Curriculum – Art & Design

At St Bede’s Catholic Primary School we are committed to providing all children with learning opportunities to engage in Art and Design.


The purpose of Art and Design education is to give pupils the skills, concepts and knowledge necessary for them to express their responses to ideas and experiences in a visual or tactile form. It fires their imagination and is a fundamental means of personal expression. While it is essentially a practical subject, art should provide opportunities for reflection and, with increasing sensitivity, pupils should acquire the ability to make informed, critical responses to their own work and that of others. There is great pleasure to be derived from Art and Design and, through deeper understanding; pupils can gain access to cultural richness and diversity. The appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts enriches all our lives.

Statement of Intent

At St Bede’s Catholic Primary School, it is our intention to provide an art and design curriculum:

  • That develops a love and appreciation of art, craft and design.
  • As Artists, Crafters and Designers, children will develop a bank of knowledge and skills that will give them the confidence to independently select techniques and ideas to produce creative and imaginative artwork that is a true expression of their talent and ideas.
  • Through sketchbook work, we want to give them the freedom to explore techniques and ideas to develop their own unique style of art by investigating and testing ideas.
  • Children will become confident and proficient in a variety of techniques including drawing, painting, sculpting, as well as other selected craft skills, e.g. collage, printing, weaving and patterns. They will be able to take action to refine their skills and to improve their mastery of materials, selecting relevant processes to produce a successfully finished piece of work.
  • Children will have the opportunity to explore their ideas and record their experiences, as well as exploring the work of others and evaluate different creative ideas.
  • They will be able to evaluate their own work and that of professionals, taking into account starting points, intentions and context.
  • We want the children to know that there is a wide and diverse world of art by exploring male and female artists, crafts people and designers, from around the world, from different cultures, using different techniques and influences and from both the past and the present time.
  • Children will be able to describe, interpret and explain work, ideas and practises of many different artists and craftspeople over a range of historical and social backgrounds. They will develop a technical vocabulary to do this effectively.
  • Every opportunity is provided to enhance children’s artistic experiences both in and outside the classroom, by way of observing and painting from real life, by working with artists-in-residence and performing arts groups, by taking part in community projects and art exhibitions, trips to galleries and museums.
  • Children will see how art can be used to enhance the community in which they live and how it can make a difference to people’s lives, benefitting emotional health and well-being.
  • Our curriculum is tailored to the diverse needs of our children.
  • We provide an enhanced curriculum which goes beyond the classroom.

National curriculum

We use and adapt the National Curriculum, building on the principles of the EYFS Statutory Framework Guidance as the basis for our Art teaching. The National Curriculum for Art and Design aims to ensure that all pupils produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences. That children become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques. They will evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design. They will know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.

Aims and Objectives

Art and design stimulates creativity and imagination. It provides visual, tactile and sensory experiences and a special way of understanding and responding to the world. It enables children to communicate what they see, feel and think through the use of colour, texture, form, pattern and different materials and processes. Children become involved in shaping their environments through art and design activities. They learn to make informed judgements and aesthetic and practical decisions. They explore ideas and meanings through 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 that of different times and cultures. The appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts enriches all our lives.

The aims of art and design are:

  • To enable children to record from first-hand experience and from imagination, and to select their own ideas to use in their work.
  • To develop creativity and imagination through a range of complex activities.
  • To improve the children’s ability to control materials, tools and techniques.
  • To increase their critical awareness of the roles and purposes of art and design in different times and cultures.
  • To develop increasing confidence in the use of visual and tactile elements and materials,
  • To foster an enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts and a knowledge of artists, craftspeople and designers.

Roles and Responsibilities

The subject lead is responsible for the development of the subject and also for assuring quality and standards in the subject by:

  • Monitoring long term and medium term planning.
  • Ensuring policy is implemented.
  • Ensuring continuity throughout the school.
  • Supporting and guiding teachers in teaching and learning of art,
  • Monitoring and evaluating practices in school.
  • Keeping up to date with latest initiatives, research and resources and communicates these to staff.
  • Attending relevant CPD.
  • Prepares, organises and delivers appropriate CPD.
  • Observing lessons and team teaches where appropriate.

Teaching staff are responsible for

  • Complete medium term planning.
  • Give pupils feedback in each lesson.
  • Plan learning that is in response to formative assessment.
  • Celebrate children’s achievement through high quality displays of work.

Subject Content Overview

Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high quality art and design education should 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, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous 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.

Early Years

During the Early Years, young children will be given the opportunity to explore colour, texture, shape and form in two and three dimensions. The children will have access to a wide range of constructions, collage, painting and drawing activities, using appropriate tools and art materials. In order to foster their artistic potential, the children will be encouraged to develop their own creative ideas.

Key Stage One

During Key Stage 1, Art and Design is about expanding children’s creativity and imagination through providing art, craft and design activities relating to the children’s own identity and experiences, to natural and manufactured objects and materials with which they are familiar, and the locality in which they live.

  • Children will explore the visual, tactile and sensory qualities of materials and processes and begin to understand and use colour, shape and space, pattern and texture, to represent their own ideas and feelings.
  • Children will focus on the work of artists, craftspeople and designers by asking and answering questions.

Key Stage Two

During Key Stage 2, Art and Design is about fostering children’s creativity and imagination by building on their knowledge, skills and understanding of materials and processes, through providing more complex activities. Children’s experiences help them to understand the diverse roles and functions of Art and Design in the world around them.


Our curriculum is organised on a two-year rotation, cycle A and cycle B. We carry out the curriculum planning of art in two phases: long-term and medium-term. Our long term plan maps out the themes covered in each term during EYFS and Key Stage 1 & 2. Our medium-term plans, which are based on the national curriculum, give detail of each unit of work for each term. These plans define what we will teach and ensure an appropriate balance and distribution of work across each term. Each lesson includes a learning objective, details of what will happen in the lesson, learning outcomes and resources needed.

We plan the activities in art so that they build upon the prior learning of the pupils. While we give pupils of all abilities the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding. We also build planned progression, so that there is an increasing challenge for the pupils as they move up through the school.

Teaching and Learning

At St Bede’s, we use 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 includes exploring and developing ideas, evaluating and developing work. We do this through a mixture of direct teaching and individual/group activities. We give children the opportunity within lessons to work on their own and collaborate with others, on projects in two and three dimensions and on different scales. Children also have the opportunity to use a wide range of materials and resources including other artists’ work, educational visits and computing. We recognise the fact that we have children of differing ability in all our classes, and so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children through adaptive teaching where necessary.


We assess children’s work in art by making informal judgements as we observe them during each art lesson.  On completion of a piece of work, the teacher marks and provides challenge and next steps for development where appropriate in line with the school’s marking policy.  Feedback is given to the children mainly in a verbal way through discussion as they are working. They encourage children to evaluate their own ideas and methods, and the work of others, to say what they think and feel about them.

Monitoring and Review

The art subject lead and senior management are responsible for observing practise and monitoring the quality and impact of art teaching and learning. A Progression of skills for each topic is placed in the workbook at the beginning of each topic. The subject leader monitors the artbooks termly ensuring that all skills are being taught to ensure progression across each year group.

Resources and Equipment

We are continually reviewing resources in our school to be able to teach all the art units in our Scheme of Work. All our resources are shared with other classes when needed.

Curriculum Links

There is a thematic approach to teaching Art in our school which ensures links being made across different curricular subjects. Allowing children to apply and reinforce their skills and knowledge in a variety of contexts.

ICT enhances our teaching of Art and Design. Children use software to explore shape, colour and pattern in their work. They can record their observations and manipulate them through editing or painting software to create their own designs. The children also use the Internet to find out more about the lives and works of famous artists and designers.

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 the teaching of mathematics in our school by giving opportunities to develop the children’s understanding of shape and space through work in two and three dimensions.

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 whilst undertaking their work. We aim to promote a caring, compassionate and fair environment within which all pupils are valued and enabled to reach their full potential. We facilitate this by fostering the values of friendship, kindness, perseverance, respect, responsibility and creativity.

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, cultures and religions through their work on famous artists, designers and craftspeople.

Home School Links

Topic overviews provide information to parents about what their children will be studying throughout the term. Parents are also informed of termly school visits and/or visitors which are organised to further enrich our curriculum. Parents have the opportunity to attend consultation evenings on a termly basis. This concludes with an annual written report outlining pupil progress within all curriculum subjects. Curriculum Information is also provided on the school website.

Equal opportunities

At St Bede’s Catholic Primary School, we have due regard for our duties under the Equality Act 2010. Children and adults have equality of opportunity in terms of access and outcome throughout all aspects of school life. Children are given opportunities to work with others, listen to each other and treat everyone with respect. We will ensure that we eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations. We aim for every pupil to fulfil their potential no matter what his/her background or personal circumstances.


Through our teaching of art, we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make progress. We all recognise the importance of ensuring that children with identified Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities have access to an ambitious curriculum. Within Art, SEND children will be provided with reasonable adjustments through their tasks and level of challenge provided. Advice can be sought from the school’s SENDCo where applicable.

Health, Safety and Hygiene

The school is responsible for teaching art, craft and design in a healthy and safe environment with reference to appropriate risk assessments for activities likely to incur possible risk. The teaching staff and art co-ordinator are responsible for the supervision of activities such as cutting, printing, batik work and mixing of media. All art equipment is subject to maintenance and safety checks and any faulty equipment is to be reported to the Head teacher.


This school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

STBS Art and Design Cycle A Whole school overview