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Ampney CrucisChurch of England Primary School

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Using Sketch Books

“Everyone is an artist. The Problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

Pablo Picasso

How do we use Sketch books in Our School?

Though the National Curriculum guidance says to use sketchbooks from Key Stage Two we use them from Year 1 upwards.


What is a Sketchbook?

Perhaps a sketchbook is better being referred to an idea journal or a personal reflection on the art the children are doing at the time.

It is a personal document which record the children’s thinking process which then leads to outcome.

A sketchbook can include:

-drawings, notes, key words

-pieces of fabric and materials

- found objects


-written work



We are aiming for our sketchbooks to be exciting to look at, touch and feel and therefore they will not be marked like other work.

Sketchbooks develop critical thinking skills and mastering of techniques.


When the children in our School use their sketchbooks?

Our children’s sketchbooks will be readily available not just in art lessons but other times. Children will be encouraged to sketch at different times during the week perhaps in response to a piece of music, a story or something they have seen.


Warm up activities

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.