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Art & Design




At St John's Primary School, our art and design curriculum meets the national curriculum's statutory needs, and is designed to meet the needs of all pupils at St John's CE Primary School. At St. John's, art and design is valued as an important part of pupils' entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum and planned to build on knowledge and skills continually. It aims to support our pupils' spiritual, moral, cultural, and social development. We provide opportunities for our pupils to express their own interests, thoughts, and ideas.


We are committed to broadening the horizons of our pupils. At St. John's, we encourage our pupils to be inspired by the work of great artists. Pupils have the opportunity to explore the work of a range of culturally diverse artists.


We aim for our art and design education to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, providing them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art. As pupils progress, we provide opportunities for them to think critically and develop a more deepened understanding of art and design. 


Art promotes pupils' health and well-being; it fosters creativity and gives children the freedom to take risks with their learning, thus nurturing resilient, positive learners. Our art and design curriculum provides our pupils with enrichment opportunities: collaboration, gallery visits, dedicated art week, and providing experiences that promote positive mental health and well-being.


The topics in our art curriculum aim to promote a value of diversity, inspire innovation, drive curiosity, respect our surroundings and foster a sense of belonging and identity. We strive to ensure that pupils understand that everyone can be an artist in their own right and take pride in and value their creativity.





To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in art and design, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school.


Art and design is taught in rotation with design technology. Every child within our school has full access to art and design once a term. The art curriculum is designed with cross-curricular links, but is taught as a discrete subject. This enables the teaching and learning to be focused and challenging. Progression of skills is achieved through repeated exploration of materials linked to different disciplines such as drawing, painting, sculpture, and textiles. Knowledge: skills, concepts, vocabulary, and key information, is embedded and built upon through a carefully sequenced curriculum map that makes connections within and across art topics and exploits cross-curricular opportunities.


Art is planned sequentially with a focus on the skills and knowledge needed to build upon prior learning. Topics are planned to explore artists, art styles, the key knowledge and ideas the children learn (e.g., artists and their life), and concepts like primary and secondary colours. Skills are explored through the elements of art, such as exploring sketching and painting techniques.


Our children also learn to develop, use and apply knowledge and skills through wider projects and experiences such as art week, visitors, gallery visits, trips, and other curriculum lessons. Art and design at St. John's have rich cross-curricular links, such as using our English texts, geography and history. These enrichment days also offer parents an opportunity to engage with the school and participate in their children's learning. These opportunities help to give memorable experiences where the children can apply their skills and knowledge they have acquired across their time at St. John's.


At St. John's, we provide a variety of opportunities for art and design learning to take place inside and outside the classroom. Educational visits are another opportunity for the teachers to plan for additional art and design learning. The children have opportunities to experience art and design both in and outside the school grounds, such as beach sculptures using materials from the natural world and sculptures made from recyclable materials.


Our teaching of art and design offers opportunities to support our children's social development through the way we expect them to behave towards and 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 work and others' work. They also develop an understanding of different times and cultures through their work on artists, designers, and craftspeople.


Sketch books are an important tool for our pupils to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas. Teaching and learning of art and design will take account of the pupils' previous learning and their experiences. Evidence of this will be in their sketch book, which will go through the school with the pupil to enable them to reflect on their creative journey and the skills explored.





Pupils learn to evaluate their work, while self and peer assessment activities help them develop their ideas, refine their skills and deepen their understanding. The subject leader and senior leadership team conduct sketchbook monitoring, learning walks, and pupil-voice to establish the impact. Our curriculum content is reviewed at the end of each topic. Our formative assessment is used to record pupils' understanding of an objective and plan for opportunities to learn more and remember more.




Whole-School Curriculum Map



Explicit Target Vocabulary



Artists to Study



Art & Design National Curriculum





The Big Frieze

Katie Weymouth is a local artist and book illustrator commissioned by the school to work with our key stage 2 children to design and create our version of Emma Yarlett’s Big Frieze.  




The Big Frieze illustrates the timeline of the Bible. It shows the 7 concepts or important issues in the Bible's big story.



1. Creation - God created the world and everything in it - trees, flowers, animals, birds, fish, humans.


2. The Fall - Humans (Adam & Eve) broke God's rules and ate the fruit God told them not to.


3. People of God (x2) - Throughout the Old Testament, God always had his special people who told others to turn back to God.


4. Incarnation - God became man. Jesus was born into this world, which is the nativity story we remember at Christmas.


5. Gospel - Jesus did many wonderful things; miracles to prove he was God, healed people and cared for them. He taught us how we should live and the importance of turning back to God.


6. Salvation - Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice in the place of his people. He rose again, alive. This is the event we remember at Easter.


7. Kingdom of God -  God's people can enjoy his heaven and be in this perfect place with him forever.





Year 6's Clay Sculpture work - Ancient Greek Theatre Masks

Year 6's Wassily Kandinsky Art Inspired By Music





Reception's Self Portraits





Year 4's Paul Cezanne Inspired Still Life





Year 3's Pencil And Charcoal Observational Drawings





Year 2's Aboriginal Art




Year 1's Self-Portraits Inspired By Various Artists