Art National Curriculum Levels

Level 1

Pupils respond to ideas. They use a variety of materials and processes to communicate their ideas and meanings, and design and make images and artefacts. They describe what they think or feel about their own and others’ work.

Level 2

Pupils explore ideas. They investigate and use a variety of materials and processes to communicate their ideas and meanings, and design and make images and artefacts. They comment on differences in others’ work, and suggest ways of improving their own.

Level 3

Pupils explore ideas and collect visual and other information for their work. They investigate visual and tactile qualities in materials and processes, communicate their ideas and meanings, and design and make images and artefacts for different purposes. They comment on similarities and differences between their own and others’ work, and adapt and improve their own.

Level 4

Pupils use a variety of approaches to explore and experiment with ideas, information and resources in order to develop their intentions.  They investigate and develop a range of practical skills and use the qualities of materials and processes purposefully to suit their intentions when designing and making. They compare and comment on differing ideas, methods and approaches used by artists, craftspeople and designers, relating these to the contexts in which the work was made.  They discuss their own work and that of others and consider how they might adapt and refine their ideas, skills and processes.

Level 5

Pupils take some creative risks when exploring, experimenting and responding to ideas and selecting information and resources in order to develop their work. When designing and making, they develop and use their technical knowledge and skills to manipulate the qualities of materials, processes and the formal elements appropriately. They consider and discuss the ideas, methods and approaches that are used by artists, craftspeople and designers, relating these to both context and purpose. They evaluate their own work and that of others, reflecting on their own view of its purpose and meaning. They are able to adapt and refine their ideas, processes and intentions.

Level 6

Pupils accept creative risks, exploring and experimenting with ideas independently and inventively and using a range of appropriate resources imaginatively to develop, design and make work. They apply their technical knowledge and skills to realise their intentions, using the qualities of materials, processes and the formal elements effectively.  They interpret and explain how ideas and meanings are conveyed by artists, craftspeople and designers, recognising the varied characteristics of different historical, social and cultural contexts. They provide a reasoned evaluation of the purpose and meaning of their own work and that of others. They use their critical understanding to develop their own views and practice.

Level 7

Pupils learn from taking creative risks that help them to form and develop their ideas and to create purposeful, imaginative work with some originality. They demonstrate confident understanding and use of materials, processes and the formal elements, combining these thoughtfully to realise their intentions. They analyse and comment on their own and others’ work, appreciating how codes and conventions are used to express ideas in different genres, styles and traditions. They explain how and why their understanding of the work of others affects their own ideas, values and practice.

Level 8

Pupils develop, express and realise ideas in often original ways, confidently exploiting what they learn from taking creative risks and from their understanding of creative processes. They exploit the potential of materials and processes independently, making both intuitive and analytical judgements to develop and realise their intentions. They analyse, engage with, and question critically aspects of their own and others’ work, identifying how beliefs, values and meanings are expressed and shared. They confidently express reasoned judgements about their own work and that of others, demonstrating analytical, critical and contextual understanding.

Exceptional performance

Pupils are in command of their creative practice, recognising and using a variety of strategies to develop ideas that are personal, original and imaginative. They use the differing qualities and potential of materials and processes with deliberation and maturity in order to create work that successfully fulfils their intentions. They critically engage with their own and others’ work, identifying why ideas and meanings are subject to different interpretations and using their understanding to extend their thinking and practical work. They extend their ideas and sustain their investigations by responding to new possibilities and meanings. They communicate their own ideas, insights and views.

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