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The intention of the Art and Design curriculum in St. Thomas’ Catholic Primary School is for each child to make excellent progress in all areas of Art and Design by being inspired, engaged and challenged alongside having fun and new creative experiences. The children will learn from historical and current artists. They will be taught by example and with demonstrations; in small steps to enable success and with scaffolding for those who need it.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Pablo Picasso


We want our curriculum to be inclusive to everyone and fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum. We aim to ensure the progressive development of both knowledge and skills.


The school values of being 'Aspirational', 'Christ Centred' and 'Togetherness' are at the heart of our school so will also affect our Art and Design curriculum:


  • Aspirational: Our children will aspire to do their best.


  • Christ Centred: Creativity is important across the curriculum and plays an important part in our Religious Education lessons too. Regular displays and artwork will have a 'Christ centred' theme and religious paintings will be included in our lists of artists to study. Art is often a tool to help with well being. Our 'Christ centred' value also focuses on well being because Jesus was full of compassion and love for each individual with their well being at the centre. We want to follow the example of Jesus in caring compassionately for each child in our school and one way that we can do this is by giving them therapeutic art experiences.


  • Togetherness: There will be regular opportunities for collaborative art including working with a partner, with a small group or together as a whole class. Our tile art project, which is on display, shows the 'togetherness' of the whole school through art.


We want to help our children discover more of who they are and what they can achieve both independently and as a collaborative group.

“Art has the role in education of helping children become like themselves instead of more like everyone else.” Sydney Gurewitz Clemens


St Thomas’ Catholic School’s Art and Design curriculum will give children the opportunity to:

  • Foster enjoyment and appreciation of the visual arts.
  • Grow in confidence to happily 'have a go' and learn from mistakes.
  • Observe and record from first-hand experience and from imagination.
  • Develop the children’s competence in controlling materials and tools.
  • To become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques and processes.
  • To develop an awareness of the visual and tactile elements including; colour, pattern and texture, line and tone, shape, form and space.
  • To produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences.
  • To evaluate their own creative works using the language of art and by reflecting on the process and final piece afterwards.
  • Develop a knowledge of significant artists, craftspeople and designers.
  • Develop a cross-curricular approach to the use of art, design and creativity in all subjects.
  • Improve their well being. Art is important for wellbeing and gives some children the chance to shine when they might not otherwise do so. Art is also a way to tap into emotions and experiences of children.


“I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way—things I had no words for.” Georgia O’Keefe


As pupils progress through school, they should:

  • Increase critical awareness of the roles and purposes of art and design in different times and cultures. Exploring the impact it has had on contemporary life and on different periods and cultures. (eg Greek pots and vases)
  • They should start to realise how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.
  • Start to develop critical thinking about art and understand that there are sometimes ideas and meanings behind an art piece.
  • Be engaged, inspired and challenged.
  • Progressively use learning skills such as 'perseverance' and 'becoming absorbed' in what they are doing.
  • Be equipped to experiment, invent and create their own works of art. Art inspires imagination and creativity.
  • Have experiences that are visual, tactile and sensory so that they can communicate what they see, think and feel through the use of colour, texture, form, texture and pattern.
  • Have a deeper appreciation of the world because of careful observation and reflection.
  • Have opportunities to engage with are and design in various ways on Educational visits. Educational visits are valued at St. Thomas’ Catholic Primary School.


“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” Mary Lou Cook






The Art and Design curriculum at St Thomas’ Catholic 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. We focus on these areas of knowledge and skills. The progression document ensures the curriculum is covered and the skills and knowledge taught is progressive from year group to year group. This ensures high standards of teaching and learning in Art and Design throughout the school.

Basic skills are introduced and then built upon, including drawing, printmaking, painting , collage and sculpture. Skills are revisited and the use of ongoing sketchbook work underpins this process. St.

Thomas’ believes in fostering an open-ended exploration of creativity. Our lessons do not follow prescriptive outcomes, instead we believe the role of the teacher is to introduce key skills, materials and ideas to the pupils in such a way that each pupil can then explore his or her own creativity. By creating a safe and nurturing environment, pupils are encouraged to take creative risks and to learn from the journey, rather than head towards a pre-defined end result. The process is as important as the end result and we take time to reflect on our learning.


When teaching art and design, there is some flexibility so that teachers can follow the children’s interests to ensure their learning is engaging, broad and balanced. A variety of teaching approaches are used based on the teacher’s judgement.

Art and design is taught as light touch for Terms 1 and 2, 5 and 6 and is the lead focus along with Music in Terms 3 and 4.




Sketchbooks are seen as important and are used from Year 1 to Year 6. These evidence each

individual’s learning and progression. The sketchbooks are an opportunity for children to express themselves and keep a visual diary of their thoughts, processes and ideas throughout the academic year. They are kept close at hand when creating, sketching or developing ideas both indoors and outside. The sketchbook is not marked in the same way as other work and so the teacher does not have to follow the school's marking policy in this book. The book belongs to the child and is a space for them to freely express, create and develop their ideas, sometimes with only limited guidance from the teacher. We want this book to be a key place for each child to express their creativity.

Assessment: We use summative assessment for children’s learning and progression. Next steps are planned accordingly. Sketchbooks and final pieces provide the evidence. Learning is discussed with the children and they sometimes have opportunities to review their peers work as well as their own.