Curriculum / Art Subject Page

Art Curriculum Statement

Art Curriculum


At St. Mary’s, we value art and design as an important part of the children’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum.  It is our vision that art and design provides the children with opportunities to develop and extend their knowledge and skills,  whilst expressing their individual interests, thoughts and ideas.  We strive to use our high-quality curriculum, which is based on the National Curriculum Art and Design Guidelines, to inspire, engage and challenge children whilst allowing them to experiment and invent their own works of art, craft and design, making meaningful links with other subjects.  We want our pupils to become critical thinkers and to develop a rigorous understanding of art and design.  Our aim is for children to master a wide range of techniques when using different materials.  As they progress through the scheme, we will also provide pupils with opportunities to critically evaluate and analyse artwork, form opinions and use artistic language in discussions.


  1. To produce creative work drawing on their own experiences and ideas.
  2. To become proficient in drawing, painting and sculpture.
  3. To master the use of a range of tools and materials.
  4. To critically evaluate and analyse creative work using key art and design language.
  5. To know about a range of great artists, craft makers and designers, showing a good understanding of the historical and cultural development of their art form.


At St. Mary’s, we know that art and design is an important part of our school curriculum.  We believe that the subject encourages the children to think creatively and critically as well as allowing them to express themselves.  Therefore, art and design lessons are an established part of the school week, ensuring that art and design has the same importance as core subjects.  Our young artists are given a variety of experiences both in and out of the classroom to create memorable learning opportunities and to further support and develop their understanding.

Art and Design is a key subject in the primary curriculum and pupils will gain comprehensive knowledge and skills to enable them to create proficient pieces of work.  Our pupils will gain an understanding of different methods and techniques including drawing, painting and sculpture whilst working with a range of materials.  They also explore formal elements of art and design including the use of colour and texture.  Pupils complete artist studies to understand the history of art, including how artists use of materials has changed over time.  Our Pupils also consider the varying nature of art, examining how art can be used in unusual ways to enable them to reflect critically on what makes a good piece of art.  Throughout their time at St. Mary’s, children create a sketch book to record observations and experiment with art and design techniques which they can then review and revisit when creating their final piece.

We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our art and design lessons.  Our main aim is to develop children’s knowledge of different artists and styles of art and the ability to experiment with different media to create their artwork.  Each art and design unit has been organised to offer children opportunities to learn in different ways.  These include:

  • Whole class teaching
  • Grouped, paired or independent work
  • Use of ICT resources
  • Research and explorative work
  • Providing cross-curricular links
  • Educational visits


Pupils in EYFS are given a secure grounding in the prime areas of learning, ensuring they have a good foundation on which to build through the specific areas, including ‘expressive arts and design’.  Pupils are taught to explore and use a variety of media and materials through a combination of child initiated and adult directed activities.  They have opportunities to learn to:

  • Explore the textures, movement, feel and look of different media and materials.
  • Respond to a range of media and materials, develop their understanding of them in order to manipulate and create different effects.
  • Use different media and materials to express their own ideas.
  • Explore colour and use for a particular purpose.
  • Develop skills to use simple tools and techniques competently and appropriately.
  • Select appropriate media and techniques and adapt their work where necessary.

Key Stage 1

Pupils develop skills for creative expression and observation to enable them to gain a broad, artistic vocabulary.  Pupils develop an awareness of different materials to enable them to design and make products.  They use drawing and painting to creatively and imaginatively capture observations.  Pupils use lines and shape to create artwork and consider their use of colour in both appreciating art and creating their own artwork.

Pupils are taught:

  1. To use a range of materials creatively to design and make products.
  2. To use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination.
  3. To develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space.
  4. About the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and similarities between different practices and disciplines, and making links to their own work.

Key Stage 2

Pupils continue to develop their mastery of art and design techniques, including their control and their use of a range of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design.  They consider the validity of artwork and how different themes have been expressed differently over time, considering the evolution of artists work, using a wide range of artistic vocabulary.

Pupils are taught:

  1. To create sketch books to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas.
  2. To improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials [for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay].
  3. To learn about great artists, architects and designers in history.


Curriculum Overview – Art


Art News