Art and design

“There are no rules. That is how art is born, how breakthroughs happen. Go against the rules or ignore the rules. That is what invention is about.”
Helen Frankenthaler


Art and design stimulates creativity and imagination. It provides visual, tactile and sensory experiences, and a special way of understanding and responding to the world. It enables children to communicate what they see, feel and think, through the use of colour, texture, form, pattern and different materials and processes. Children become involved in shaping their environments through art and design activities. They learn to make informed judgements, and aesthetic and practical decisions. They explore ideas and meanings through the work of artists and designers. Through learning about the roles and functions of art, they can explore the impact it has had on contemporary life and on different periods and cultures. The appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts enriches all our lives.


Our art curriculum intends to develop pupils who are creative and inspired artists, with a wide variety of artistic skills that they can use across the curriculum and for their own enjoyment.

At St Michael’s we believe that learning is a change in long term memory. We believe children learn best by having opportunities to revisit previous learning. We teach art every term to ensure that the children can fully immerse themselves and have opportunities to reflect and build on prior learning and skills.

The Art curriculum aims to ensure that all children:

  • 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.


The knowledge and skills required to excel in this subject are set out in the art progression document. This document has been created across the federation by the art subject leads in partnership with the curriculum lead. Each member of teaching staff has access to the document as a supportive tool when planning in order to review previous learning; ensure a coherent curriculum that outlines essential knowledge and skill development; and as an accurate assessment tool.

Cultural Capital

Children will learn about areas of significant artistic interest such drawing, painting, sculpture, collage and many more.  In addition, they will learn about famous artists such as Antony Gormley, Van Gogh, Eric Carle, Norman Cornish and Banksy.

In addition to studying an artist each term our Art curriculum also draws upon local resources such as Art Galleries, our local Auckland Project, Architecture and Community Sculpture, so that Art becomes relevant to our pupils. We draw upon the expertise of the staff who work in these places to enhance the subject knowledge of the staff and pupils. Children will meet real artists and see real art in order to inspire them to become artists themselves.

As aforementioned, at St Michael’s we value the purpose in learning and the opportunity to develop a broad and rich awareness of the world around us. Here is an example of how our art teaching contributes to the development of our learner’s Cultural Capital throughout their St Michael’s education.


Our Art lessons cover a broad range of topics from the National Curriculum as well as embedding the skills required to work artistically alongside this.

Children will learn a range of skills and techniques, using a range of mediums, more than once throughout their primary career. Each time they revisit a skill or technique, the study will be at a greater depth, allowing them to further develop previous knowledge and skills. Children will learn from artists who live/lived locally as well as those who live/lived internationally. Children will learn about what inspires/inspired the artists and what techniques they use to create their artwork.

Skills and techniques

During their 6 years in Primary School, children will learn and practice a range of artistic techniques:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
  • Print

These techniques are repeated over the years so that the children can build upon and refine their skills in each area. Throughout all projects, drawing and sketching will be a common thread and will be continuously developed.

Pupils will explore; line, tone, shape and shade, throughout their school career.


In art lessons, children will use a range of mediums (materials and resources) to create their art;

  • Pencils – drawing and coloured
  • Felt pens
  • Charcoal and pastels
  • Clay
  • Paint
  • Screen printing ink
  • Junk modelling

The Early Year Foundation Stage children have daily access to an art provision areas where they can explore a variety of materials and techniques and develop their  curiosity, awe and wonder. This is enhanced by outdoor learning where children can further develop and explore their artistic creativity.

Throughout KS1 and KS2 children will have the opportunity to make links with other topics such as using art within a design and technology project or to look closely and identify detail when observing plants in the local environment in science. As much of the learning, where possible, will be practical. In some studies, outdoor learning will be a pathway to teach from; such as looking at the work of artists and craftspeople who are inspired by nature or indeed use nature and natural materials to create artistic pieces.

Art Long Term Plan


The successful approach at St. Michael’s C of E Primary School results in a fun, engaging and high–quality art education that provides children with the foundations and knowledge to become creative and inspired artists.  Our learners will not only acquire the appropriate age-related knowledge but also skills which will equip them to progress into further education and their everyday lives with rich artistic vocabulary.

They will become confident artists, who can use a range of materials, skills and techniques, understand how to manipulate materials and apply these to their own works of art. They will have a sound knowledge about real artists, near and far, past and present and understand what inspired them to create and then in turn be inspired themselves.


Links to Accreditation


We are proud to announce that we have received our Artsmark Gold Award. The children have worked hard to receive this over the period of a year and enjoyed link with external providers such as The Auckland Project.

Arts Mark Gold

Arts Award Discover

All children at St. Michael’s Primary worked with the Auckland Project in the academic year 2021-22 and each received their own Arts Award Discover certificate. We would like to say a huge well done to all the children who showed exceptional art skills.


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