Art and Design Curriculum

Art and Design Intent:

At St Mary’s, we want our children to love art and design. We want them to have no limits to their ambitions and we aim for them to have the passion and skills to be future illustrators, graphic designers, fashion designers, curators, architects or printmakers. 

Our Art curriculum aims to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, whilst equipping them with the knowledge and skills to be able to experiment, invent and create their own works of art. As pupils progress, they should gain a deeper understanding of how Art and Design reflects and shapes our history, and how it contributes to the culture, creativity and wealth of our world. We want our children to use the local area as inspiration, to learn from other cultures and to respect diversity so they are ready to contribute to the community around St Mary’s.  We intend that our values based curriculum offers our pupils rich opportunities to explore how others have chosen to express themselves through art; then in turn, to use this to support, encourage and inspire them to express themselves in unique ways using art and design as their medium. 

Art and Design Implementation:

At St Mary’s, Art planning is devised by the Art leader in professional consultation with teaching staff and the Senior Leadership Team (SLT); it meets the requirements of the National Curriculum, which is organised in our school ‘National Curriculum Ladders’.   The teaching of Art is centred around encouraging children to develop an appreciation for and an enjoyment of art in many forms and from different periods of history.  It is planned to progressively build skills and knowledge so that children can use art to express themselves and their views about the world around them.

Art is taught mainly during our Express Projects (Summer Term).  Other opportunities for developing Art skills and knowledge and to support children’s long term memory development are planned into the Discover and Explore projects (Autumn and Spring Term, depending on year group).  The focus of our Art studies enables pupils to engage with their Project Question and Project Values.  For example, Year 1 ask: ‘How can empathy for others and self-knowledge nurture personal wellbeing?’ and study the values of: ‘Empathy, Contentment, Strength, Patience and Compassion’. They explore and define complex emotions and mental health needs. They study the artworks of surrealist artists and develop their knowledge of composition, alongside expressing themselves through their own art.

Lessons at St Mary’s are planned and organised with progression and challenge as the key drivers.  Medium term plans are developed by Senior Leaders and the Subject Leader to ensure that curriculum coverage, high expectations and cross-curricular contexts are studied in Art and Design.   During Art and Design lessons, children have the opportunity to work independently, with a partner and in mixed ability groups to enable everyone to engage with this area of the curriculum.