  • Take risks
  • Openness
  • Perseverance
  • Self confidence
  • Creating imaginative, innovative, intuitive, independent responses

Trainers need to develop Trainee's expertise in:

  • Observation and questioning (Start; Issue 20, Page 6 - Picture Power)
  • Communication
  • Problem solving

Early learning goals and Foundation Stage documents should be consulted.

Trainees should have knowledge, understanding and as many practical experiences in the following:


Starting points that allow for:

  • Looking and seeing
  • Experience and activity
  • Imagination and originality
  • Fantasy and imagination
  • Thinking and evaluation
  • Understanding and evaluating artworks (See Jones, G. (1995) Enriching Children's art and Design Through AT2. ESCC)

Visual elements:

  • line
  • tone
  • pattern
  • texture
  • shape
  • space
  • form
  • colour
  • (Refer to key text on NSEAD booklist and Start; magazine for primary and pre-school teachers of art and design for practical activities)


To ensure balance and breadth in the delivery of the primary art and design curriculum Trainees need to re focus their previous experience in art processes to meet the needs of the Primary Pupil.

Main processes to be covered in primary art are:

2 Dimensional

  • Mark making and drawing (The Campaign for Drawing/Power drawing series)
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Collage
  • Textiles (Look at example of practice in START; issue 19: Page 12 – Batik Goes Big)

3 Dimensional

  • Modelling (Look at example of practice in START issue 12 page 16 – Imagination runs riot or the chapter or Clay work in The Primary art and design subject leaders' Handbook NSEAD)
  • sculpting (Including paper sculpting)
  • casting

Media and skills

Trainers should provide Trainees with practical experience in working and experimenting with media to allow them to develop understanding and skills and provide a range of meaningful art, craft and design experiences, appropriate to age and stage:


  • Paint – e.g. Powder, Block, Ready mix,
  • Print – e.g. inks
  • Mark-making – e.g. a range of sketching pencils, pastels
  • Paper – e.g. Cartridge, tissue, sugar paper
  • 3D – e.g. Clay, Mod roc, Paper laminate
  • Digital – refer to digital media link


Trainers need to set up task for trainees to identify knowledge and practical experience in the following skills:

Manipulating material: Eg. Cutting, folding, modelling and constructing

Technical skills: Eg. Using appropriate tools and equipment

Relevant NSEAD booklist:
Barnes, R. 2000 Teaching Art to Young Children 4 – 9 Routledge Falmer
Bowden, J. The Primary Art and Design Subject Leader's Handbook NSEAD
Callaway, G., Kear, M. 1999 Teaching Art and Design in the Primary School
Jones, G. (1995) Enriching Children's art and Design Through AT2. ESCC)
Matthews, J. 2003 Drawing and Painting, Children and Visual Representation. London:Sage
Meager, N. (1995) Teaching Art at Key Stage One. NSEAD
Meager, N. (1995) Teaching Art at Key Stage Two. NSEAD
Meager,N. (2006) Creativity and Culture, Art Projects for Primary Schools. NSEAD
Penny, S., Ford, R., Price, L., Young, S., (2006) Teaching Arts in Primary Schools. Learning Matters
McGill, C., N’Guessan, T., Rosen, M (2007) Exploring Creative Learning. Trentham Books
Callaway, G., Kear, M. (2000) Improving Teaching and Learning in the Arts. Falmer Press

In addition the The Primary Art and Design Subject Leaders' Handbook provides valuable information to help successfully establish and develop the subject in schools. It is a must for every primary coordinator and useful for teacher trainers in addressing the issues with their trainees.