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Art & Design


At Birkby Junior School we appreciate the importance of creative learning and want all pupils to value their own creativity, however it manifests itself. Art & Design and Design Technology are taught separately to ensure children are given a wide range of opportunities to develop their techniques and creative skills; experimenting with different kinds of art, craft and design. Across all year groups this is achieved through observational drawing with a wide range of wet and dry mediums, sculpting, modelling, printing, collage, painting and using digital art technology.

We believe it is important that children value the purpose art serves and so encourage our pupils to use their developing skills confidently and regularly in a range of subject areas as well as in art lessons. A structured progression of skills and knowledge is in place and is followed as pupils progress through our school.

We aim to make art relevant and engaging for all pupils, allowing all children to access creative learning suited to their own personal needs. Sequences of lessons over a number of weeks lead to a final piece of work using a specific skill; for example, a Victorian silhouette portrait to develop drawing, printed tile designs to develop understanding of printing, a painted townscape in the style of Lowry to improve paint application. Children regularly practice, improve and evaluate their own artwork and ideas in personal sketch books. These sketch books move through school with the children and become a record of achievement when they eventually leave us. Our Year 6 children all take part in the Art Council Arts Award Discovery programme, which allows them to share their creativity and critical thinking and achieve an award at the same time.

In line with National Curriculum expectations, our art lessons regularly include learning about great artists; architects and designers in history, from a range of cultures and backgrounds. Throughout the learning year, visits are made to support creative learning, including local and regional Art Galleries and sculpture sites. Wherever possible we invite practicing artists and designers into school to share their knowledge, the most recent being Digital Artist, Mike Barret. As a school we take part each year in the National Drawing Campaign Big Draw and hold theme-based Art Weeks in summer to celebrate our budding artists’ abilities, which we showcase in a gallery for parents and our community to enjoy.

Big Draw 2022

On the 18th and 19th of October we held our Big Draw festival at school and it was a fabulous success. Our theme this year was “Coming back to Colour” and there was colour everywhere!

The aim this year was to remind children that everyone can enjoy drawing and using their imagination to create shapes, patterns and pictures that make them feel happy, positive and connected to the places around us.

It was a super chance to work collaboratively, share ideas and create giant artworks.  A selection of the drawings produced this year will be used to create new displays around school, they will also link directly to out Art Week theme for the summer.


Everyone in school took part, parents, staff and pupils. Look at the gallery and see what an amazing time we all had.

The World Reimagined.

During the Summer Term of 2022 children at Birkby Junior School took part in an exciting project – The World Reimagined. The project aim was to challenge racial stereotypes and allow children to take part in changing the way this is addressed and taught in schools. Each school involved has created their own “globe” to be included in a national sculpture trail that anyone can visit and enjoy.

The Birkby Junior School globe is now on display in the Leeds area sculpture trail until the end of October. You can visit it at: 

The Tetley, Hunslet Rd, Leeds LS10 1JQ

We have used our “World Reimagined” project as an opportunity for pupils to share their experiences and understanding of “self” as they transition to new schools and new experiences. To generate initial ideas, Year 5 and 6 pupils worked with digital artist EMELBI. They then used simple face templates as a starting point to represent themselves and important others, in their wider community. We considered how we represent ourselves to others and how we really want to be seen. Each face on our globe is different, unique. Each face has been individually drawn and painted by the children, using acrylic paint and Posca pens. The background of our amazing world has been collaged by hand – if you look carefully you may even find a message in the words!

Birkby Junior School – Our One World

This is our world and we are: joyous, a family, supportive, effective, multi-cultural, multi faith, safe, unique, adventurous, brave, friendly, colourful, beautiful, proud and different.  (Year 5 & 6 children in their own words)

Art Weeks 2022 “Art from Anything”

We have had a fantastic time over the last few weeks celebrating the importance of art and using our creative skills. We have been thinking about different ways in which art can be used to share important messages. Children have learnt about protest art forms - posters, banners and sculptures and spent lots of time using their drawing, collage and mixed media skills to create their own compositions. The Year 6 leavers art gallery celebration in the hall looks amazing!

We hope you enjoy looking at these examples of some of the work Year 6 have created.


Here are some examples of fabulous art week creations from Year3, 4 and 5 classes. We hope you enjoy looking at them as much as we have.

Art Weeks – Summer 2021

This year’s art weeks have been amazing. All classes took part and spent time thinking about the question Is Architecture Art? Each class learnt about a successful, world-class architect and studied their style and influences. Children spent lots of time creating sketchbook studies, making observational drawings, creating collages and practicing their paint mixing skills. Finally, they created these amazing mixed media artworks for the gallery. We have truly talented artists at Birkby Junior School!

Big Draw 2020

At Birkby Junior School take part in the Big Draw Festival every year and 2020 was no exception. The whole school usually spend time drawing and creating together in October, but this year has been a little bit unusual. On the 27th of January 2021 we held a whole school Big Draw as part of our remote teaching lessons. So, everyone was drawing at the same time, just in lots of different places!!

The Big Draw Festival is the world’s biggest celebration of drawing and is organised by The Big Draw charity, a pioneering visual literacy charity dedicated to raising the profile of drawing as a tool for wellbeing, thought, creativity, social and cultural engagement. Every year has a new theme to draw about. This Year the theme was “A Climate of Change”. Children learnt about botanical artists and drew their own amazing plants and endangered animals.

Have a look at our fantastic gallery of work…

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