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St Mary’s Catholic Primary School ‘Faith in Education’


Art at St Mary’s



At St Mary’s we want our children to be inspired and challenged through an Art curriculum which provides them with a platform to express themselves creatively in new and exciting ways.

We want pupils to become fluent in the fundamentals of drawing, painting and sculpture; to be able to evaluate and revise work effectively and creatively.  

We want our pupils to become:

Creative Thinkers – building from a strong foundation of creative artistic play, developed through experimentation, modelled skills and an art rich environment, pupils can frame and articulate their thinking precisely and reflectively.

Proficient Makers – beginning with a repertoire of core experiences, the conventions of delineation and explorative making, pupils move from dependence to independence to co-ordinate the use of design, creative and transcription cues across a broad, varied and exciting range of increasingly complex artworks.

Art Historians – exploration of a wide range of artworks will enable pupils to become increasingly aware of purpose, form, voice, visual composition structures and themes promoting a broad understanding of the historical and cultural development of a diverse range of art forms.

We want our children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively through exploration whilst developing a love and appreciation of a range of art forms.  We want them to develop an ability to: observe carefully, describe, respond emotionally and begin a lifelong, creative relationship with art and design.  All children will be challenged and encouraged to excel across all areas of Art.



We have a progressive, knowledge and skills-based approach which provides an ambitious and visually rich, connected curriculum; accessible to all pupils in school from EYFS to Year 6. We introduce new concepts through high quality art works, model examples and playful structures, which incrementally build on prior knowledge and enable all children to access experiential learning while developing their knowledge and understanding. Observation, delineation techniques, sketchbooks, core artworks and artists are employed to ensure key concepts and skills are embedded and children can apply these skills confidently.

  • A range of thoughtfully selected, high quality artworks are used to inspire all children and give them the opportunity to create fluently, evaluate reflectively and respond thoughtfully.

  • Core Art and Design skills are taught incrementally, focussing on techniques and imaginative responses including drawing and sketching, surface and colour and 3D forms.

  • Art and Design sessions are used to revisit previous learning and ensure knowledge, techniques and skills are embedded before moving onto their next Art and Design lesson.

  • Lessons are sequenced and aligned to the whole school curriculum map document to ensure coverage and development of topics, themes and techniques.

  • Lessons use an observe, experience, imagine, create, refine and reflect approach to guide children through their understanding of Art and Design processes and include direct teaching of vocabulary, art history and cultural development.

  • Children are taught through mixed ability whole class lessons.

  • Learning links are offered to develop and review children's learning. 

  • Where possible, links are made with other subjects across our curriculum.


Substantive knowledge in art is based on teaching content so that children develop knowledge of the 7 elements of art: · line · shape · colour · form · value · texture · space.  Although not explicitly taught children will begin to develop an awareness of the 7 principles of art: balance · contrast · emphasis · pattern · rhythm · variety · unity. 

Disciplinary knowledge in art and design is the interpretation of the elements, how they can be used and combined in order to create a specific and desired effect. It is also the critical evaluation of artist’s work; evaluating style and technique and having the ability to appraise a piece of work.

Children will be introduced to a range of works and develop knowledge of the styles and vocabulary used by famous artists. The skills they acquire are applied, when relevant to our wider curriculum.


Big Art Week

Each year in St Mary’s we also plan, develop and explore a different artist or theme throughout the whole school during Big Art Week. The children are able to explore different art styles, techniques and medias over the course of the week and to truly immerse themselves and take inspiration from our chosen artist/artworks.   They learn and practise different techniques and skills and  further develop their artistic progression. This week is an enhanced curriculum week and is explored in addition to the core art curriculum in school.


Assessment and Recording

Our art curriculum is recorded throughout school in the children’s personal sketchbooks and in the individual pieces of art they complete.  Children’s developing skills are assessed against the long term plan.  Assessment is a continuous part of working artistically and is promoted during our art units where the children are encouraged to reflect upon, evaluate and improve upon their work. They are also encouraged assess their own work and the work of their peers at the end of a unit of art and celebrate their artistic creations. “Creativity is a fragile process that is hard to measure and assess and should always be nurtured and supported”




Our Art curriculum will enable children to employ a range of strategies to create a varied range of art works and apply a range of creative techniques appropriately to make art forms that resonate with others.  

Children will enjoy art, be creative and imaginative and use previously learned skills with expertise and flair.

They will have developed the accurate use of appropriate language to support and develop art historical and cultural understanding so that they can talk confidently about art and design, their learning and the connections between artists and themes.   Children will have embedded the key art and design skills needed to allow them to embark on the next stage of their educational journey in art confident that they will continue to experience success and enjoyment in this subject area.