The EYFS framework is structured very differently to the national curriculum as it is organised across seven areas of learning rather than subject areas. Art in the Early Years is mainly taught through ‘Expressive Arts and Design’. The EYFS Framework states:

The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. It is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts. The frequency, repetition and depth of their experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to and observe.

However relevant statements for art can also be taken from the ‘Physical Development’ area of learning as well as referring to the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning.

When planning and guiding what children learn, we reflect on the different rates at which children are developing and adjust our practice appropriately. Below are the objectives we have taken from the Development Matters and Early Years Framework that support the teaching of Art:

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By the end of the EYFS, our children will be able to:

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The vocabulary we use:

Mark-make, draw, lines, circles, colour, mix,techniques, material, paintbrush, construct, pattern, roll, press, twirl, spread, dab, thick, thin, gentle, firm


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