The Big Landscape explained 

In this section, we explain more about the Big Landscape, our philosophy and who will find it helpful.  

‘The Big Landscape can be used to start school-wide or departmental conversations, using key questions as prompts. In line with school values and ethos, it will help to explore and select the relevant knowledge skills, content and processes, habits and behaviours and attributes needed so that your learners become the consumers and creators of the visual and physical world.’ Ged Gast, Andy Ash and the SIG for Better Practice, AD magazine issue 37, Spring 2023 

The Big Landscape will help you to develop your professional knowledge, to explore different approaches to teaching and learning and the environment in which to work.

It provides a glossary, terminologies and creative ways to apply this information. 

The Big Landscape shows the possibilities and potential of art, craft and design. It includes both definitions for non-specialists and more in-depth information for subject leaders and researchers. It is a map or ‘route planner’ for the learning experiences and intentions you want your learners to visit, as well as the approaches and journeys you want to explore. 

  • The Big Landscape is made by art educators, for art educators from all phases, all sectors, all nations. 
  • More than a tool, it is a way of thinking. It is about being a leader of learning; being a shaper, not a taker – building a dynamic, exciting curriculum that works for your learners.  
  • The Big Landscape is not finished! It is not a fixed model or a set of instructions. There are no off-the-shelf solutions here – this is not an endpoint, it is an essential resource for your curriculum journey. 
  • The Big Landscape aims to encourage consideration or review of curriculum principles, content, concepts and pedagogy that help promote high-quality teaching and learning in our subject. 
  • As the Big Landscape project develops, we will add member case studies and examples of great practice – find out more here 


The Big Landscape is a comprehensive all-nation, all-phase curriculum online planning tool for any art educator wanting to review and improve, develop and design a fit-for-purpose, 21st-century curriculum which meets the needs of every learner. You might be a primary teacher, an art educator; head of department or subject leader; an arts curriculum manager; a museum and gallery educator; researcher or senior leader. It will also be helpful for anyone training to be a teacher in a university or school-based teacher training programme

Below is a short guide to the Big Landscape will help you to review, improve or build a new curriculum or unit or work.

To help with planning your curriculum The Big Landscape Map uses three bands – called What, Why and How.

Each band is a colour comprising of blocks containing relevant subject-specific information and curriculum inspiration. 

You can begin your planning journey from any of the bands.

To decide where to start your journey... 

  • If you're a member, download The Big Landscape, Finding Your Pathway – A Checklist for Curriculum Design and Review (here)
  • Use the What, Why and How curriculum checklist questions to help you select your curriculum or unit outcomes 
  • Decide which blocks (all 25 are in the 'What', 'Why' and 'How' layered bands) will help you to plan your route and to achieve your outcomes.

Remember, the bands focus on three overarching key questions:  


This helps you select the content of your curriculum – what knowledge, concepts, techniques or processes you might choose. 


This band explores the purpose of your curriculum and why this learning matters. 


This is how you organise the lessons and learning; and the learning environment (your classroom or studio) too.  

On the Big Landscape Map, the What, Why and How bands comprise of blocks which are the same as the drop-down headings or lists in the menu bar.

Each of the 25 blocks is a gateway to all the information, research and inspiration held across the Big Landscape site.  

To learn more about the information in each block you can:  

  • Hover over blocks (or headings) on the Big Landscape Map 
  • Use the drop-down headings in the menu bar  
  • Click the headings 'What', 'Why' and 'How' pages and click on the headings in ‘In this section’ lists to find out more. 
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