Art & Design

Art & Design

‘Every Human is an Artist’ Don Miguel Ruiz


At St Francis CE Primary School, in line with the National Curriculum, our art, craft and design curriculum embodies some of the highest forms of human creativity. Our high-quality art and design education aims to 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. 


Pupils learn about how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation, our school and our community.

The national curriculum for art and design aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences 
  • become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques 
  • evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design
  • know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.

Art & design is taught through the medium of topic and covers the fundamental skills of drawing and painting, printing and collage, textiles and 3D. Where appropriate, learning is taught as a block which enables pupils to deepen and widen their understanding of the knowledge and skills of different techniques and mediums leading to improved outcomes.  Block teaching in this subject enables pupils to be fully immersed and engaged in their learning, which gives them better focus and allows them to accomplish more.

Art and Design begins in the foundation stage where the focus in nursery is experimenting with materials and mark making, beginning to create meaningful representations. As pupils continue through Reception they explore colour and combining different materials to achieve a particular purpose such as, simple collages and recognisable people and objects. Pupils are encouraged to represent their own ideas and feelings in original ways.

In KS1 pupils continue to develop their drawing, painting and sculpture whilst using a range of materials.  They are taught a wide range of design techniques and are encouraged to share their ideas, experiences and imagination.  Pupils begin to learn about specific artists and designers, evaluating their work and making links to their own.

In KS2 the focus for pupils is more about the mastery of certain art and design techniques including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials.  Art units sometimes focus on a significant artist or designer and pupils learn about their techniques and work to emulate their style.  Pupils are encouraged to fully utilise their sketchbooks as a means of recording their ideas and using them to review and revise their art.  Our pupils keep their sketchbooks throughout their school journey which is useful for them to revisit ideas.


Pupils at St Francis CE Primary enjoy their art and design experiences and can increasingly comment on themselves as artists.  They can reflect orally on their work and are beginning to use appropriate reflections such as what learning colour they are or how confident they feel about their understanding and outcomes. Pupils are encouraged to learn from their reflections and to show an understanding of how they can develop as artists.

Teachers are asked to reflect on the content they have taught and to highlight what skills they have covered in specific terms so that we can ensure progression and development of skills throughout the school.  Further information will be gathered through pupil questionnaires; highlighting strengths and achievement and any improvements, knowledge and skills that still need to be embedded.

In all key stages extra opportunities are provided for pupils to explore art and creativity in a wider context.  We often produce art as part of our encounter days, recent examples include our Uganda and MfL days where pupils designed artworks inspired by the experiences they had been part of. Pupils also create pieces of art in response to music as part of their study on particular composers.

In addition to this, pupils have the opportunity to apply their developing skills and knowledge through the whole school art project each Summer. Art installations around the school are designed and created with school staff as well as experts in their medium, such as visiting artists.