Developing Drawing Skills in Primary Schools

Developing Drawing Skills in Primary Schools

AccessArt has spent many years working to develop drawing skills with primary-aged children. Our aim is to:

  • Provide an open-ended approach to drawing which is rigourous and active.
  • Encourage teachers and facilitators to provide access to a wide range of drawing materials from the outset.
  • Encourage teachers, facilitators and students to be open-minded as to what “making a drawing” might mean?
  • Help children develop knowledge and understanding around intention, appreciation and reflection, alongside experimental and more traditional drawing skills.
  •  We also aim to:

    • Encourage teachers, schools and parents to raise their expectations and aspirations about what children are capable of in terms of drawing skills. We know from experience that if we provide space to develop skills, access to exciting materials and support in the form of the resources below, children respond very positively and the quality of their work is of a consistently high standard.
    • Provide non-specialist teachers, facilitators, parents and carers with the skills and confidence needed to help facilitate drawing. You really don’t have to be good at drawing to be a great drawing teacher. The resources below will help you develop your approach.
    • Provide specialist teachers, facilitators, parents and carers with lots of inspiration and ideas to develop their teaching practice.


Drawing Projects for Children

Find beautifully illustrated warm up drawing exercises and projects ideas in Drawing Projects for Children by Paula Briggs

Drawing Projects for Children
Drawing Projects for Children


Warm-Up Exercises

Warm-up drawing exercises are important as they can:

  • Help make a clear transition, for example between the rest of the school day and a drawing activity.
  • Be used to introduce new materials.
  • Set the scene.
  • Open minds and prevent misconceptions.
  • Plant seeds of new ideas or ways of working.
  • Provide a way to enable the children to explore through a guided activity.
  • Help boost confidence.
  • Demonstrate intention.
  • Children follow instructions.
  • Provide a starting point for later reflection.
  • Surprise, wake up, or settle down a jaded class.

Exploring Drawing Materials

We advocate introducing a wide variety of drawing materials to children as early as possible. The exercises below will enable pupils and students to explore materials, understand their potential and develop an ability to make confident and informed “drawing decisions”.