Art and Design at Thriplow

“Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.” 

- National Curriculum Art & Design Purpose of Study, 2014


At Thriplow, Art & Design are valued as part of our children’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum, and is integrated into our cross-curricular approach to learning. We value Art & Design as having a key role in developing curiosity, creativity, and self-expression, as well as resilience, confidence, and critical-thinking.

At Thriplow, our children...

  • create a range of products and artworks

  • develop key artistic skills

  • explore a wide range of media, materials, and techniques

  • discover a range of local, national, and international artists from across history 

  • celebrate their Art & Design through the creation of displays throughout the school

  • reflect upon and evaluate their art 


Artists at Thriplow

The work of local, national, and international artists are explored to enhance the children’s learning.

Some artists are explored by children as they arise in each topic focus, as part of cross-curricular learning. As well as this, each class has a focus artist for the year, and as a school we explore local artists.

Topic Based Artists

The Victorians - William Morris

Britain - William Turner

The Thriplow Artists

Each class has a focus ‘Artist of the Year’, progressing chronologically  through the year groups, beginning in Reception with da Vinci, and ending with Picasso in Year 6. This chronological exploration of these focus artists allows the children to develop their understanding of how artistic movements grew and changed through time. The artist’s self portrait is displayed in each classroom, alongside the class’ ‘Composer of the Year’ (see Music curriculum page for more information).

Our Class Artists and Eras:

  • Ants Class - da Vinci: Renaissance, 1452-1519

  • Butterflies Class - Rembrandt: Dutch Master, 1606-1669

  • Caterpillars Class - Millais: Pre-Raphaelite, 1829-1896

  • Grasshoppers Class - Monet: Impressionist, 1840-1926

  • Mayflies Class - van Gogh: Post-Impressionism, 1853-1890 

  • Dragonflies Class - Picasso: Cubist, 1881-1973

Local Artists

An example of a local artist we recently explored was during a school-wide cross-curricular project about the poetry and artwork of local Cambridgeshire artist, Robert Macfarlane, through his book “The Lost Words”. Each class created a collaborative piece of 3D art, which was then displayed in the school library.


An Art Project in Collaboration with the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
"Modelled on the National Gallery, London’s, Take One Picture Project, the INSPIRE2020 project focuses on one painting, Cupid and Psyche, by Jacopo del Sellaio, as a source of ideas and inspiration for further creative and cross-curricular enquiry."
- Fitzwilliam Museum, 2019
In the Summer Term of 2019, the Reception children at Thriplow embarked on an art project in collaboration with the Fitzwilliam Museum. The project focussed on a painting at the museum, and using it as inspiration at school to explore and develop Art & Design skills, ultimately creating a collaborative final piece. We then submitted our final piece to the museum to be reviewed, and our artwork is now being displayed in an online gallery on the museum's website (link to online gallery to follow).
Below, a PowerPoint of our submission to the museum can be viewed. It documents Reception's journey from viewing the original painting in the museum, to creating the final piece.