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Art and Design


Our Curriculum has been designed to ensure each and every child can ‘be the best people they can be’ by offering stimulating and awe-inspiring learning experiences with our Catholic values at its heart. 

Through our art and design curriculum, we want to develop a love and appreciation of art; we welcome visitors to talk about artistic and design led futures to help grow our children's aspirations.  Our art and design curriculum is designed to meet the needs of all pupils at St Mary and St Andrew’s, not only by focusing on appropriate subject specific knowledge, skills and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum, but upon the development of practical, theoretical and disciplinary knowledge. Art & Design is progressively sequenced to ensure that pupils gain appreciation of the life and period of the artists, designers, craftsperson being studied. Through practical work, the pupils learn the discipline of the subject and apply their knowledge and skills to think and work as an artist. Artists are studied across a variety of periods such as traditional, modern and contemporary art. This supports pupils to appreciate various art movements and the developments within these periods which are fundamental to understanding the different types of art that shape modern history. We plan so that our pupils understand local artistic influencers such as Andy Goldsworthy and LS Lowry - northern art powerhouses. We build on our cultural capital through visits to museums/galleries/nature reserves/period homes - such as Gawthorpe Hall and more.


Here at SMSA our principle aim is to develop our children’s knowledge, skills and understanding and in doing so we aim to ensure that our teachers and subjects leader’s knowledge, skills and understanding are to a standard which enables them to support the intentions of the Art & Design curriculum right across the school from Early Years through to Year 6. If, through careful monitoring, this is not the case, support will be put in place in various ways, this includes: teacher to teacher – sharing of best practice, subject leader support in class and staff being able to attend the relevant CPD.

We aim to stretch our children’s knowledge, skills and understanding supporting our children to flourish through the National Curriculum content. We’ve decided to do this in several ways: first and foremost, we want our children to have an appreciation of great artists, architects and designers that have shaped the world we live in, we now provide the children with a sequential learning format which allows them to explore a range of media extending their ideas, experiences and imagination and we will use sketchbooks to record and explore so the children can develop a mastery approach to various art and design techniques.

Art & Design is a foundation subject amongst many in the National Curriculum. As a school, we have taken the National Curriculum and made it bespoke to our school ensuring it’s progressive in the knowledge, skills and understanding expected for the end of each Key Stage. Our EYFS team will plan for children to experience creative opportunities and develop art skills within the EYFS curriculum. However, the Early Years setting will still be included in whole school projects, events and competitions, where appropriate. Our learning in Art & Design is based around 8 key areas: drawing, colour and painting, collage and textiles, printing and computing, sculpture, exploring and developing ideas, knowledge of artists, architects & designers and reflection & evaluation – the first 5 areas will be assessed at various points throughout the academic year dependant on the topic being studied and the final 3 areas will follow an on-going assessment throughout the year. Planning and learning within Art & Design follows simple progressive steps to support the children in their development.

Additionally, each class through each key area will follow progressive steps in vocabulary, this will be an embedded part of our curriculum that support the children in being able to flourish in their knowledge, skills and understanding.


At SMSA the Art & Design curriculum has been created so that the objectives we cover as part of the National Curriculum follow an exciting developmental approach. We strive to make learning cross-curricular when necessary through our inspiring topics which incorporates learning from all different areas of the curriculum, making learning meaningful, memorable and motivating. As the children progress through our school family we aim to make Art & Design a subject that they’re passionate about. We want them to use the Art & Design curriculum as a ways and means of expressing themselves through the skills that they’ve learnt in different ways, gaining the knowledge and understanding of how Art & Design enhances the world that we live in.

Children use a range of strategies to record and communicate their learning, through forms of written and verbal feedback which is given to have a positive impact on the children’s outcomes. Our outcomes are assessed in relation to National Curriculum aims and objectives during and at the end of a topic, with teacher judgements being made at the end of each term based on attainment and progression.

How we do it

Have a look at the attachments below for our progression map in this subject.

Art and Design Programmes of Study: Key Stages 1 & 2 

EYFS Framework Statement for Expressive Arts and Design

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