St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

Art and Design


At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School we want every child to find the elements of art, craft and design which resonate for them. We follow the National Curriculum Art and Design objectives and provide all our children with opportunities to experience and develop a range of artistic skills and styles. We do this through learning about a wide variety of contemporary and traditional artists, imitating their styles and methods whilst also exploring children’s own creative ideas and generating their own original pieces of artwork. We encourage the children to appreciate the awe and wonder of the subject by exposing them to a diverse range of art and seeing how art is present in our daily lives and the world around us.

We want our children to feel the relevance of Art and Design to their own lives, to develop their skills and confidence both technically and through creative thinking. We aim to create opportunities for pupils to explore many different aspects of making, helping them understand the ways art connects us with our past, helps us embrace the present, and empowers us to shape our future. By exploring why art is relevant to all our lives, we aim to make certain that our children feel entitled to develop their creativity, and understand their place in the world as creative, confident beings.


Art lessons are planned and delivered by class teachers, led by the Leader of the Arts. We use the new Access Art Primary Art Curriculum for the base of our curriculum. This is a very well written, holistic curriculum which nurtures creative thinking skills and helps ensure our students learn through art, as well as about art.

Learning is built through a weaving and layering and revisiting of experiences. Students are given lots of different kinds of opportunities and experiences (media, techniques, approaches, artists), all underpinned by creative use of drawing and sketchbooks.

As there are no national standards in Primary Art and Design, we use ongoing assessment based upon lots of conversation, to discover intention and understanding, as well as looking at outcomes of the journey and end result. Children take part in ‘crits’, art critiques as they would at Art college, discussing their own and others’ artwork.

We are a member of the National Society for Education in Art and Design and make good use of the expertise available through them such as CPD training.

Teachers also make the most of providing the children with learning opportunities outside of school by visiting local museums and galleries for inspiration and broadening their learning experiences, such as visiting world class museums: The National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert museum, and visiting local spaces to inspire their own artwork. We have developed close links with our local gallery, The Saatchi gallery. Children enjoy guided tours and workshops which then inform their learning in school.

All children have their artwork displayed to the wider school community at our annual Art exhibition as well as displays around school throughout the year. Children are encouraged to take part in Art competitions both inside and outside of school.


All children, including SEND children, make progress in Art. Teacher’s evaluate children’s work as it develops, and discusses intent with children to understand their vision. Children take part in self and peer assessment art ‘crits’ as well as receive verbal feedback from their teacher and are allowed the time to improve their work as appropriate.

The Leader of the Arts oversees an evidence bank of examples of work across the school to demonstrate skill progression across the school.

Success is celebrated through class displays and an annual whole school Art Week and exhibition.

Children enjoy regular educational visits to galleries, museums and local venues as well as visits by artists. They are also given opportunities to display their artwork outside of school. Children’s artwork has appeared at Peter Jones, Leighton House, Chelsea Gallery, the Saatchi Gallery, and the Royal Academy’s Young Artists’ Summer Show. These additional enrichment opportunities help to increase our children’s cultural capital and to see galleries and museums as places they belong in both as visitors and as exhibitors and therefore the potential for a career in Art and Design and a lifelong enjoyment of Art.

Art Knowledge and Skills Progression

Art Curriculum Overview