Art & Design

At St Mary’s we aim to instil an appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts.  Art and design stimulates imagination and creativity; involving children in a range of visual, tactile and sensory experiences, which enable them to communicate what they see, think and feel through the use of the elements of colour, texture, form and pattern.  Art and design promotes careful observation and an appreciation of the world around us. Children explore ideas and meanings through studying the work of artists and designers. Through learning about the roles and functions of art, they can explore the impact it has had on contemporary life and on different periods and cultures.

The aims of teaching art and design in our school are:

  • To engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.
  • As pupils progress through school, they should begin to think critically and develop a deeper understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.
  • To produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences.
  • To become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques
  • To evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design.
  • To know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.


The art and design curriculum at St Mary’s RC Primary School is based upon the 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England, which provides a broad framework and outlines the knowledge and skills and taught in each Key Stage.

Early Years (Nursery & Reception):

In the Early Years, children are given opportunities to be imaginative, explore different materials and develop their ideas. This is an important part of the Early Years Foundation Stage, mainly within the ‘expressive art and design’ area of learning. Children are encouraged to practise their handling, moving and control skills. Materials such as dough, paint, collage are provided for children to develop and explore their ideas and to be imaginative.


Key Stage 1 (Years 1 & 2):

In Key Stage 1 the children given opportunities to use a range of materials creatively to design and make products through drawing, painting and sculpture. They explore different techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space. The children have their own sketch books to record their learning and experiment with different techniques.

Another important aspect of the art and design curriculum is learning 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. In Year 2 children take part in an art visit.

Key Stage 2 (Years 3, 4, 5 & 6):

The content of the art and design curriculum in Key Stage 2 builds on what children have learned in Key Stage 1. Children develop and improve their skills in drawing, painting and sculpture using a range of different materials. They continue to user and develop their sketch books and to use them to review and revisit ideas. They continue to learn about great artists, architects and designers in history. Children in Year 4 have an art based trip.

We are fortunate to have Battersea Park and the Tate Britain close by, we take regular trips there across the year groups using them to look at sculpture, and real art.

Where we can, we make links to other areas of the curriculum too. All children, regardless of their abilities or needs, will have access to the Art & Design Curriculum with supporting resources.


We focus on progression of knowledge and skills. We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Images and videos of the children’s practical learning.
  • Interviewing the pupils about their learning.
  • Art lead looking at lessons and in sketch books.