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Visual Arts

Visual arts are an important part of primary school education. Not only do they help children develop creative thinking skills, but they also provide key emotional and cognitive benefits as well. So it is essential that teachers have access to the right resources to support their pupils in their visual arts learning areas.

Prim-Ed Publishing offers a range of resources to support teachers in teaching visual art to primary school pupils. Our resources include art and craft books, activities and ideas for lesson plans, and assessments to evaluate learning. With our tools, teachers can confidently teach art in the classroom while supporting the national art and design curriculum in England.

What are visual arts?

Visual art is an art form that uses visual elements such as colour, line, shape and texture to create artwork. Visual art can be abstract or representational art and it forms a part of the art and design curriculum in primary schools. It is important for children to learn visual literacy and art skills in order to develop their creativity, imagination and problem-solving ability.


Benefits of visual arts in primary education

The benefits of teaching art in early education are far-reaching. Through art activities, children can gain confidence, learn new skills and techniques, express themselves creatively and become more familiar with how to observe and analyse the world around them. Art also helps build concentration skills as they focus on manipulating materials and understanding art concepts.

Visual art also encourages imaginative thinking, which can help children develop problem-solving skills and improve communication.

Through visual arts lessons, children will learn to express themselves creatively through art forms such as drawing, painting or sculpture. They will also build their visual literacy skills by interpreting their surroundings through artwork. Children can explore various ideas and techniques when creating artwork such as line work, figure drawing or colour theory to name a few.


What children will learn in visual arts lessons

Children who participate in art activities and lessons will gain valuable knowledge on art elements such as colour theory, texture, line, form and shape. They will explore different art techniques such as collage, painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and photography.

Students may be asked to choose an artist or artwork for inspiration when working on art projects and encouraged to identify the qualities that make it unique or beautiful. Through visual art activities, they can also learn about cultures from around the world.


Arts and craft supplies for the classroom

Arts and craft supplies are essential for successful lessons in the primary classroom so it’s important that teachers have access to quality materials.

A well-stocked art supply room should include art materials for different art techniques.

  • Paints: acrylic and water-based paint in standard colours, oil pastels
  • Paper: selection of paper in various sizes, including cartridge paper, litho paper, tissue paper, crepe paper and coloured paper.
  • Card: coloured card for cutting out shapes and mounting artwork.
  • Scissors: a collection of age-appropriate scissors.
  • Glue: craft glue and glue sticks
  • Brushes: small, medium and large paint brushes, as well as glue brushes and sponges to create paintings.
  • Drawing implements: lead pencils and erasers, coloured pencils, markers and crayons for drawings.
  • Textiles: feathers, string, glitter, pipe cleaners, fabrics and ribbons

With these supplies primary school pupils can begin to develop their knowledge and understanding of art concepts such as shape, texture and colour.

Other useful items to have on hand or enlist the help of parents and pupils to collect include:

  • Utensils: spoons, forks, whisks, biscuit cutters
  • Grocery items: ice cream containers, egg cartons, cereal boxes, bubble wrap
  • Paper products: newspapers, greeting cards, cardboard boxes

When teaching art in the classroom it is essential to provide students with a variety of art supplies so they can explore different art mediums. Incorporating mediums such as clay, charcoal, chalk and pastels into lessons, allows pupils to create artworks with interesting textures.


Teaching visual arts in primary schools

When teaching visual arts in the primary classroom it is important to ensure that all activities are age-appropriate and tailored to the skills and interests of your students. Activities should include practical art projects as well as opportunities for dialogue where students can discuss their own artwork or artworks created by others.

Engaging art lessons often involve integrating topics from other subjects into visual art activities – teaching resources can help to make art more meaningful, and help students learn in an interdisciplinary way.

Using technology as an educational tool

In this day and age, technology is everywhere! With access to tablets, computers and smartphones, it's easy to introduce digital tools into the classroom. Many software programs are available that allow kids to explore their creativity through digital media. Through these programs, pupils can create artwork on the computer or manipulate existing images or videos by adding text and special effects. This is a great way for children to express themselves artistically while also learning how to use technology responsibly.

Exploring different artistic styles

Another way to engage students in the visual arts is by exploring different artistic styles throughout history. Examining past works of art can help students gain an appreciation of different cultures as well as an understanding of how styles have changed over time. Encourage pupils to create artwork that pays homage to these iconic pieces while still expressing their own unique style.

Project-based learning activities

Project-based learning activities provide students with real-world experience that they can apply outside of the classroom. These activities include creating short films or organising a school art exhibition where pupils showcase their work to friends and family members! Project-based learning activities help bring creativity alive and give pupils something tangible they can look back on with pride.


Supporting the art and design curriculum

Prim-Ed Publishing's visual arts resources offer teachers a variety of strategies for engaging learners in creative exploration activities within the primary school environment. Designed with teachers in mind - with these art resources at your fingertips, you'll be able to set up your classroom quickly while still providing engaging experiences that will captivate young minds!


Frequently asked questions


Art and design involve visual expression, creativity, problem-solving and communication. It includes activities such as drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking and photography.

Visual art teaches children to think critically and creatively. It helps them develop collaboration skills and explore different ways of expressing themselves. Studies have shown art can boost academic performance in other areas including maths and science.

The basic art and design supplies you need in the classroom include board, art paper, art brushes, tools (pens, pencils etc), paints and clay. You may also like to have craft materials such as glue, scissors and recycled items for creative projects.

Through art teaching in primary schools, children can develop their visual literacy as well as basic art skills such as colour theory and composition. They will be encouraged to think creatively while investigating ideas and learning new techniques.

Teachers may use a range of activities in the classroom including drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpting techniques. They may also bring in art history, exploring a range of art movements and styles. In addition, art can be integrated into other curriculum areas such as literacy and science to create dynamic learning experiences.

Art is an important part of the National Curriculum in England. It allows students to develop their artistic skills while also developing their understanding of visual language and art history. Through teaching, children will gain a deeper appreciation for the visual world around them which is essential for lifelong learners.