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Intent: How we aim to grow as artists and creators

The school’s policy for Art is based on the 2014 National Curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2.

All pupils at Plympton St Mary Infants and Old Priory Junior Academy (St. Mary’s Priory Schools) are entitled to be taught the key knowledge and skills in art in order to allow them to develop their individual creativity, express themselves and their ideas, and work individually and collaboratively.

At  St. Mary’s Priory Schools , we aim to inspire all children to express their individuality, thoughts and ideas through a variety of creative opportunities. At our school, art is an important part of the curriculum and we aim to encourage all children to appreciate and value great works of art, including historical and contemporary art as well as artefacts and images from other cultures.

We aim for children to show an appreciation and value of art, using art as a means to promote well-being and individuality. We aim for children to create confidently, drawing on their repertoire of skills and using a range of artistic mediums. We intend for children to feel pride in their creations by celebrating children’s outcomes on display around the school and through annual exhibitions with a public audience, we want children to feel ambitious and understand that working in the arts can be a career choice.

Teachers should aim to nurture children’s creativity through teaching inspiring and purposeful art lessons. We aim to invite in local professional artists to share their skills with the children. Learning from working artists will be a beneficial and positive experience for our children.

Implementation: Our pedagogy in art

The curriculum is led and overseen by the Art Lead. A regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and review and the celebration of good practice will contribute to the ongoing commitment to evolve and improve further.

The Curriculum

The National Curriculum statutory requirements must be taught and assessed in each year as a basic minimum. Teachers should be familiar with previous and subsequent year groups’ content in order to link learning and build on previous knowledge. They should also be aware of where a particular unit of work fits in with the bigger picture of the art curriculum across the primary school.

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 of art using the language of art, craft and design
  • Know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural developments of their art forms.

Teachers are encouraged to follow children’s individual interests and allow children the opportunity to succeed creatively.

Where appropriate art activities are differentiated to ensure that all pupils can access the tasks and have an appropriate level of challenge. Pupils with particular talents are given opportunities to extend them. Opportunities for using and extending art skills are built into lessons in other subjects.

In the Early Years, there is continuous provision of art and design opportunities: these activities make important contributions to children’s development in the areas of Expressive Arts and Design and Communication and Language. They are also important in children’s Personal, Social and Emotional development. Art is covered in art lessons, continuous provision and as a means of communication and learning in other curriculum areas.


Art must be taught discretely each week by the class teacher in line with the timings of the year group weekly timetable (1-2 hours per week). These weekly sessions must focus on teaching particular skills (see the Art Progression of Skills document.) An additional end of unit, collapsed curriculum day will allow children to create an outcome using the skills taught previously. This time will allow children to be ambitious with their outcomes. Outcomes will be on display in the school and an exhibition of art works can be shared with a public audience.

  • Children will use their sketchbooks to record new skills and develop ideas.
  • Children will be given the opportunity to work alongside visiting artists, working alongside professionals in order to maximise their learning experience and foster ambition.
  • Any changes must be discussed beforehand with the subject leader.

Planning and resourcing

Teachers planning art must consult the progression of skills document and refer to the previous year group objectives to ensure skills are taught progressively. Titles in sketchbooks must refer to the skill being taught and assessed.

Teachers may develop their own resources or source from elsewhere. The subject leader can be consulted at any time to assist with planning, resourcing or support with subject knowledge.

Teachers must use the key vocabulary as outlined in the progression of skills document. Teachers should encourage children to use their oracy skill to discuss art, describing how art makes them feel and what they see.

Teaching of Artistic Skills and Knowledge

Each topic covered must include the teaching and learning of skills and knowledge. (See Progression of Skills in Art document.)

The development of artistic skills must be recorded in children’s sketchbooks and positive and constructive feedback from the teacher should allow children to make visible, individual progress.

Art lessons provide opportunities for all children to practise and consolidate skills and knowledge, to develop and extend their techniques and strategies. Children are given the opportunity to use the environment for artistic expression, through Forest schools. For example, in Year 5 and 6 children look at Andy Goldsworthy and create temporal works of art using natural resources.

Each term, an overview of the curriculum for the next half term is shared with parents, so that pre-learning opportunities can be maximised. Creative projects are set for home learning and are valued by parents and children.

At St. Mary’s Priory Schools, we aim to provide all children with the opportunity to succeed. In order to ensure all children reach their artistic potential, teachers will adapt the learning, including the materials and resources used. The subject lead will aid teaching staff who need additional support with this.

Language for learning

Time should be taken to identify and teach the specialist vocabulary associated with each topic (bank of key vocab on the Progression of Skills in Art document.) Teachers should refer to this document to ensure progression throughout the school.

Vocabulary should be displayed on SMART files and in context. Teachers should further embed vocabulary using definitions, images and actions to teach, practise and aid recall from memory. Oracy sentence stems should be encouraged to allow children to talk about their work and work of others.

Children should be given opportunities to pronounce vocabulary correctly (e.g. in chorus, in a pair, when answering questions), to use it in context and to revisit the words and meanings regularly throughout the topic.

Impact: Evaluating the curriculum and pedagogy by assessing learning in art

Assessment for learning underpins teaching and learning in Art. Children will be given opportunities to reflect on what they already know and understand and what they want to develop each term.

Assessment of skills is ongoing, and the use of sketch books aids this. Verbal feedback will be given within the lesson to encourage children to think critically about their own work and make improvements within the lesson.

Art subject lead will advise on assessment of basic skills progression such as colour, mixing, shading and hatching during whole-school moderation.

Art attainment is reported to parents in the child’s annual report.

The subject leader can offer support at any time with identifying opportunities for, and devising suitable assessment approaches or open questions.

The impact for children will be that they:

  • Experience a range of opportunities to express themselves creatively and develop an understanding of the freedom of expression that this provides
  • Experience a broad, balanced arts curriculum, with an emphasis on the development and understanding of skills in art and design
  • Experience the enriching impact of art in other areas of the curriculum
  • Begin to develop an awareness of the emotional impact the arts have on themselves and an audience
  • Create their own artwork that they are proud of and recognise their personal growth in art
Subject Documents Date  
Big Ideas in Art 23rd Aug 2023 Download
Art Progression Map 2024 17th Mar 2024 Download
Art Curriculum Map 2024 17th Mar 2024 Download