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St Mark’s Primary School

"'Let Your Light Shine' Matthew 5:16"



Using a range of mediums and techniques, our children will be creative, develop a reflective mindset and understand the place of art and design in history. They will be inspired by others to create experimental work for events and competitions where they have the chance to showcase their work and developing skills with pride and excitement. 

Art and design is a foundation subject in the National Curriculum. We use the National   

Curriculum alongside the St Mark’s agreed skills and knowledge progression documents based around the aims in the National Curriculum.  We teach art and design to all children, whatever their ability and individual needs. The knowledge and skills progression is structured into 7 mediums with the aim that children will have a broad understanding of art by the end their time at the school. The will be exposed to these in EYFS and built upon 3 more times. Each medium will be covered at least 4 times with painting covered 6 times. There is an expectation that children will use the skills from the different strands to aid their learning in all areas. For example, there will be times when drawing to the standard taught so far should be seen during experimentation lessons even if this skill is not covered in that year group.  Each year group focuses on 4 mediums (with the exception of EYFS) with the understanding that this will allow in-depth exploration. One of these will be focused on during Arts Week.   


Art and Design can link to other curriculum subjects in the following ways:  


English  Art and design contributes to the teaching of English in our school by encouraging children to ask and answer questions about the starting points for their work. They have the opportunity to compare ideas, methods and approaches in their own work and that of other children, and to say what they think and feel about them.  



Art and design contributes to children’s mathematical understanding by giving opportunities to develop the children’s understanding of shape and space through work in two and three   



Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship  

Art and design contributes to the teaching of some elements of personal, social and health education and citizenship. The children discuss how they feel about their own work, and the methods and approaches used by others. They have the opportunity to meet and talk with artists and other talented adults during their time at St Mark’s.  



As appropriate we link our work in art and design to our teaching of the humanities   

subjects.  For example, we can use art to illustrate historical subjects, study particular artists from history, or help children understand geographical features through photography and designing models.   


Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development  

The teaching of art and design offers opportunities to support the social development of our children through the way we expect them to work with each other in lessons. Groupings allow children to work together, and give them the chance to discuss their ideas and feelings about their own work and the work of others. Their work in general helps them to develop a respect for the abilities of other children, and encourages them to collaborate and cooperate across a range of activities and experiences. The children learn to respect and work with each other and with adults, thus developing a better understanding of themselves. They also develop an understanding of different times and cultures, through their work on famous artists, designers and craftspeople.  


Pieces of art also provide an excellent stimulus for religious, moral, social and cultural discussions and, when used as a starting point for learning, help to engage children in a cross curricular way.   



ICT enhances our teaching of art and design, wherever appropriate, in all key stages. Children use software to explore shape, colour and pattern in their work.   


Older children collect visual information to help them develop their ideas by using digital cameras. The children also use the Internet, to find out more about the lives and works of famous artists and designers.  


The Early Years Foundation Stage  

At St Mark’s the children in the EYFS follow the curriculum set out in the Statutory  

Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.  The provision of Art and Design is      assured through the areas of learning of ‘Expressive Arts and Design’ and assessed against the ELG.   


At St Mark’s the children in the EYFS follow the BWMAT Long Term Curriculum Progressions which is underpinned by the Birth to 5 Matters document and the curriculum set out in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.  The provision of Art is assured through the area of learning of ‘Expressive Arts and Design’ and assessed against the Early Learning Goal (ELG). Where possible children will have experience of all strands of St. Mark’s Art and design skills and knowledge progression document.   



At St Mark’s, we ensure that all children have the opportunity to take part in Art and that lessons are adapted accordingly to meet the needs of all the children in the class, including those with SEND.  


How Lessons are Structured 

The school uses a variety of teaching and learning styles in art and design lessons. Our principal aim is to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding. We ensure that the act of investigating and making something includes exploring and developing ideas and evaluating and developing work. We do this best through a mixture of whole-class teaching and individual or group activities. Teachers draw attention to good examples of individual performance as models for the other children. They encourage children to evaluate their own ideas and methods, and the work of others, and to say what they think and feel about them. We give children the opportunity to work by themselves and in collaboration with others, on projects in two and three dimensions, and at different scales. Children also have the opportunity to use a wide range of materials and resources, including Information and Communication Technology (ICT).  


We recognise the fact that we have children of differing ability in all our classes, and we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this through a range of strategies:  


Setting tasks that are open-ended and can have a variety of responses. Setting tasks of increasing difficulty, where not all children complete all tasks. Providing a range of challenges with different resources. Having more adults support the work of individual children or small groups. Providing specialist support where individual children have particular needs, including the need to be stretched.  


Project Approach  

 At St. Mark’s we follow a project-based approach. This involves allowing the children autonomy with their learning.  We do this by discussing the new project with the children in advance based on words related to the new project title to find out their interests so that we  can tailor the project to this.  Once we have introduced the project in this way, we then use the children enquiry questions to structure the project.  We use a project planning grid to plan the project and decide on the skills and knowledge that will be focused on during the project based on the enquiry questions.   


We plan the lessons so that they build on the children’s prior learning. At the beginning of a  project or series of Art and Design lessons within a project, we collect the children’s prior knowledge before we start.  This informs our planning and also ensures that we address an misconceptions which may have arisen.  We can also refer to the skills and knowledge   

progression documents to see what they have covered in previous years.   


As we take a project-based approach to the curriculum, it is expected that art links to the projects the year groups are studying.  However, there may be times when a discreet skills-based lesson may be more appropriate before linking subsequent lessons to their projects.   


While we give children of all abilities the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and  understanding, we also plan our lesson sequences, so that there is an increasing challenge for the children as they move up through the school. Planning provides all year groups with the opportunity to study a number of artists, designers or crafts person in depth throughout the year. These artists are carefully chosen to support the teaching of progressive skills and techniques. The teachers refer to a coverage document when planning in these opportunities to ensure that children are exposed to a range of different people and movements throughout their time at St. Mark’s.   


The children are also immersed in art and design through an Arts Week which takes place each year.  During this week, children are encouraged to engage with a specific artist, theme or movement and develop their art vocabulary.  We also teach the children to engage in peer and self-critique to improve the work further.  This may or may not link to the year groups’ current projects but instead allows chance for children to have dedicated time set aside to fully immerse themselves in the art and design process. 

How is our curriculum unique to St Mark’s? 

  • We celebrate links with the local community. We understand that our children may not have had the opportunity to visit galleries or talk to real life artists and designers and so we aim to bring the art to them through trips, arts week and communication with artists. We use a range of artists within our curriculum so that our children are exposed to a wide range of techniques and ideas to cater for the individual tastes of the children in our care.  

  • We encourage our children to explore the world around them. In an ever-changing world with increased technology, our art and design curriculum gives them chance to explore their surroundings including nature as well as have a chance to see how technology can also be used in creative ways such as through learning about camera settings and digital artwork. For example, through observational drawings and looking at the same object at different angles and at different times of the year, we will develop the children’s appreciation for the things they see every day.  

  • Often we have noticed that there are a number of children and indeed adults in our community who have felt that art and design is something that you are either good at or you are not. Through our curriculum, we foster children’s love of creativity from a young age, developing their reflective mindset and help them realise that everyone can be creative. We do this by making sure our children are exposed to a wide range of techniques, movements, crafts etc. We believe that by fostering this love for art and design in whatever form they enjoy most as they leave St. Mark’s will help them with their own wellbeing and mental health throughout their lives to come.  

At the end of Year 6 our children will be able to: 

  • Record from first-hand experience and from imagination and so select their own ideas to use in their work.  

  • Develop artistic skills and techniques and inspire creativity and imagination through using a range of media. 

  • Explore, develop and record their ideas, resulting in the production of creative work. 

  • Increase their critical awareness of the roles and techniques of different artists, designers, architects and crafters, artists, crafts people and designers, including their purpose, the mediums they used, the time in which they lived and their culture. This includes people from the locality.  

  • Experience the creative arts across all areas of the curriculum.   

  • Know there is a range of different ways of being creative and that each artist and movement is different.  

  • Foster a positive outlook on their own creative ability, persevering and respecting others’ ideas and techniques.  

  • Know the role of art and design in history and the world, learning from art and design to include how it has changed over the years.  

  • Use a range of tools techniques and materials safely with increasing confidence and control. 

  • Use and understand artistic vocabulary, elements of art and principles of design, including to talk about their work and the work of others to look deeper into the world around them. 

What does it mean to be an artist? 

Being an artist allows us to express ourselves and experiment with techniques and media taught. Art comes in many different forms. We learn specifically about painting, drawing, 3d sculpture, textiles, digital art and collage. Artists explore the elements of art and use the principles of design in their work. They know that these ‘rules’ can be followed or broken for effect. We know that some artists make their best artwork from experimentation with materials which has no boundaries. Artists use art to capture a moment, convey meaning, express their ideas or stand up for what they believe among other reasons. Anyone can be an artist.  

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